Fiat Tipo hatchback - Engines, drive & performance
Comfort rather than sportiness is the top priority with the Fiat Tipo
The Fiat Tipo is an enjoyable car to drive, if rather lacking some of the verve we’ve seen from other models in the Fiat-Chrysler stable. The steering doesn't offer a lot of feel, but is quite nicely weighted and the Tipo has plenty of grip for fast cornering. The suspension is on the soft side and this results in noticeable body lean in corners. However, it does allow a reasonably comfortable ride. It can be a little bouncy over heavily rutted roads, but it never feels harsh.
If you’re after a truly entertaining drive from your small family hatchback, then you might want to look at the Ford Focus, Mazda 3 or SEAT Leon, each of which display more skill in balancing ride quality and handling prowess.
Fiat Tipo diesel engines
We were pretty impressed with the 118bhp 1.6-litre diesel. It feels just as strong as its 10.1-second 0-62mph time suggests and pulls well in pretty much any gear thanks to its flexible power delivery, although the power does drop off sharply at higher revs. The only real negative with this engine is how noisy it is when you accelerate. Above 2,500rpm (when merging with busy dual-carriageway traffic or making swift progress up a steep hill, for example) it gets very rattly and feels like a lot is being asked of it.
Fortunately, the din fades into the background when it’s allowed to relax at cruising speeds. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard on this car and it’s easy – if not particularly satisfying – to use. Alternatively you can choose Fiat’s new six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which makes the car a little slower, offering a 0-62mph time of 11 seconds.
There are two of these to choose from, both with four cylinders – a 94bhp 1.4-litre and a turbocharged 1.4-litre engine managing 118bhp. Both of the 1.4-litres are only available with a six-speed manual gearbox.
The entry-level 94bhp 1.4-litre takes a leisurely 12.4 seconds to get from 0-62mph and tops out at 113mph. The quickest in the range is the 118bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol. It’ll do 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds and go on to hit 124mph.