Fiat Tipo Saloon: new four-door puts the boot in

  • Traditional bodystyle option for Fiat’s compact family car
  • Least powerful petrol engine your only choice, though
  • Set to be the cheapest saloon on sale in the UK

With little by way of fanfare and marketing extravaganza, a four-door Fiat Tipo Saloon is set to arrive in British showrooms in the coming months. That the car exists is not news – it first appeared in 2015, ahead of the Tipo Hatchback and Station Wagon, both of which have been available to UK buyers since 2016.

No, the surprise is that the booted Tipo is coming to these shores at all, but it does give Fiat dealers something new to offer customers after a barren spell of fresh models from the Italian giant. Not that we’re expecting the newcomer to be a frequent sight on British roads.

2019 Fiat Tipo Hatchback, Saloon and Station Wagon in a group

Rivals are few and far between given many brands have long-abandoned the compact family four-door arena, but the past year has seen the reintroduction of the Honda Civic Saloon as well as an all-new Mazda 3 Saloon and Toyota Corolla four-door. Plus there’s also the more costly Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon for those seeking something more upmarket.

So, what exactly is it?

Sharing its entire front end design and side doors with the Tipo Hatchback and Station Wagon, the Saloon’s differences are all at the back. There’s a more conservative shape courtesy of the lengthened boot area, while the rear of the four-door differs with a unique question mark-shaped tail lamp arrangement – both the Hatch and Station Wagon share a boomerang-like design.

At 4,532mm the Tipo Saloon is 164mm longer than its hatchback counterpart and just 39mm shy of the lengthy Station Wagon estate. Pop open that separate bootlid and you’ll reveal 520 litres of usable cargo space – that’s a not insignificant 80 litres more than the five-door version. The Station Wagon’s boot is slightly larger to the window line at 550 litres, but as with the existing Tipos, the Saloon’s rear seats split 60:40 to increase volume, although they don’t lie completely flat.

Red 2019 Fiat Tipo Saloon rear elevation

In the passenger compartment it’s no different, with the same dashboard and trims, with generous room for five passengers.

What engines are available?

While the engine range in the existing Tipo range is narrower than those offered by other manufacturers, for the Tipo Saloon it’s even more restricted – the UK’s only getting the 1.4-litre non-turbocharged petrol powerplant producing 95hp.

Fiat’s yet to confirm performance figures for this configuration on British market models, but glancing over the stats for Italian derivatives suggests a 0-62mph acceleration time of 11.5 seconds, running on to a top speed of 115mph.

Again, using the Italian specifications as a guide, expect average fuel efficiency to be in the region of 49.6mpg, with CO2 emissions of 133g/km of CO2.

Just two trim levels offered

Somewhat mirroring the paucity of choice when it comes to engines, Fiat’s also playing it safe with the Tipo Saloon by only offering it in its cheapest Easy and Street trim levels. Plusher specifications are entirely possible, but they’ll only happen if demand is sufficiently strong to justify it.

Not that opting for the most basic version is akin to wearing a hair shirt while eating gruel, as it’s sensibly appointed with many useful features such as air-con, DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, remote central locking, cruise control and autonomous emergency braking (AEB).

Progressing up to a Street version nets you dark-tinted privacy glass, LED day-running lights, electrically adjustable door mirrors and 16-inch alloy wheels.

How much does it cost?

Fiat has yet to confirm prices for the Tipo Saloon, but we expect order books to open in autumn 2019 ahead of deliveries towards the end of the year. However, we expect them to be very close to those of the Tipo Hatchback, which starts at £14,905.

Red 2019 Fiat Tipo Saloon front three-quarter

If Fiat can manage this it will add to the Tipo Saloon’s appeal as it will be the cheapest four-door model on sale in Britain, undercutting the least expensive versions of the Civic Saloon (£19,905), 3 Saloon (£23,555) and Corolla Saloon (£23,600) by some margin. That could be significant enough for Fiat to have a surprise sales hit on its hands.

Parkers will be one of the first to drive the new Fiat Tipo Saloon, so keep an eye on our website for the upcoming review.

Also read:

>> Still want five-door practicality? Read out Fiat Tipo review

>> Find out what the Honda Civic Saloon is like to live with long-term

>> Fancy a spicier Italian four-door – read our full Alfa Romeo Giulia review