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Fiat's Focus-fighting family hatch: meet the Tipo

  • New medium hatchback and estate to enter popular market
  • Will feature low-emission diesel for lower tax bills
  • Prices to be confirmed closer to UK launch date

An all-new Fiat Tipo has been unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this week that offers much to interest company car drivers.

Available in both five-door hatchback (pictured above) and estate (shown below) bodystyles in the UK (with a saloon also on offer in other markets), this is a rival to the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Kia Ceed – cars that offer families practical, low-cost solutions to daily life.

With that in mind, the core powertrain for company car drivers will be a 1.6-litre ‘Multijet’ diesel engine coupled to a manual gearbox, which according to the firm will produce just 98g/km of CO2 and achieve 76.3mpg on the combined fuel economy cycle. There’s also the option of a six-speed twin-clutch automatic gearbox, but we’ve not seen any figures for this yet.

The former figure means benefit-in-kind tax payable at 17 percent at current tax levels, rising to 19 percent in 2016/17. If it costs as much as a 1.5 diesel Focus Style, company car tax will cost a 20 percent tax payer around £52 per month, rising to £58 the year after.

Other engine options include a smaller 1.3-litre Multijet diesel and a trio of petrols: 1.4 with 94bhp and 125Nm, 1.4 turbo with 118bhp and 206Nm and 1.6 with 108bhp and 152Nm; the latter available exclusively with a six-speed automatic gearbox. There’s no word on exactly which powerplants we’ll get in the UK, but that a low-CO2 diesel is highly likely to appear.

Full equipment specifications for British-sold Tipos haven’t been released yet either, but we’re expecting three trims and entry-level cars are set to get:

• Air-con

• DAB radio

• Bluetooth

• Steering wheel controls for stereo

The Tipo looks set to be a practical car whichever body style you go for. The hatch gets a 440-litre boot (roundly beating the Focus, Astra and Ceed – but trumped by the capacious Peugeot 308) while the estate extends this to 550 litres, which is also beaten by the 308 SW and Golf Estate but ahead of the Focus Estate and Ceed Sportswagon.

Other boot facts for the Tipo Estate include the availability of 60/40-split rear seats, a completely flat load area, an adjustable boot floor and the capacity to carry objects of up to 1.8 metres long.

Keep your eyes peels for the full Fiat Tipo review coming soon on Parkers.