Parkers overall rating: 2.5 out of 5 2.5

Should you buy a FIat Tipo?

Honestly, no. At least, not a new one; used and nearly-new Tipos offer a wider range of engines and are better value. At the very least, you should wait for pre-registered discounts from brokers rather than walking into a Fiat dealer and paying list price.

The five-speed, 1.0-litre combination has to work hard to propel the large and rather heavy Tipo, making it relatively uneconomical, and there’s very little joy to be found when driving it. Where Fiat’s strongest selling point was the art of making small, sensible cars fun to drive, the Tipo just feels numb and occasionally over-assisted.

Don’t think that the new Hybrid model fixes things, either. With clunky performance and very limited electrical assistance, this feels rather like a token effort and not at all worth its high price tag.

If you’re swayed by the looks or live somewhere where the suspension travel of the Tipo Cross appeals, it isn’t badly put together and certainly feels strong – but we’d still look at the Dacia Duster first, and for similar money you could have the futuristic SUV-styled Citroen C4.

What’s unusual is that the Tipo’s foundations can be found beneath the Jeep Compass and Renegade as well, with very different results; this car could be so much better than it is.

What we like

It’s not a bad-looking car, particularly as a Tipo Cross, and it’s got nice, wide seats and a lot of room inside. The feeling of space isn’t quite what it could be because the windscreen pillars are remarkably thick, though. The boot is large, and you get some nice tech thrown in at a low price point, such as adaptive cruise control.

What we don’t like

Thanks to the reduced selection of engines, it’s underpowered and dated to drive. This is exacerbated by a general feeling of remote, rubbery control where once Fiat bestowed even their cheapest cars with grin-inducing handling. The A-pillars are large enough to create serious blind spots at junctions and roundabouts, and there are many details that feel cheap, like the wobbly indicator stalks and unilluminated ignition keyhole.

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