Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0
  • Interior presents no surprises
  • Logically-sited controls
  • Cheaper plastics dotted about

In all likelihood most people won’t remember the original Fiat Tipo’s dashboard with its futuristic electronic displays and minimalist switchgear. By comparison, the Fiat Tipo Station Wagon’s facia is disappointingly ordinary and is shared in its entirety with the hatchback version.

Everything’s sensibly sited with easy-to-use controls that respond to inputs in a logical manner. The instrumentation is clear and unambiguous although the digital speedo graphic between the main analogue dials has an air of 1980s computer game about it.

Fiat’s done a decent job with its seven-inch Uconnect multimedia to ensure the sat-nav graphics are clear and the controls are suitably responsive when prodded but we suspect the five-inch version might be a bit more fiddly to use while driving.

It’s easy enough to find a comfortable driving position with a sensible degree of adjustment for reach and angle of the steering wheel, while all-round visibility is good – the extra rear side windows improving matters over the hatchback.

Given the Tipo Station Wagon’s price you’d expect it to feel a little cheap compared with a Volkswagen Golf Estate, but it doesn’t feel significantly off the pace quality-wise.

  • Fiat boasts of the Tipo Station Wagon’s comfort
  • Interior is certainly spacious
  • Ride quality can be unsettled

Unusually bullish claims have been made about the Fiat Tipo Station Wagon’s ride quality and overall comfort, but in truth it doesn’t set new standards for the class.

It’s not uncomfortable but it does become unsettled when driving across undulating or poorly surfaced roads – the variable-rate suspension dampers appear to be out of sync with real-time conditions, ironing out the previous bump while you’re on top of the next one.

We’ve yet to test the car with a boot rammed with cargo, but it will carry up to 500kg of payload.

The Tipo Station Wagon’s sensibly straight proportions liberate plenty of interior space, with ample legroom in the back for a six-foot passenger to sit behind a driver of the same height.

Where the cabin is let down is in terms of rear-seat headroom – the bench itself is set much higher than the front seats meaning if you’re above average height your head could be rubbing against the roof lining. Middle-berth passengers get a poorer deal overall, with a narrower, firmer seat that simply isn’t as comfortable as the outer two positions.

Considering the Tipo Station Wagon’s low starting price, build quality isn’t bad, although the plastics employed aren’t in the same league as you’ll experience in a Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer, let alone a VW Golf Estate.