Fiat Chrysler has launched the Fiat Tipo hatchback and its sedan sibling to the South African market, marking the brands return to the medium-compact segment. Reuben van Niekerk reports.
The Tipo combines the brand’s historic concepts of functionality, simplicity and personality in a value for money offering. A range of engines and trim levels will appeal to all pockets.
Locally two body styles, three trim levels, three engines and three transmission types will be available. The sedan will be available in Pop or Easy versions whilst the hatchback will be available in the Pop, Easy or Lounge configurations. The engine range includes one diesel and two petrol derivatives that target the 70 – 81 kW market. The transmissions are five or six-speed manual or six-speed automatic depending on the engine.
The Tipo hatchback is welcoming, practical and ideal for comfortable journeys. The designers adhered to the most modern ergonomic criteria resulting in excellent comfort, space configuration, accessibility, visibility and driving position. The Tipo will accommodate five passengers with the rear end comprising a regular shape with a horizontal roof profile providing passengers added cabin headroom. Legroom is also said to be class leading.
The boot offers generous space, 440 litres for the hatchback and 520 litres for the sedan with the boot sill being low and stepless to facilitate loading even the bulkiest of items. The rear seats can be folded down in a 60/40 fashion expanding the boot space substantially.
The front is enhanced by a chrome embellished horizontal mesh grille aligned dynamically to form a graphic motif that compliments the Fiat emblem. The LED daytime running lights further emphasise the hatchbacks strong character.
The long bonnet is common to both body styles, but the rear silhouette of the hatchback is compact and sporty. A form line running from the headlights to the sculpted taillights dominates the sides of both cars
The 1,4 litre 16-valve engine delivers 70kW at 6000 rpm and 127Nm at 4500 rpm. This engine is combined with a six-speed manual gearbox.
The 1,6 litre delivers 81kW at 5 500 rpm and 152Nm at 4 500 rpm and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The 1,3 litre MultiJet II engine ensures good performance and low running costs and includes a Stop/Start system. It produces 70kW at 3 750 rpm and 200Nm from 1 500 rpm thanks to a variable geometry turbocharger. This model is paired with a five-speed manual gearbox.
The Tipo features latest-generation audio systems including Bluetooth, audio streaming, text reader and voice recognition, AUX and USB ports with iPod integration and controls on the steering wheel. A rear parking camera and TomTom 3D built-in navigation system are available as options on all models except the Easy.
Comfort and practicality are taken care of via manual air conditioning on the Pop versions and Automatic air conditioning on all other models. Pop models feature 16-inch steel wheels fitted with covers annd Easy models incorporate 16-inch alloy rims, LED daytime running lights, chrome door handles, body coloured mirror covers and a leather steering wheel.
The Lounge trim, exclusive to the hatchback features 17-inch alloy rims, chrome details and a leather steering wheel and shift knob. Comfort and safety features include rear parking sensors, front fog lights, automatic climate control, cruise control, front armrest as well as the UConnect infotainment system with Navigation and a reverse camera as standard
The Tipo offers modern active and passive safety devices such as driver and front passenger airbags while side and curtain airbags are available as an option.
Standard safety features include electronic stability control, Panic Brake Assist, ABS with traction control and Hill Start Assist. Cruise control is standard on Easy and Lounge variants and an option on Pop models.
The new car features a suspension layout comprising independent McPherson struts on the front axle and an interconnected torque beam on the rear. These two layouts are optimised to reduce weight and contribute to improved fuel efficiency, without compromising the dynamic driving experience
The Tipo meets the needs of informed, pragmatic and solution-oriented customers who are looking for a car that meets their personal, family and work requirements with style, economy and favourable pricing.