Fiat Tipo

Living only on its name’s legacy

"Unexpectedly attractive family car that may influence Lebanese buyers," said Issam.

"Tipo offers lots of space and plenty of options."

"At such a price tag, can it take a share from the apple pie?"

The Tipo. Quite a familiar name to you, right? Tipo is a name Fiat was using for hatchbacks in the 1980s. This new one is a replacement to the Bravo, which replaced the Stilo too. There I was in Beirut, picking up the Fiat Tipo sedan from Gargour Automotive, newly appointed official distributor of Fiat in Lebanon.

The all-new four-door car, created from the beginning as a three-box sedan, embodies the "Born to be Sedan" concept, which enhances the balanced, quintessentially Italian design to guarantee personality and style without forgoing functionality.

In true Fiat style, the new Tipo is packed with plenty of clever solutions that make life better for everyone onboard. Like the splendid standard features and the availability of the Uconnect system with a five-inch color touchscreen, hands-free Bluetooth system, audio streaming, text reader and voice recognition, AUX and USB ports with iPod integration, controls on the steering wheel and, on demand, a rear parking camera.

Good-looking and functional, Fiat Tipo four-door combines a large load capacity (520 liters) with compact overall dimensions (it is 4.54 meters long, 1.79 meters wide and 1.49 meters high). The 2.64-meter wheelbase emphasizes its excellent internal comfort. All this is enhanced by Italian design, inside and out, which makes the car unique in its segment.

Designed to tackle future challenges, the new Fiat Tipo was designed in Italy by Centro Stile Fiat, developed in Turkey together with Tofaş R&D, which is one of FCA's largest research and development centers, and made in the Tofaş plant in Bursa - one of the world's best automotive factories, which has received a World Class Manufacturing gold medal.

How does it drive on our Lebanese roads?
The 1.4 turbo is smooth and quiet at first encounter, but when accelerating it becomes rough and brusque at high revs, although it settles down quietly at cruising speeds. I noticed that it isn’t the perfect car for cruising on highways. There is too much wind noise around the windscreen pillars at around 110 km/h.

Verdict
All in all, the Tipo is a car designed mainly for developing markets and serving a more value-driven vehicle - to penetrate the Japanese and Korean rivals - than Fiat was aiming for thirty years ago. You can ask for a test drive any time at your nearest dealer. I know that other brands are well established in that segment but it is always worth it to have a look at the only Italian manufacturer in this segment.

Rivals: Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus sedan, Chevrolet Cruze sedan, Renault Megane, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3, Nissan Sentra, Kia Cerato
Pros: Modern exterior styling, plenty of options, wind noise in the cabin above 110 km/h
Cons: Tough segment to compete in, price tag
one word: resembling  
3 stars

Specs
1.6L, inline 4-cylinder, 120 hp @ 3,750 rpm, 152 Nm @ 4,500 rpm
6-speed auto, FWD
0-100 km/h: 11.2 sec, top speed: 192 km/h, fuel consumption: 6.3 L/100 km
Weight: 1,280 kg

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