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FIAT TIPO LOUNGE


THINK OF FIAT AND ITS CHIC 500 MODEL IMMEDIATELY SPRINGS TO MIND, FOLLOWED BY ITS PRACTICAL PANDA, AND PERHAPS SOME OF ITS POPULAR VANS SUCH AS THE DOBLO AND QUBO.


What probably won’t come to mind right away is its


Tipo model and that is a shame for it deserves wider appreciation and more of the limelight. Priced from £13,445, this mid-size hatchback and estate range offers a value-for-money alternative to the bigger names – Astra and Golf for instance – in this popular mainstream sector. My recent test model, a Tipo hatchback with an impressively economical 1.6 litre diesel engine, was a reminder that if potential buyers take a wider look at the market, they can come across commend- able models than have somehow slipped under the radar. The Tipo is not too common a sight on


BUT IS QUICKER,


MORE ECONOMICAL AND HAS LOWER EMISSIONS THAN SOME RIVALS


UK roads but is quicker, more economi- cal and has lower emissions than some rivals. And of course, being less common, it is more exclusive! Its sleek shape has an elegance often lacking in the family hatchback class and its also has excellent driving dynamics. My test model was an upper range version with a 120 hp 1.6 litre diesel engine. The 0-60 mph time is quite nippy at 9.8 seconds and top speed is 124 mph. Fuel economy is impressive – 76.3 mpg combined, and its


98g/km emissions figure means no road tax. Standard equipment on this version, which costs £17,995 includes 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, climate control, 5-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, sat-nav, USB and Aux port, and steering wheel audio controls. It also has cruise control, auto lights and wipers and chrome detailing. The test model also had some optional features including heated leather seats. The cabin is well designed for comfort and ease of use, with decent head and leg room for rear occupants and a roomy 440 litre boot which can be expanded with drop-down rear seats. Some of the trim materials do appear to be low-bud- get but that apart, the Tipo scores well.


It also impresses with its precise driving feel, with good steering feedback and a suspension set-up which nicely balances the need for ride comfort with firmness for assured handling. Anyone planning to buy a new mid-size hatchback ought to put the Tipo on their viewing list. It may have a low profile in its sector, but may also surprise many with just how much it offers.


www.bythedart.co.uk


What’s on, what to do, where to eat, shop, stay & much, much more Everything & Anything about Dartmouth


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