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53 MOTORING ROAD TEST BY NICK FLETCHER


OUR MOTORING COLUMN, BY THE EXPERIENCED AND AWARD WINNING MOTORING JOURNALIST NICK FLETCHER HELPS OUR READERS CHOOSE THE BEST OF THE LATEST CARS.


FIAT TIPO LOUNGE


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


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 impres-


W


sively economical 1.6 litre diesel engine, was a reminder that if potential buyers take a wider look at the market, they can come across commendable models than have somehow slipped under the radar. The Tipo is not too


QUICKER, MORE ECONOMICAL AND HAS LOWER EMISSIONS THAN SOME RIVALS


common a sight on UK roads but is quicker, more economical and has lower emissions than some rivals. And of course, being less


common, it is more exclusive! Its sleek shape has an ele- gance 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 emis- sions 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


hat probably won’t come to mind right away is its Tipo model and that is a shame for it deserves


be low-budget 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.


Kingsbridge Auto Repair and Rescue


Unit 10 Halwell Business Park


Totnes, Devon, TQ97LQ Established for over 10 years


• 24hr Breakdown and Recovery


• Brand new purpose built premises • Class 4 & 7 MOT’s


• Servicing and repairs to all makes and models


• Clutches / Brakes / Tyres • Exhausts and batteries


• Up to date diagnostic equipment • Collection/delivery & courtesy cars available on request


Call us on 01803 712300


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