The Fiat line-up is starting to resemble the Marvel Cinematic Universe with old badges being rebooted left, right and centre. First there was the Panda and 500, and now the 124 and Tipo.
In the case of the latter Fiat has chosen to revive the name of a 30-year-old hatchback rather than making yet another 500-derived car. Where the 124 represents style and desirability, the Tipo is all about space, kit and value for money.
That’s not to say it’s a bad looking car, but you can’t call it distinctive. It’s a boxy- blend-in with function prioritised over form, and that’s fine. Interior quality is surprisingly good, save for the shiny plastic on the doors and lower dash, plus a weeny 5in sat-nav that’s comprehensively outgunned by your smartphone screen.
It’s also not a bad drive – the torsion beam rear suspension struggles to isolate rough surfaces to one side of the car but it certainly steers nicely. The 1.6-litre Multijet diesel motor’s strong mid-range makes it feel punchy in-gear, if a little asthmatic on a motorway slip road. The 1.4-litre petrol is much more invigorating though; cheaper, too.
In fact you get a lot more for your money with the cheaper grade. Even £12,995 boggo-cars with the above petrol motor come with air-con, DAB radio, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Climb the trims and engines until you get to the top-tier diesel car tested here and you’ll have to find £17,995 – enough for a better looking, better driving Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra at which most UK money will be thrown. Probably best to invoke any Italian DNA you may be concealing and stick with the cheapest Tipo for a bargain instead.
Fiat Tipo 1.6 MultiJet 120 Lounge
Engine: 1.6-litre, 4cyl
Power: 118bhp @ 3750rpm
Torque: 236lb ft @ 1750rpm
Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Suspension: MacPherson struts front, torsion beam rear
Top speed: 124mph
On sale: Now
Not a Dacia. Cheaper than an Astra