The Tipo, built in Turkey, was launched in 2015 as a C-segment vehicle at an affordable price. Initially it appeared as a four-door sedan, soon followed by the five-door hatchback and the station wagon. The model never caught on in the Netherlands. Due to the relatively old and inefficient engines, it was simply not cheap enough here. Too bad, because we certainly do not know the Tipo as a bad car. As usual with Fiat, the model should last a long time and that is why we were presented with a facelift last year, six years after the introduction. That included a different logo in the grille, but also a Cross version, which is 4 centimeters higher on the legs. Now there is another change, because Fiat provides the taut Tipo and at the same time also the 500X with the new, electrified powertrain, which is called e-Hybrid at Jeep and simply Hybrid at the Italians. This means that the 1.0 three-cylinder with 100 hp is no longer available, so the Hybrid is now the only available motorization of the Tipo in the Netherlands. Electric up to 30 This gives him a significantly larger engine, a strong power boost and an automatic transmission as standard. The hybrid powertrain consists of a 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 130 hp, a starter/generator as in a mild hybrid and an additional 48V electric motor that operates from the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Compared to other hybrids, the electrical power is quite modest. The electric motor delivers 15 kW or 20 hp, but only does so for a short time and therefore does not contribute to the total power on paper. The drive battery measures only 0.8 kWh and purely electric driving only takes place at low speed, when starting off and when manoeuvring. If you really sit down, you can quietly go through traffic with a sufficiently charged battery up to 30 km/h, but in practice the four-cylinder engine usually runs along nicely. Therefore, the Tipo ‘just’ feels like a petrol car. A pretty civilized copy, because the power source has a nice run and performs for you with great ease. In this way at least the electrical support pays off. Shifting is usually smooth and smooth. You can’t switch gears yourself with flippers behind the steering wheel, but you can with the poker, where the ‘+’ is at the back as it should be. Unfortunately, the refinement sometimes fades into the background. Especially when accelerating suddenly, the electronics often cannot keep up and the engine switches on with a big jolt, which doesn’t come across as sound. Cross Due to the relatively modest size of the electrical support, there is no loss of space and no excessive weight, as we sometimes see with hybrids from the competition. The hatchback can therefore equally well accommodate 440 liters of luggage, the SW swallows 550 liters. Those are neat figures, although most other station wagons in this segment are more spacious. We drive the Tipo as SW in Red trim, which automatically entails the ‘rough’ Cross looks. This makes the Fiat 4 centimeters higher on the legs, which gives it a tougher appearance and also makes it less sensitive to rough collisions with the road surface. That can be quite useful in practice. That height has no negative consequences for the driving characteristics, even in this form the Tipo is pleasantly direct and communicative. The sitting position behind the wheel is also good for each other. The dashboard is equipped with a new, 10.25-inch touchscreen on all versions except the basic version, which is clearly larger and more modern in appearance than the outgoing model. It also works nicely, as we are used to from this Uconnect system. The volume button, which was first placed next to the screen, is now located between the front seats. Behind the wheel we now find a 7-inch screen that replaces the analog speedometer. This means that the whole is effectively modernized and this interior can handle it again for a while, but it is not startling or innovative. You don’t have to, if the Tipo succeeds in its value-for-money set-up. That is unfortunately disappointing in the Netherlands. With the 1.0 Firefly engine appearing last year, the SW was already there for less than 24 grand. The station wagon now costs at least €30,990 despite lower CO2 emissions. That is still quite reasonable in view of the power and the machine in itself, but for this money there are more modern and also wider alternatives available from other brands.
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