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Interior design and technology – Fiat Tipo

By Matthew Beecham | 6 June 2019

The Fiat Tipo’s chunky HVAC controls are easy to fathom and nicely weighted.

The Fiat Tipo’s chunky HVAC controls are easy to fathom and nicely weighted.

Designed in Italy and assembled in Turkey, the Fiat Tipo has been a fairly common sight on European roads since 2015 but not for much longer. FCA has already let it be known that this model will not be replaced once production ends in 2023. Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside this family car.

Once seated, it doesn't take long to find a comfortable position using the manually adjustable controls. The cockpit has a no-nonsense feel and is devoid of any flamboyance. Its simplicity, however, makes everything easy to find and use.

Trim levels

Tipo trim levels start with Easy, moving up through the Street, Mirror, Lounge, S-Design and top-drawer Sport.

Tipo was given a sporty makeover last month. Based on the highly-specced S-Design, the Sport adds a new front bumper with splitter, more aggressive side skirts and black exterior door handles. Tweaked interior features on the Sport include a black leather and fabric upholstery and rear privacy glass. While the dash is covered in soft-touch plastic, pretty much all other surfaces are coated with hard plastic. If you really are looking for something to criticise then you'll find the usual scratchy interior surfaces at ankle level.

The S-Design also received some updates with black fog-light bezels enhancing the gloss black grille, mirror caps, and 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels. Inside, a new black interior enhances the standard leather and fabric seats, with embellished double-stitched seams and cross-pattern techno-leather upholstery, and tinted rear windows to create a sporty ambience.

Replacing the outgoing and sedate Easy Plus trim, Mirror is a mid-range offering with touches of chrome on the door handles, window-line, grille surround, mirror caps and fog light bezels. Tipo Mirror also has blue livery setting off a number of chrome details including door handles, lower window line, lower grille surround, fog light bezels, mirror caps and a Mirror badge on the pillar. Diamond cut 16-inch alloy wheels complete the look.

Regardless of trim level, standard interior equipment includes air-con, front electric windows, six airbags, DAB digital radio, split rear seats, a front seat centre armrest, USB and Bluetooth connectivity with lots of steering wheel remote controls. The estate adds rear electric windows and longitudinal roof bars.

Connectivity and infotainment

Standard equipment on the Tipo is the Uconnect LIVE system that is displayed on the touchscreen.  It includes a Bluetooth interface, audio streaming, text reader and voice recognition, AUX and USB ports with iPod integration, controls on the steering wheel and rear parking camera and a TomTom sat-nav. Uconnect LIVE offers music streaming with Deezer, and TuneIn, news from Reuters, connected navigation with TomTom LIVE, CarPlay, Android Auto, Facebook Check-in and Twitter.  The driver may monitor their car's performance and maintenance status via eco:Drive and my:Car. There is a USB port in the front console for charging and connecting devices.

Cabin space

All in all, the 5-door hatchback Tipo measures 4.37m long, 1.79m wide and 1.50m tall.  While the automaker states that it can accommodate three six-footer passengers in the rear, an Uber ride in Kraków last week pretty much confirmed it although the middle seat occupant has to splay their feet over a relatively shallow transmission tunnel and lean against a hard backrest.

The boot capacity is 440 litres, while the practical estate version adds an additional 110 litres of boot space with the 60/40 split folding seats in the upright position. The boot itself has a relatively low load sill with an adjustable load floor and removable side storage panels to liberate more luggage space. The roller cover can be removed and stored under the floor panel.

There are also plenty of cubby holes dotted throughout the cabin that come in a variety of shapes and capacities totalling 12 litres.

Forward visibility is good thanks to some relatively thin A-pillars while the thick rear pillars hamper the rearward view. Rear parking sensors and a camera compensate for this, however.

On the road

The engine range comprises five in total - two diesel and three petrol. Our press review S-Design hatchback, painted street grey, was powered by a 1.4 T-Jet turbo petrol unit combined with a six-speed manual gearbox. Official combined cycle fuel economy figures are 47.1 mpg compared to our real world 40.1 mpg. Although the interior of this budget model lacks style and finesse compared to some of its big-name rivals, it is spacious and comes with a decent list of standard equipment.