2016 Fiat Tipo - everything you need to know

The Tipo is Fiat's new Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra rival. It will go on sale in the UK in September

Words ByDarren Moss

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Fiat Tipo

The Fiat Tipo will go on sale in the UK in September, with prices starting from Β£12,995. It's Fiat's latest mass-market rival for the likes of the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.

What is it?

The Fiat Tipo made its debut at the Geneva motor show back in March, and will be sold in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. As well as the hatchback seen above, there's also estate and saloon versions. However, while the estate and hatchback will be coming to the UK, negotiations are ongoing over the saloon.

The most popular version in the UK is likely to be the Tipo hatchback, which is longer, wider and lower than the Ford Focus.

Meanwhile, the estate version gets an extra 200mm of body length, meaning it has a larger boot. In fact, Fiat says the Tipo estate can carry up to 550 litres with its rear seats in place - far more than is offered by the Ford Focus estate. It also gets an adjustable boot floor and side panels, increasing its storage space even more. The Tipo hatchback can carry up to 440 litres - again, more than its major rivals.

What engines can I choose from?

Buyers will be able to choose from five engines in the Tipo - there are three petrol units and two diesels. The entry-level petrol option is a 1.4-litre unit with 94bhp. There's also a turbocharged 1.4-litre engine with 118bhp and a larger 1.6-litre unit with 108bhp.

The diesel range is lead by a 1.3-litre engine with 94bhp. There's also a 1.6-litre diesel with 118bhp, which is the most economocal option in the range, returning a claimed 76.3mpg. CO2 emissions of 98g/km means this model qualifies for free road tax.

Buyers can choose between a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox.

What equipment does it come with?

In the UK, both the Fiat Tipo hatchback and estate will be offered in three spec levels - though the names of those levels have yet to be confirmed.

Even in its most basic form, the new Tipo will come with air-conditioning, six airbags, remote central locking and a DAB radio with Bluetooth connectivity. Mid-range cars get added luxuries incuding a 5.0in touchscreen infotainment system, LED daytime running lights, 16in alloy wheels, rear parking sensors and cruise control.

Top-end Tipo models receive sat-nav, a rear view camera and automatic lights and wipers.

How much does it cost?

The Tipo hatchback range is priced from Β£12,995 in the UK - making it significantly cheaper than other mass-market hatchbacks like the Vauxhall Astra and the Ford Focus, which start from Β£15,295 and Β£16,245 respectively. A mid-range Tipo with a 1.6-litre diesel engine will cost you Β£16,995.

Estate versions of the Tipo cost Β£1000 more than their hatchback counterparts. The range starts from Β£13,995. Top-end versions of the estate cost Β£19,995.

How good are its rivals?

Fiat is entering a very competitive and crowded market with the new Tipo. The Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra are two of the best selling cars in the UK, and both are highly regarded by car buyers for offering practicality and value for money. With such a low price, though, Fiat's Tipo could muscle its way into this market very quickly.

Our colleagues at Autocar have already had a chance to drive the new Tipo in saloon form, and while they were impressed with the performance from the 1.6-litre diesel engine, they were left underwhelmed by the driving experience and interior finish. You can read the full review here.

See more of the new Tipo in Fiat's official video, below.