Fiat is no longer present in the compact segment since the Bravo stopped production a few months ago. A niche in which Fiat has been suffering for 14 years with the successive failures of the Stilo and therefore of the Bravo. This situation raises questions about the legitimacy of maintaining the brand in this category. Here is the answer today, with the Tipo, who’s positioning just above the low-cost may be intelligent.
For his return to the compact class, Fiat is back to basics. First of all for the name of the car, Tipo, which refers to Fiat’s latest real commercial success in this category (2 million copies sold between 1988 and 1995, and a drawing that shocked at the time). Then in the very philosophy of the vehicle: simplicity. A philosophy that has made the brand’s great days in the past. Fiat is therefore positioning itself a step above Dacia in terms of presentation and services, but no longer seeks to compete with other European generalists who offer increasingly successful products (308, Megane, Astra, Focus, Golf, etc…).
The result is this car, already widely presented in preview last May at the Istanbul Motor Show, under the name of Aegea Project. A 4-door sedan with no big fee, but not unpleasant either. A global sedan ready to please in emerging markets as well as in our “old” markets. Not much to say about the classic drawing. We will just note the grille patterns and the small bossing on the roof. The dimensions are generous (length 4.54m, width 1.78m, height 1.49m, wheelbase 2.64m, trunk 520 litres, rims of 16 or 17″).
The design of the dashboard seems to be 20 years late, which confirms that we are not far from low-cost. There is no need to wait for the slightest miracle in the quality of the materials but let us at least hope that the assemblies are suitable. On the equipment side, on the other hand, we expect heavy, with a first level of finishing equipped with manual air conditioning and a Uconnect screen!
Under the hood, only the known, and not always the modern!
– 1.4L Fire 95hp petrol
– 1.6L E.torQ 110hp petrol (with automatic gearbox) certainly not available in France
– 1.3L Multijet II 95 hp
– 1.6L Multijet II 120 hp
The simplicity of the design will however have a positive impact: the selling price, whose first rumours suggest a positioning around 13,000 €. It’s usually the entrance ticket for a city girl.
A price aggressiveness that should not make us forget that this Fiat will once again not be manufactured in Italy, but in Turkey, where we can pay workers with a slingshot. However, there is no shortage of under-utilised Fiat factories in the peninsula. But the FCA group preferred to design this car in collaboration with Tofas, its old Turkish partner. He is also the one who manufactures Tipo in his Bursa factory. Another disappointment for Italian workers who are still waiting to be called back to work one day.
In the end, Tipo’s unique positioning (simple, without passion, cheap but not low-cost) could well become its strength. Especially since this 4-door version will soon be accompanied by a 5-door and a station wagon, more likely to seduce in some markets such as France for example.