European C-segment buyers don’t like saloons much; five-door hatchbacks is where the game is at, and Fiat has been absent for quite some time.
This has just been rectified with the launch of the new Tipo hatchback that’s going for a piece of the pie currently by the likes of the Megane, newly-crowned COTY Astra and, of course, the default choice that is the Golf.
Fiat has played it safe with this one: nothing ground-breaking, yet nothing offensive either. Not necessarily a bad thing – practicality, value and space are more often than not higher in the list of priorities of lots of customers than cutting-edge design.
Speaking of which, the Italian designers didn’t have to start from scratch, as they already had the Tipo sedan to work on. That they did, ditching the saloon’s boot for a fifth door with a wraparound window and boomerang-shaped lights.
The Tipo family has just gained a third member, too, in the estate that’s also making its debut in Geneva alongside the hatch. An elongated roof, third window, increased boot volume, same taillights as the hatch, plus the “obligatory” roof rails to remind that this one doesn’t mind taking your skis or roof rack any time you feel like it.
Powertrains for the two models will also come from the saloon that preceded them. This makes for two Multijet II diesels and two petrol units ranging from 95PS (94HP) to 120PS (118 HP) and available with 5- and 6-speed manuals or a 6-speed automatic transmission.