Fiat introduces refreshed 2021 Tipo range
The Fiat Tipo has a lot going for it. Nice to look at, spacious and generously equipped for what you pay, this left-field Italian is a quirky alternative to cars such as the VW Polo, Toyota Starlet, Honda Fit and (in sedan form) Toyota Corolla Quest and Honda Ballade. SA motorists haven't really warmed to it though and since its launch back in 2017 the Tipo has remained something of a rare sight – you're probably more likely to spot an Aston Martin.
Be this as it may, Fiat has kept the Tipo in its local product line-up and has just introduced a new facelifted version that sports revised exterior styling, an updated cabin and all-new specification grades. As before, the Tipo is available in both hatch and sedan body styles.
On the outside, one of the biggest changes can be found at the front of the car where a redesigned radiator grille – wearing Fiat's new minimalist block letter logo – dominates proceedings. You will also notice a pair of redesigned headlamps that in higher-spec versions of the Tipo benefit from full LED technology. Fiat also revamped the lower half of the bumper by adding elements licked in a distinctive brushed chrome “Ice Matte” finish. Finally, new diamond-cut alloy wheel designs (available in 16- or 17-inch) finish things off.
Step inside the cabin of the 2021 Tipo and you'll be met by new upholsteries, a paired-down and more driver-focused steering wheel design, plus a fully configurable 3.5-inch TFT digital display nestled between the tachometer and speedometer. Standard on all model derivatives is Fiat's UConnect 5 infotainment system (with navigation) that allows you to connect two smartphones via Bluetooth at the same time. Rear passengers now also benefit from a dedicated USB port to help keep their tech powered.
In terms of standard active safety features, Fiat has bolstered the 2021 Tipo range with the addition of ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) and tyre pressure monitoring.
So how does the new model grade system work? Well, the 2021 Tipo range begins with the entry-level Tipo sedan that comes equipped with a height adjustable driver’s seat, manual air conditioning and front electric windows, along with Bluetooth audio with controls on the steering wheel. Fifteen-inch steel wheels are clad with stylish plastic hubcaps.
The middle-of-the-range City Life specification is available on both Tipo hatch and sedan model derivatives and ups the ante with automatic air conditioning, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, cruise control electric mirrors and remote central locking. Day-time running lights and LED headlights are also included as standard equipment. A sportier exterior look is achieved through the fitment of standard 16-inch alloy wheels.
The flagship Tipo Life model is available exclusively as a hatch and builds upon the City Life specification with goodies such as a push-button start system, an electrochromatic rear view mirror, driver seat lumbar support, automatic headlamps and rain-sensitive windscreen wipers. A set of rather dapper 17-inch alloy wheels completes the package.
Depending on what Tipo model they ultimately plump for, customers can choose between either a 1.4-litre or 1.6-litre naturally aspirated four cylinder petrol engine. Mated exclusively to a six-speed manual gearbox, the little 1.4 produces 70kW and 127Nm worth of torque. Fiat claims that it will see the Tipo scamper from 0-100km/h in 11.5 seconds and on to a maximum top speed of 185km/h. Fuel consumption is pegged at 5.7l/100km on the combined cycle. The 1.6 pushes out 81kW and 152Nm and is available only with a six-speed automatic transmission. 100km/h arrives in 11.2 seconds, while top speed increases to 192km/h. Fuel consumption is a claimed 6.3l/100km on the combined cycle.
Pricing for the new 2021 Fiat Tipo range is as follows:
Base 1.4 Manual Sedan: R299,900
City Life 1.4 Manual Sedan: R369,900
City Life 1.6 Automatic Sedan: R429,900
City Life 1.4 Manual Hatch: R369,900
Life 1.4 Manual Hatch: R399,900
City Life 1.6 Automatic Hatch: R419,900
Life 1.6 Automatic Hatch: R449,900
All models are covered by a standard five-year/100,000km warranty and three-year/100,000km service plan.