A new Tipo Cross to expand the range
Fiat unveiled almost on the slyThis is a far cry from the grand presentation of the new 500 electric car in Turin, the restyling of the Fiat Tipo. We expected a lot from this update. Some of the expectations are fulfilled... Unfortunately, there are also disappointments... Small overview.
The 5-door Tipo is immediately presented in a new and elegant version Cross. The "adventurous" look is quite fashionable among compact cars, from the Ford Focus Active to the Kia Xceed, via the more discreet Golf Alltrack or the more famous Skoda Octavia Combi Scout. It is therefore always useful to keeping up with the timesThis is especially true when you consider that Fiat tends to be several cars behind, especially in the SUV segment (excluding Jeep).
Raised by 4 cm (but without all-wheel drive), it has a fittings for baroudeur. Generous plastic body protectors on the front, rear and side sills and above the wheels, aluminium front and rear underframes, as well as roof rails, aluminium rear view mirror caps (color) and larger diameter wheels, the Tipo makes a statement, reinforced by this new Paprika Orange shade (an Ocean Blue also appears).
Another piece of good news is that the Tipo adopts the new Fiat logo on the frontwhich was introduced on the 500E.
More generally, outside of the Cross, the restyling also modernizes the front of the entire Tipo family. The lights can be LED, front and rear and adopt a new signature, more aggressive and with a very nice effect, as you can see below.
The grille is visually enlarged by extending more under the headlights and its interior is reworked, with a more pronounced 3D effect. Of course, we will notice the redesigned lower shieldswith a chrome plated ring which goes under the front plate and connects the fog lights. This makes the whole thing look more plush and dynamic.
Inside, Fiat points out theappearance of a new steering wheel. Above all, for modernity, it is obviously the new 10.25 inch central touch screen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility that catches the eye. It is obviously coupled with the new UConnect 5 system. A induction phone charger has been added (as an option ?)
There is also a new 7" fully digital dashboard screen. The graphics seem to be different for the Cross version.
Finally, another piece of good news, Fiat revises its security systems by stocking up on equipment. It can now have, depending on the versions chosen, automatic high beams, blind spot detection, traffic sign reading, driver fatigue detection, parking sensors and hands-free vehicle access. This is enough to catch up with the competition, to no longer be despised by the most technophile of motorists, while keeping its price very well placed compared to the competition! Very good on that, then!
Finally, something is happening under the hood! Gone are the 1.4 95 hp and 1.6TJet 120 hp. Gone too is the LPG. Instead, it's an all-new 1.0 Turbo 100 hp engineIt has never been seen before on the European market. It probably derives from the 1.0 Turbo 120 hp already available under the hood of the Fiat 500X and Jeep Renegade. But it keeps a turbo and is therefore not an atmo engine as we could have expected. Its CO2 emissions are given for 121 g/km according to the WLTP cycle.
This engine should prove to be rather powerful and more torquey compared to the 1.4 95 hp that it replaces. Thus, we go from a 95 hp engine with a maximum torque of 127 Nm available at 4,500 rpm (which required to work hard to accelerate) to a maximum torque of 190 Nm from 1,500 rpm. Enough to make the difference (at least on paper).
Diesels remain available, with a 1.3 95 hp and a 1.6 130 hp (compared to 120 previously).
Unfortunately, not everything is rosy in this restyling of the Tipo. First for the Fiat logo. What is this idea of modernizing it at the front but leaving the current (or old, it depends) at the back and on the steering wheel. We know the double logo on the 500E with the 500 logo on the front and new Fiat on the back and it's pretty coherent. But here? What's the point? Why this impression to remain in the middle of the ford? We modernize everything or nothing, but not by half!
Nothing is known about the arrival of the 4-door in Europe. There have been conflicting rumors about this and nothing is clear at this time. Also, it would have been useful to provide the Cross fittings on the SW estate versionLike the competition does. But no, Fiat only does it on the 5-door version, which the others do not.
Why would you want to turn the tables? If the competition is going in one direction, there must be an interest, right? Why not do the same? Why not go all the way? Especially since it doesn't cost any more and that the adventurous fittings are visually well suited to the station wagon bodywork. Here again, don't try to understand Turin...
Can we visually detect the LED lights at the rear? Although they are present (see above), they are very discreet. The light signature doesn't change one bit, nor does any other detail of the rear of the vehicle. It's a shame and it still gives this impression of not having gone through with the processI'm not sure if it's a good idea to have designers redesign the front to simply stick it to the current rear, without even bothering to change the logos, creating a kind of symbolic incoherence and visual frustration between the front and the rear. Too bad, once again!
Finally, for the interior, isn't there an inconsistency or at least an unexplained marketing decision? We can indeed notice immediately on the picture above that the central screen is not the new 10.25 inch panel but the current screen available on Tipo 5 doors and SW. We are however on the Cross version presented in the picture above and which has the new screen on the other pictures but not this one! Why not?
Does this mean that the new system is reserved for the top of the range and that we have here, strangely and only on this picture, the interior of a mid-range? Maybe. Are there different types of screens depending on the level of finish? Possibly. What would be the point? It's a mystery! Frankly, this picture is a challenge because it is not clear at all!
Note in passing that the new range is now based on the Tipo, Life and City Life versions.
Finally, another drawback and another disappointment, replacing 2 gasoline engines by one 100 hp engine is good but not enough. It lacks a more tonic engineThis is a 120 or 130 hp engine, or even a 150 hp engine to top the range. Here again, nothing from Fiat, which once again seems to be doing its job half-heartedly. Why restrict the Tipo to a contained offering? Of course, we will hear about "rational positioning", "customer relationship with the product", "profitability" and other words of communication and marketing to justify a decision which, in fact, could put off customers who want to be active and not just a "good family car", at the risk of damaging the image of the Tipo, which is already not very dynamic...
Well, NONE, we say NO hybridizationEven very light, is not on the program...
But then again, this is Fiat...