Fiat Tipo Cross hybrid (2022): the must-have car has lost its providential price

TO SUM UP

Compact sedan

New smooth hybrid engine

Starting at € 26,490

He had everything to succeed: a great price, a very successful line, the right equipment and just as good mechanics. In 2016, everyone was ecstatic with Fiat’s good idea: to offer a fairly compact at the price of a low-cost car, or 11,990 euros in a four-door version. But if everyone was excited about this guy, not everyone bought it. Six years later, if it still responds to the Italian brand’s catalog, it no longer has much to do with the original model, at least in France, where the catalog has shrunk.

Goodbye sedans and compacts: only the Cross versions remain

Forgotten the sedan with trunk, only the five-door and the van have the right to quote, and again, only in Cross finish, slightly raised (in 4 cm) with prominent wheel arches in black plastic and front and rear bumpers baroud. An attempt at an SUV and also a luxury, as we are obviously far from the original flat price.

That’s how life goes, so is the Tipo, which comes out today at 21,480 euros with the 100 hp engine. This luxury move is also accompanied by a new engine, which seems on its way to becoming one of the basic blocks of the former FCA branch of Stellantis, as it already equips the new SUV Alfa Romeo Tonale, but also the Jeep Compass e-hybrid and, closer to this Type, its big brother Fiat 500X hybrid.

The new Fiat logo is embedded in the front, which has evolved slightly since its launch in 2016.

It is also by comparing these two close cousins ​​500X and Tipo that one may wonder why customers prefer SUVs to sedans, even slightly improved ones like this one. For the habitability of the crossings? Not really. The rear seats of this type are larger than those of the 500X. As for the trunk, the latter does not exceed 350 l, while the Tipo reaches 440 l in the 5-door version, and 550 in the SW break.

Does the SUV have anything more than the “essential” sedan doesn’t have? Your technological equipment for example? That is not really the case. When the 500X settles for a 7-inch screen, the Tipo offers a nice 10.25-inch panel from the second level.

A dashboard as austere as reassuring and complete.
A dashboard as austere as reassuring and complete.

It is rather in the Type line that a defect can be found. At least a difference with the 500X cousin. Interestingly, even though this one is eight years old, it looks like it has a younger design than its cousin sedan. And for good reason. The design (right) but very very wise of the pact is intended to be legal, and not at all capricious. Because in the collective unconscious, an expensive car is necessarily austere. So the Tipo designers came up with the idea to soften their line and allow someone who doesn’t necessarily have the means to afford an expensive car to pay for social status without breaking the bank. And the interior of the Tipo meets the same requirement. Hence this apparent coldness.

Black plastic wheel arches and adventurous apron: the signature Cross version.
Black plastic wheel arches and adventurous apron: the signature Cross version.

Austere and not (too) expensive is not necessarily synonymous with random behavior on the road. The Tipo was born mechanically and so it has continued. Its undercarriage ensures an excellent combination of comfort and grip on the road. It absorbs very well the roughness of the bad road and its direction, far from being a peak of this type, does the job perfectly. But all these qualities have been known since the birth of the car. Tan what of this new engine under the hood of this Tipo? On paper, in any case, we have everything to gain.

An excellent engine-gearbox combination, at least on paper

The block is a four-cylinder “light bulb” that works on the Miller cycle, supposedly to give it better performance. this block is supported by a lightweight 48V hybrid equipped with a starter alternator. There’s nothing to get excited about, as a good half of world production is now equipped with soft hybrids. Except that this Tipo has a little more: a 20 hp electric motor attached to the 7-speed automatic gearbox. made a Magna Steyr. Which, still on paper, allows the car to drive a few meters at zero emissions, maneuver without noise, and drastically reduce C02 emissions because, even according to the manufacturer, 40% of trips are made in electric mode, which is scheduled. automatically.

Generous rear seats ...
Generous rear seats …
And a very correct trunk of 440 l.
And a very correct trunk of 440 l.

But in reality, and on the road, things are different. The few meters in electric mode must be done from the tip of the accelerator. After 20 km / h, the thermal block blows gently. When it comes to maneuvers, it is highly recommended not to repeat it several times to make your niche while maintaining EV mode. But in the end, if the electric crutch can collect CO2 emissions (down 11%) and reduce consumption, why not?

Hybridization is not really essential

But here again, the gain is not obvious. During the mixed course of this test, consumption never fell below 6 l / 100 km. The score is not ridiculous, but we tend to think that the game is not necessarily worth the candle and that some non-hybrid heat engines achieve the same feat. In any case, this Tipo Hybrid offers the luxury of a full 6d homologation and 120 g releases that exempt it from penalties. However, it is useless to try to push him to the extremes he hates, or rather, he hates the ATM. Its descents are as long as a day of equinox when you show a little enthusiasm with the accelerator pedal. Therefore, this car should be driven by a train of senators which, given its statutory design, is rather adequate.

However, the initial idea of ​​offering a fairly sleek car for a very low price is no longer really relevant. Because this Type in hybrid mode starts at 26,490 euros, to reach a maximum of about 30,000 euros. We’ve seen more “must-have” prices.

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