Fiat Tipo Cross hybrid (2022): the essential car has lost its supply price

MAP

Compact sedan

New mild hybrid engine

From € 26,490

She had everything to succeed: a good price, a fairly successful line, proper equipment and mechanics that were just as good. In 2016, everyone was excited about Fiat’s good idea: to offer a fairly compact for the price of a low-cost car or 11,990 euros in a four-door version. But if everyone was excited about this Tipo, not everyone bought it. Six years later, if it still matches 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 to sedans and compact cars: Only the Cross versions are left

Forgot the saloon with trunk, only the five-door and station wagon have the right to quote, and again only in Cross-finish, slightly raised (by 4 cm) with wheel arches highlighted in black plastic and front and rear bumpers baroud. An attempt at SUVing and upmarket too, as we are obviously very far from the original bottom price.

Then life goes, then goes the Tipo, which starts today at 21,480 euros with the entry-level engine of 100 hp. This upmarket move is also accompanied by a new engine, which looks set to be one of the cornerstones of the former FCA division of Stellantis, as it already features the new SUV Alfa Romeo Tonale, but also the Jeep Compass e-hybrid and closer to this Tipo, its big brother Fiat 500X hybrid.

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

It’s also by comparing these two close cousins ​​500X and Tipo that one may wonder why customers prefer SUVs over sedans, even slightly improved ones like this one. For the habitability of crossovers? Not really. The rear seats on this Tipo are larger than in the 500X. In terms of luggage space, the latter does not exceed 350 l, while Tipo reaches 440 in the 5-door version and 550 in the SW break.

The SUV has something more than the “essential” sedan does not have? Its technological equipment for example? That’s not really the case. When the 500X settles for a 7-inch screen, Tipo offers a nice 10.25-inch panel from the second level.

A dashboard as tight as it is reassuring and complete.
A dashboard as tight as it is reassuring and complete.

It is rather in the ranks of Tipo that one can find a defect. At least a difference with the cousin 500X. Oddly enough, while this one is eight years old, it appears to have a younger design than its sedan cousin. And with good reason. The (successful) but very very clever design of the compact is meant to be mandatory and not whimsical at all. For in the collective unconscious, an expensive car is necessarily tight. So designers of Tipo had the idea of ​​softening its line and giving someone who could not necessarily afford an expensive car the opportunity to pay for social status without breaking the bank. And the interior of the Tipo meets the same requirements. Hence this apparent cold.

Black plastic wheel arches and an adventure-style apron: the signature from the Cross version.
Black plastic wheel arches and an adventure-style apron: the signature from the Cross version.

Thrifty and not (too) expensive is not necessarily synonymous with random behavior on the road. The tipo was mechanically well-fed, and it remained so. Its running clothes ensure an excellent mix of comfort and grip. It absorbs the unevenness of bad road very well and its control, far from being a top of its kind, makes the job perfect. But all these qualities have been known since the birth of the car. So what of this new engine under the bonnet 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 “firefly” that operates in the Miller cycle, which should provide better performance. this block is supported by a light hybridization of 48V equipped with a starting generator. Nothing to be ecstatic about, as well over half of world production is now equipped with mild hybrids. Except that this Tipo has a little extra: a 20 hp electric motor glued to the 7-speed automatic transmission made in Magna Steyr. What is still on paper allows the car to drive a few meters without emissions, to maneuver without noise and drastically reduce C02 emissions, as 40% of the drive still, according to the manufacturer, takes place in electrical mode, which is programmed automatically.

Generous back seats ...
Generous back seats …
And a very correct luggage compartment of 440 l.
And a very correct luggage compartment of 440 l.

But in reality and on the road, things are different. The few meters in electrical condition must be done from the tip of the accelerator. After 20 km / h, the thermoblock snorts gently. As for the maneuvers, it is strongly recommended not to repeat it several times to create your niche while maintaining the EV mode. But after all, if the electric crutch makes it possible to collect C02 emissions (they have dropped 11%) and to lower consumption, why not?

Not really essential hybridization

But here again the gain is not obvious. During the mixed route of this test, the 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 heaters achieve the same feat. Either way, this Tipo Hybrid offers itself the luxury of 6d Full approval and 120g releases, which exempt it from sanctions. However, there is no point in trying to push it to extremes that it hates, or rather, that the autobox hates. Its downshifts are as long as an equinox when you show a little enthusiasm on the accelerator pedal. This carriage must therefore lead to a senator train, which with its statutory design is quite appropriate.

However, the original idea of ​​offering a rather classic car at a very low price is no longer really appropriate. Because this Tipo in hybrid mode starts at 26,490 euros, to top at almost 30,000 euros. We have seen several “essential” prices.

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