The new Fiat Tipo Diesel Station Wagon is the roomier, longer and ultimately more practical version of the already practical Tipo Hatchback. It’s generously equipped and offers a massive boot that should prove to be a crowd pleaser.
For families who are looking for something sensible, comfortable and affordable, this Fiat ticks a lot of boxes. It’s even smartly styled (though not eye-catching) but there are caveats, such as a lifeless driving experience.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Fiat Tipo Diesel Station Wagon review.
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Overview of the Fiat Tipo Diesel Station Wagon
On the Road
The Tipo Station Wagon isn’t what you’d call fun to drive. Instead, Fiat has put the focus on comfort. If this sounds appealing to you, the car has a lot to offer.
Moreover, while it isn’t fun to drive, it’s also not awkward to drive – despite what its length and Estate body style would have you assume. Parking is fairly easy too, although your job on this front is made a lot easier if you specify the rear parking sensors that are optional.
All models benefit from a soft suspension that – as ever – has its pros and cons. It smooths out surfaces well, but it does contribute to excess body lean. Take corners with too much enthusiasm and you’ll find it hard to resist roll.
The steering doesn’t impress us; there isn’t enough feedback and this makes it hard for you to gauge with any accuracy how much grip you’ve got at any one time. That said, the car feels safe, secure and well planted at all times.
Performance-wise, the Tipo isn’t short of power – but it also isn’t too high on it. It’s an average car at best, with this Estate variant recording slower 0-62 times than the Hatchback model.
In terms of its engines, the diesels are well suited to a car like this. The 1.3-litre diesel engine has a fairly sluggish 0-62 time of 12.3 seconds, but the bigger 1.6-litre diesel is able to cover the same sprint in just over 10.0 seconds.
That’s not bad at all, but if you do want more pace and don’t mind paying a bit extra at the pumps, a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine has a 0-62 time of 9.8 seconds.
Fiat Tipo Diesel Station Wagon Interior, Design and Build
The Tipo Station Wagon’s cabin is very pleasing on many fronts. It’s well-built, boasts a user-friendly dashboard, and it’s well equipped.
The problem is that it looks dated compared to rivals and Fiat have chosen to use a fair amount of harder plastics. These plastics aren’t easy on the eye, and neither is the fabric patterns, which look and feel old fashioned.
Overall, the design is just as drab as the Tipo Hatchbacks. Buyers might feel short-changed when they take a look at the Fiat 500, which is much more visually appealing, and which offers a lot more design flair and imagination.
More effort from Fiat for their Tipo Station Wagon would have been highly welcomed.
Is the Fiat Tipo Diesel Station Wagon practical? It might be blandly designed, but it definitely scores well on the practicality front. It has more luggage space than the Hatchback variant, as well as more headroom and legroom for rear seated passengers.
So while the car might not be exciting, it is comfortable.
The boot measures 550-litres, which is bigger than most of its rivals. The standard split-folding rear seats don’t fold totally flat but you can fold their bases forward to make a flat load bay.
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Equipment and Safety of the Fiat Tipo Diesel Station Wagon
Standard kit is good across the range, with all models getting remote central locking, Bluetooth and a digital radio.
The mid-range model adds the brands excellent uConnect touchscreen infotainment system, cruise control, rear parking sensors and 16” alloys.
Go for the range-topping model and you also get treated to lashings of chrome, bigger alloys, a reversing camera, automatic lights and wipers and a sat nav.
In terms of how safe the car is, the Hatchback version scored a disappointing 3/5 when it was put through its crash test pace by Euro NCAP. This Station Wagon variant, however, hasn’t yet been tested.
Standard safety kit includes ISOFIX child seat mount points, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. Autonomous emergency braking is available as an optional extra and it’s worth mentioning that if you specify it with the Hatchback variant, its safety rating jumps to 4/5. It’s part of safety Pack B, a pack which will set you back an extra £250.
That’s a reasonable price, which makes it all the more puzzling why Fiat didn’t just include it as standard.
Costs of the Fiat Tipo Diesel Station Wagon
Prices for the new car start out from £14,800 and rise to £20,800. For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the 1.3-litre 94bhp diesel engine is the most frugal in the range. It can return as much as 76.3mpg at best and emits less than 100g/km of CO2.
It’s not super fast, though, so buyers might want to check out the bigger 1.6-litre diesel engine, which returns identical economy. However, it costs almost £2,000 more to buy in the first place.
Pros and Cons of the Fiat Tipo Diesel Station Wagon
Excellent value for money
Even the entry level is well kitted out, and if your budget can’t stretch any further it offers excellent value for cash.
Its 550-litre boot is one of the biggest in this class.
It’s never going to stand out in the showroom, but if you want a sensible family car that looks perfectly fine, this one is a sound choice.
It feels old, especially compared to modern rivals.
It’s capable enough but it definitely won’t excite you.
Fiat Tipo Diesel Station Wagon vs Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer vs SEAT Leon ST Estate
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Fiat Tipo Diesel Station Wagon review.
The new Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer is so much better than its predecessor; it’s now better to look at, more practical and can even boast more onboard tech.
The standard Astra Hatchback is a really fun car to drive, and while this Estate variant is no match, it’s a thoroughly entertaining car in its own right.
Its steering doesn’t offer as much communication but it controls body roll well, and there’s plenty of grip, too. It’s also lighter than last time which has improved its agility.
The brakes are a bit of a puzzle at first, but once you’ve got used to them you’ll appreciate their power.
In terms of the car’s engines, the twin-turbocharged BiTurbo diesel develops as much as 158bhp and has an impressive 0-62 time of 8.4 seconds. At the other end of the range is a 108bhp single-turbo diesel that covers the same distance in 10.6 seconds, while a mid-range diesel produces 134bhp and completes the 0-62 sprint in 9.5 seconds.
We like the mid-range model best; it’s comfortable, handles well, doesn’t make much noise and copes well with the car on a full load.
Running costs? The 108bhp variant is the most frugal. Armed with stop-start tech, it can return as much as 83mpg while emitting just 90g/km of CO2. Even without stop-start tech, its numbers are impressive.
The 134bhp variant, meanwhile, can return as much as 74mpg if you specify stop-start (otherwise it will return around 63mpg), while the biggest diesel can manage returns of 66.9mpg on a good day.
Inside, the Astra Sports Tourer looks and feels so much better than it used to. In terms of the quality of its materials and its design language, it’s now right up there with what the best in this class has to offer.
The steering wheel and driver’s seat offer lots of adjustability, while the dashboard looks slick and comes with a user-friendly Intellilink touchscreen.
Is the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Estate practical? Its boot measures 540-litres, which is a mere 10-litres shy of the Fiat. Fold the rear seats and you can extend it to 1,740-litres. Its load lip is low and its square shape is super usable.
Other than that, there’s plenty of room up front, while rear seated passengers are afforded a good amount of legroom, too. The wide opening doors make access a cinch, and there are plenty of reasonably sized cubbies dotted around the place.
Fiat – £14,800 and rise to £20,800
Vauxhall – £18,465 – £26,690
The new SEAT Leon ST Estate looks sharp, drives well and boasts a bigger boot than the standard model.
Leon Hatchbacks are well-known for their handling prowess, and while the Estate version was never going to be quite as adept on the road, it’s still a pleasure to drive for such a large car.
You can pick from either a fairly straightforward rear suspension system, or you can opt for a more complex multilink rear axle setup which improves comfort and handling.
Bear in mind that you’d need to specify a powerful engine for this latter setup, and this excludes the 113bhp diesel. It’s got a lot of mid-range shove and can cover the 0-62 dash in 9.9 seconds. Moreover, the simple suspension setup isn’t bad at all.
The 2.0-litre 148bhp diesel can be specified with the multilink rear axle suspension, as can the bigger 183bhp variant. The former can get you from rest to 62 in 8.6 seconds, while the latter can do it in 7.8 seconds.
Running costs? The 113bhp diesel is, unsurprisingly, the cheapest to run, returning 68.9mpg and emitting 108g/km of CO2. It has a BiK rating of 23%.
Both the bigger diesels can return 58mpg at best, and all models come with stop-start tech.
Inside, the two more powerful diesel engines are able to offer a better ride, thanks to their suspension setup. That said, the smallest diesels ride is acceptable, too.
Insulation is good whichever model you go for, and while the quality of the cabin isn’t on par with a Volkswagen, it isn’t far off. There are plenty of tactile plastics used, and the Leon ST brushes up well next to the Fiat.
A 5” touchscreen comes as standard, but you can pay £1,000 for a bigger screen.
Is the SEAT Leon ST Estate practical? Its 588-litre boot is the biggest in this review and one of the largest in this class. It’s still some way short of the Peugeot 308 SW’s 660-litre boot but the Leon’s svelte looks might be enough to convince buyers to settle for 588-litres.
Its boot also comes with a very useful adjustable boot floor.
Other than that, there’s lots of room for five adults to sit comfortably, while wide opening doors ensure that access is easy. A transmission tunnel makes things awkward for anyone sat in the middle, while storage solutions include felt-lined door pockets and a big cooled glovebox.
Verdict of our 2018 Fiat Tipo Diesel Station Wagon Review
The Tipo is offered as both a Hatchback and an Estate, but it makes much more sense as the latter. It’s got lots of space to offer, its boot is bigger than most of its rivals, and it’s comfortable and refined.
It’s also dull and dated inside, but at this price point, it’s hard to find too much wrong with the Fiat Tipo Diesel Station Wagon.