★★★ |  S-Design Tipo In Need Of An Architect.

What Do We Have

A couple of years ago, we took delivery of the then-new Fiat Tipo. A new Fiat with a reused name. No hardship there because the original Tipo was a very good car.

We liked the new Tipo when we last had it back in 2016 and I favoured the car well. Do I feel the same in 2019?


Nothing has really changed here. We have the same 120bhp petrol turbo 1.4 engine. It was as good as I remembered it. Smooth and flexible with reasonable performance. Not quite the fire-breather you’d think 120bhp should be but it is good for a claimed 124 miles per hour.

Handling was well balanced and it soaked up the worst of the country lanes around the Cotswolds.

A comfortable driving position was easy to obtain and there were no annoyances. It felt as good as the rest in the segment.


It’s not as good this time around. It’s amazing how dated it has started to look with its black plastic everywhere. I’m a little stuck as to where the S-Design sits. The Design moniker is used by a lot of manufacturers these days as something stylish over the other models or sporty. I was not seeing anything outstandingly relevant to this moniker. 

Driver’s controls all come to hand easily. The 7” touch screen is simple to use and nicely balanced with easy registered finger controls. It comes with Apple Car Play and Android connectivity as standard.

Living With It

There are few vices to be had with the Tipo. It’s a simple and effective 5 door hatchback.

While inside it has dated a little, the exterior is still as good today as it was when new. The fact there are several newer cars with similar rear ends, shows how relevant and modern its design still is.


Tipo is no longer the bargain it once was. At £19,125 it does seem quite a lot despite it having a list of standard key features. But these features seem almost standard fit on most cars these days.

But here lies the problem. It’s effective and not much else. Effective hatchbacks are good but sometimes a model needs some sex appeal. It’s crying out for some true meaning to the letter S like sumptuous. 


Build quality 

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Ride refinement


Co2 is on the high side

Arm rest fouling handbrake

High price

The Lowdown

Car –  Fiat Tipo S-Design

Price – £19,125 (as tested)

MPG – 35.3 mpg (combined)

Power – 120bhp

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0-62mph –  9.9 seconds

Top Speed –  124 mph

Co2 – 164 (g/km)

About the author: Stuart M Bird

Motoring nurse or medical motorist? It's a difficult one. By day l nurse and by night l drive.
Fingers have always been grease deep in attending the motoring of an ageing fleet. And now l write about new and old.
If you have a car or motoring product you would like reviewed here for TGUK please e mail me:

Member of the Southern Group of Motoring Writers. (SGMW)

Twitter: @t2stu

Instagram: t2stu