Fiat has collaborated with the Tofas manufacturing firm in Turkey to create the Tipo Station Wagon, a low-cost family estate model for developing markets in the Middle East and Africa. Selected European countries get it as well, including ours. You’ll need to have that background because it explains why this Fiat is so much more affordable than obvious rivals in the estate part of the family hatchback segment.
"## Why Lease the Fiat Tipo Station Wagon?"
Why Lease The Tip Station Wagon?
There’s no way you would know at a glance that this model is priced way below its direct class rivals. In fact, the station wagon styling is actually quite distinctive, even if it’s not especially Fiat-like. Anyway, what’s more important is that there’s decent room inside, with plenty of space for a couple of adults on the back seat and a big 550-litre boot. That’s a very usable area thanks to what Fiat calls its ‘Cargo Magic Space’ feature which is their name for a height-adjustable load platform floor. Fold the split backrest and there’s an almost completely flat load floor that can take items of up to 1.8m in length.
Up-front, there’s nothing very sophisticated and soft touch plastics are noticeable by their absence, but there’s nothing you could really object to and it all seems pretty well screwed together.
Engine-wise, you get a wider choice than with other Tipo body styles. There are two petrol units, a 1.4 litre 8 valve powerplant with 95hp or a 1.4 T-Jet turbo petrol variant with 120hp. Alternatively, there’s a single turbo diesel unit, a 1.6-litre MultiJet II powerplant with 120hp and 320Nm of pulling power. On the move, there’s nothing very involving about the way this car handles but if you’re undemanding in terms of drive dynamics, you’ll probably find it quite satisfactorily. The Tipo can get unsettled over poorer surfaces and refinement is bettered by more modern rivals, but there are nice touches like clever ‘City’ button that lightens the steering to take the stress out of parking.
There’s a choice of three trim grades – ‘Easy’, ‘Mirror’ and ‘Lounge’. Even ‘Easy’ variants give you quite a lot; air conditioning, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a DAB audio system and powered mirrors, plus there’s more camera safety kit then you might expect, including an autonomous braking system that can scan the road ahead for potential accident hazards. If one is identified, you’ll be alerted and if you don’t respond, the brakes will automatically be applied. Lane Departure Warning is also included and there’s a full complement of twin front, side and curtain airbags.
The Tipo Station Wagon has plenty of competition, but all of it is quite a lot more expensive. The main volume in the compact estate segment is accounted for by cars like the Ford Focus Estate, the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer and the Volkswagen Golf Estate. Plus there are contenders like the Hyundai i30 tourer, the Kia Ceed Sportswagon, the Renault Megane Sport Tourer, The Toyota Corolla Touring Sports and the Peugeot 308SW.
The Tipo Station Wagon probably won’t be the car you always promised yourself, but it might be the kind of model some family folk actually need. Because it’s built for emerging markets and Middle East customers, it has to be stoutly built, so should last and you’re looking at affordability which puts this Fiat on a par with much smaller cars. Worth a look.