The Fiat Tipo majors on value for money. Given that it’s a similar size to a Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf, the list price of £18,485 is very keen, especially as that buys a decent specification and a strong and economical diesel engine.
However, as a tow car it put in a mixed performance.
Good points? With 236lb ft of torque, the diesel engine is up to the job of towing a sensibly matched caravan. And the 10.9m stopping distance from 30mph is respectable.
Bad points? The Tipo really struggled with the lane-change test, only completing the first and slowest of three planned attempts.
The Fiat is nothing like as secure at speed as the best small cars, either, especially in crosswinds.
It’s no great shakes to drive without a caravan either, with stodgy handling and an unsettled ride. What’s more, the engine sounds gruff and strained when worked hard.
The cabin is reasonably spacious, and the boot coped with almost all our holiday luggage – not bad at all for a hatchback of this size.
The reversing camera is a welcome feature, and there’s no warning in the handbook against towing with the compact spare.
It’s a shame the Fiat Tipo could only score three stars out of five when tested by the safety experts at Euro NCAP, and the low purchase price has to be set against fairly disappointing resale values.