What is it?
You’re looking at the new Fiat Tipo, or thereabouts, the car with which Fiat is set to make a return to the mass market C-segment – and in a big way.
The car you see here, a functional, compact three-box saloon, forms the basis of a new three-car family that Fiat has created for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
First to be released is this saloon, badged Aegea in the Turkish market in which it’s built. For the UK and mainland Europe, however, Fiat is reviving the Tipo nameplate (from the late 1980s and early 1990s) and has set up additional five-door hatch and wagon versions to be sold alongside the four-door.
While the Aegea/Tipo saloon is out now, the coming hatch and wagon editions are set to appear at the Geneva show next spring, ahead of an on-sale date in the UK next September.
At a private showing at Fiat’s Design Centre in Turin, we’ve seen all three versions of the new Aegea/Tipo series. While the hatch and wagon remain officially under wraps, the Aegea saloon is now ‘live’ (it was actually unveiled at the Istanbul Motor Show back in May). We’ve also had a spell behind the wheel.
Designed around the brief ‘Skills not Frills’ and claiming to provide class-topping roominess, boot capacity and value for money, Fiat’s newcomer is based on the same platform as that used by the Jeep Renegade. Up front, there’s an orthodox mix of 1.4-litre (94bhp) and 1.6-litre (108bhp) petrol Fiat group engines, along with 1.3-litre (94bhp) and 1.6-litre (118bhp) Multijet II diesels.
Expect the coming Tipo hatch to be Focus-sized (although a touch narrower), while this Aegea saloon, with more than 500 litres of boot capacity, stands a lengthier 4.54 metres from stem to stern. The Tipo wagon is just a fraction longer.
At a time when Fiat is dividing up and reassessing its model range as either ‘aspirational’ (500, 124 Spider) or ‘functional’ (Panda and Doblo), there’s no doubt into which camp this new Aegea/Tipo falls.