Long Term report: A Fond Farewell to Ted the Tipo
I am very sad to say that this month I had to bid farewell to Ted the Tipo. He was called away to be a star of the silver screen – a prop on a Weatherfield-based soap opera to be precise!
After Ted opened his doors to wave goodbye and drove off into the sunset, I was thinking about all the fun we'd had together over the last six months – and so my final report is a round-up of all the pros and cons of 'my' Fiat Tipo Hatchback Lounge Edition.
My overall view of the car is that it is a good, all-round, workaday vehicle that is both practical and easy on the eye. The alloy wheels and cool headlight configuration gives the Tipo a little extra 'something' – helped in no small part by my model being a luscious cherry red. The leather steering wheel, electric lumbar support, DAB radio with Bluetooth and climate control also make being inside it a pleasant experience.
The Tipo is economical, getting on average between 38 and 44 miles to the gallon, depending on the sort of driving you're doing. I also appreciated the fact that, with emissions at 147 g/km, the Tipo is kinder to environment than some. And good fuel economy as well as the huge range of features offered as standard make the Tipo a fantastic bargain at £17,485 OTR.
My Tipo had the four-cylinder, 1.6-litre petrol engine, which could have done with a bit more power it's true. The automatic gearbox was also very high-revving and took some getting used to.
Having said that, I still think it would make a fantastic first car for anyone just passing their test, as it has all the cameras and sensors to make driving easier – as well as a Euro NCAP five-star safety rating that is bound to keep parents happy. This includes six airbags, a tyre pressure monitoring system, autonomous emergency braking, electronic stability control, traction control and hill start assist... Phew!
All these safety features also make the Tipo a wonderful family car. It also has oodles of space inside, and let's not forget the wonderful, class-leading, cavernous boot.
I also loved the cruise control as it was so easy to use while driving. That – along with the touchscreen infotainment system and built-in sat nav, which was at a really good height on the dash – mean you hardly need to take your eye from the road, which is another great safety feature.
I'm a very organised person most of the time, but the Tipo allowed me to become super-efficient, even while driving. The five-inch touchscreen was a little on the small side, but the Uconnect system plugged me into social media, the Bluetooth and DAB radio let me chat away to friends and colleagues on my journeys and listen to all my tunes, while the USB port meant I could do all this while charging my phone.
I also liked the range of apps in the Tipo, including the car status display app to check on all of Ted's vital statistics, and the compass app that allowed me to divert around upcoming traffic before I got stuck in it.
So, while the Tipo has a few issues, these are very minor when you take into account its economy, affordability and practicality. While I'm sure Ted will enjoy gracing our screens on the cobbles of Coronation Street very soon, I for one will miss him. The Tipo Lounge Edition is a cracking little everyday car, and while it may not be the first brand that springs to mind when looking for a new car, it should certainly not be overlooked.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH: Looking back on the good times spent with cherry red Ted
MODEL: Fiat Tipo Hatchback
ENGINE: 1.6 Automatic
MAX SPEED: 119mph
0-60MPH: 11.5 secs
MPG (COMBINED): 44.8
EMISSIONS: 147g/km CO2
MILEAGE (TO DATE): 7,652