After all the indulgences of Christmas and the new year, I started 2018 full of vim and vigour and new year resolutions galore. I won't bore you with the many and varied ways I'm planning on improving my life, but there is one resolve that I'm determined to keep – to be more technologically savvy.
I've always embraced change, but I must admit that technology is moving so quickly that I'm struggling to keep up. The infotainment system in the Tipo is no exception. I barely use any of the apps or even know what half the buttons do, as I'm always scared I'll hit the wrong one and go flying through the sun roof in James Bond ejector-seat style.
The one thing that I do use all the time though – and I've waxed lyrical about it before – is the lovely Tom Tom-based sat nav, which is nice and clear and easy to use. In my Lounge edition, there are also live traffic updates, which is incredibly useful when you spend a lot of time in the car.
But now I need to get to grips with the rest of it. As far as I'm aware, there aren't many cars in this price bracket that boast so many features as standard and I'm determined to get my head around them all.
The Tipo's Uconnect system means that I can pair my phone with the car and play music... so the next resolution on my list is to load some music on to my phone. I must admit, I had a shock when I filled up the glovebox with CDs only to find out there was no CD player. But then my first cars had cassette players and I had to listen to the same two tapes over and over again until I knew which song came next before it even started – ahh, memories!
I can also connect to social media via Uconnect, which has Bluetooth, a USB port and DAB radio as standard – this is great, as I can listen to my '80s cheese without my beloved CDs. The audio quality is pretty good too, which is a bonus.
Also within the apps is a car status display, which is handy to see fuel consumption, range until you need to refill and anything else going on with the car.
There's also a compass app. I've never used a compass in the car before and it had never even crossed my mind that I should actually need one – especially now, with the sat nav just a touch of a button away. However, it's great when you're listening to traffic announcements and they say the traffic jam is westbound or eastbound on whatever motorway. I've always just thought 'I have no idea whether I am west- or eastbound right now' so invariably just carried on regardless and got stuck in the traffic. Now I can just press a button for a quick check and, with any luck, be able to divert myself round any delays.
It's little things such as those that please me the most and I thank Ted the Tipo for making me confess my technophobia, confront it and learn a few new things in the process. I just hope that all my other new year resolutions are tackled as easily!
HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH:
The compass app and Uconnect system for streaming music from my phone. The compass is much handier than you'd think and the Uconnect system means I can ditch my bulky CDs and fit more sweets in the glovebox. Result!
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): 6,610