Five years after making its world debut, Fiat has given the Tipo not only a mid-life refresh, but also a new model derivative in the shape of the Tipo Cross.
Streamlined to consist out of three trim grades; base, Life and City in hatchback, sedan and estate bodystyles, the exterior updates to the Turkish build Tipo includes a redesigned grille resplendent with FIAT’s new corporate lettering instead of the previous badge, new LED head-and-taillights, a choice of new 16 or 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, a so-called Ice Matte chrome finish on the lower section of the front bumper and two new colours; Paprika Orange and Ocean Blue.
The newly added Cross meanwhile, based on the hatchback, receives black cladding around the wheel arches and at the base of the doors, a faux satin silver front skidplate, roof rails previously reserved for the estate, and underneath its skin, a revised suspension that has contributed to a 40 mm ground clearance increase.
Inside, the more extensive rework involves the fitting of a new configurable seven-inch TFT instrument cluster, a 10.25-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Fiat-Chrysler’s latest Uconnect 5 software, a new steering wheel, wireless smartphone charger and chrome as well as black accents on the climate control panel. On the safety side, and likely to depend on the trim level, the Tipo comes equipped with adaptive headlights, Blind Spot Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition, Driver Attention Assist and Lane Control.
The biggest change has been reserved for underneath the bonnet though where the normally aspirated 1.4-litre Fire engine has been replaced by the 1.0-litre turbocharged Firefly used in the Argo and Cronos in South America. Outputting 74kW/190Nm, the blown three-cylinder joins the updated 1.6 Multijet turbodiesel, now offered in two states of tune; 70 kW and 96 kW, with the former replacing the 1.3-litre unit as the new entry-level oil-burner. The 88 kW 1.4 T-Jet petrol is likely to continue in some markets with the same applying to the normally aspirated 1.6-litre petrol.
Now offered in Europe, the facelift Tipo, if confirmed for South Africa, is only expected to become available next year in hatch and sedan guises with the estate being a no-no and the Cross open to speculation.