Fiat Tipo & Fiat Fullback

We flew into Turin to get our hands on two new vehicles from the famous Italian manufacturer Fiat. We drove both the Fiat Tipo and the Fiat Fullback pickup. The Tipo family was presented in full range at the recent Geneva Motor Show after the success of the Tipo 4-door launch in Europe and Turkey, and will arrive this year in over fifty countries across the EMEA region - among them the Middle East and the GCC.

Fiat Tipo
Natively a true sedan

"It’s cheap and cheerful," said Khaled.

"It looks neat, and has certainly been designed to attract buyers across three continents, so unquestionably it is going to be a universal vehicle."

The all-new 4-door car, created from the beginning as a three-box sedan, embodies the "Born to be Sedan" concept, which enhances the balanced, quintessentially Italian design to guarantee personality and style without forgoing functionality.

The 4-door version went on sale at the end of 2015 and has already sold more than 37,000 units in the EMEA area. Its success is based on best-in-class passenger and luggage space combined with an economical ethos, which has reopened the door to the medium-compact sedan market in many countries.

Good-looking and functional, Fiat Tipo 4-door combines a large load capacity (520 liters) with compact overall dimensions (it is 4.54 meters long, 1.79 meters wide and 1.49 meters high). The 2.64 meter wheelbase emphasizes its excellent internal comfort. All this is enhanced by Italian design, inside and out, which makes the car unique in its segment.

Everyone can find the right Fiat Tipo for their needs and inclinations. In Africa and the Middle East, the lineup will include three trim levels, three engine versions (the 1.4 16v Fire 95 hp and the 1.6 1.6v E.torQ 110 hp petrol engines and the 1.3 MultiJet II 95 hp), two transmissions (five- or six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, the latter on 1.6 E.torQ only), a palette of various body colors (solid and metal), two alloy rim patterns (16-inch and 17-inch) and four different interior configurations.

The new car fits a reliable suspension layout for very accurate driving, brilliant road-holding and outstanding passenger comfort: independent wheels (MacPherson-type) on the front axle and an interconnected wheel torque beam on the rear. The two layouts are optimized to reduce weight and contribute in this way to improving the car's fuel efficiency.

In true Fiat style, the new Tipo is packed with plenty of clever solutions that make life better for everyone onboard. Like the splendid standard features and the availability of the Uconnect system with a 5-inch color touchscreen, hands-free Bluetooth system, audio streaming, text reader and voice recognition, AUX and USB ports with iPod integration, controls on the steering wheel and, on demand, a rear parking camera.

Designed to tackle future challenges, the new Fiat Tipo was designed in Italy by Centro Stile Fiat, developed in Turkey together with Tofaş R&D, which is one of FCA's largest research and development centers, and made in the Tofaş plant in Bursa - one of the world's best automotive factories, which has received a World Class Manufacturing gold medal.

Pros: Modern exterior styling, excellent price tag, diverse engine offerings
Cons: Tough segment to compete in
Rivals: Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus sedan, Chevrolet Cruze sedan, Renault Megane, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3, Nissan Sentra, Kia Cerato

1.4 L, 4-cylinder, 95 hp @ 6000 rpm, 127 Nm @ 4500 rpm
1.6 L, 4-cylinder, 110 hp @ 5500 rpm, 152 Nm @ 4500 rpm
6-speed manual/automatic and 5-speed manual, FWD
top speed: 185-192 km/h, 0-100 km/h: 11.2-11.5 sec, fuel consumption: 4.2L - 6L/100 km
Weight: 1225-1280 kg
4 stars
One word: cheerful

Fiat Fullback
A convenient 1-ton pickup

"The Fullback is ready to take its place among mid-size pickup market," said Khaled.

"Versatile in any situation, robust and reliable."

After having made its debut at the 2015 Dubai International Motor Show, the most important specialized event organized in the Middle East and North Africa, the new mid-size Fiat Professional Fullback pickup will be gradually available across the entire region beginning this month.

Backed by over a hundred years of history and an excellent reputation in the global LCV industry, the Fiat Professional brand is making another leap forward with the launch of the Fullback: one that completes its current extensive range of products and services that are tailored to the needs of professional customers.

With Fullback, the Fiat Professional brand makes a strong entry into the medium-duty pickup segment in the EMEA region, where 650,000 units were sold in 2015 (22 percent of total sales in the LCV segment). This share is even larger in the Middle East - 66 percent, and in Africa - 62 percent.

This is, therefore, a highly strategic launch, and the new Fullback will definitely play a leading role in its segment thanks to its winning characteristics - robust construction and reliability. This unrivalled work hero is the result of understanding the actual needs of professional customers, but it’s also perfectly at ease when used in everyday life and leisure, thanks to its great versatility.

Fullback is ready to take on any challenge, hence its name, which is derived from the key position in rugby or American football - the last man in the line of defense and also a defender in attack - which denotes a player who is capable of dealing with any situation. This same winning spirit can be found in this new Fiat Professional vehicle, that of a "player" able to adapt to any requirement, at work or at play, as is well summarized by the claim that will accompany its commercial launch: "Built for your work. And for your life."

Pros: Existing platform, huge selection of trims, configurations and engines
Cons: Fiat’s first time in this segment
Rivals: Nissan Navarra, Mitubishi L200, Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux
3.5 stars
One word: convenient

2.5 L diesel, 4-cylinder, 110 hp/178 hp
2.4 L petrol, 4-cylinder, 132 hp
5-speed manual/5-speed automatic gearbox 2WD/4WD
top speed: 147-179 km/h,
Weight: 1500 - 1830 kg

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