The Fiat Tipo range was recently updated to offer a refreshed design and a host of new features.
Below, we see if the Tipo Life can take on one of the country’s most popular passenger cars.
The Fiat Tipo Life and VW Polo Highline are the most premium specification grades in the respective model ranges, and quite a few features are found in both.
Both have leather multifunction steering wheels, cruise control, black fabric seats, LED daytime running lights, and all-round electric windows – as well as an infotainment display with Bluetooth connectivity.
The central screen on the Fiat measures five inches diagonally and incorporates navigation functions, while that on the Polo spans eight inches and adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, along with WeConnectGo compatibility.
WeConnectGo is an online service that makes a digital logbook, service and maintenance schedules, breakdown assistance, and driving analysis available on your smartphone.
Fiat does not have a comparable online ability.
Additionally, the Tipo brings a 3.5-inch configurable driver’s display in the semi-digital instrument cluster, whereas the Polo sees a smaller multi-information display sit between its two analogue dials.
Apart from these features, the Fiat Tipo and VW Polo have considerably different equipment lists.
The Tipo Life offers a rear-view camera, automatic climate control, keyless entry and start, and 17-inch “Diamond” alloy wheels.
The Polo Highline competes with automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and ambient lighting.
Thanks to the R-Line styling package, the Polo also features 17-inch “Bonneville” alloys, more aggressive bumpers, a sporty rear spoiler, R-Line-branded seats, and the customer’s choice of either cruise control with a speed limiter or adaptive cruise control.
While the VW does only have a manual air-conditioner, it offers a host of driver assistance programmes not found in the Tipo.
These systems include ABS with brake assist, anti-slip regulation for pullaways, driver fatigue detection, and six airbags.
The Fiat has six airbags, too, but only comes with standard ABS.
Due to the Tipo measuring larger in every dimension, it provides more cargo capacity than the Polo – at 440 litres versus 350 litres.
Providing power in this Fiat Tipo is a 1.4-litre, petrol engine connected to a six-speed manual transmission that sends power to the front wheels.
The set-up generates 70kW and 127Nm, which is good for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 11.5 seconds.
This hatchback is also capable of reaching a top speed of 185km/h, and combined fuel consumption is a claimed rate of 5.7l/100km.
The VW Polo range is driven by a 1.0-litre, turbo-petrol engine that develops 85kW and 200Nm in this top-of-the-line model.
Power is managed by a seven-speed, dual-clutch, automatic transmission, and 100km/h is reached in 9.5 seconds.
Top speed for the VW is pinned at 200km/h, and combined fuel consumption comes in at 4.8l/100km.
The Fiat Tipo Hatch 1.4 Life has a South African price of R399,900.
Along with this, you get a 5-year/100,000km warranty and a 3-year/100,000km service plan.
The VW Polo Hatch 1.0TSI Highline R-Line Auto has a South African price of R398,100.
Included in the price is a 3-year/120,000km warranty and a 3-year/45,000km service plan.