The Tipo destined for the UK is actually the second model to result from something called Project Egea, a Fiat-Chrysler/Tofas initiative intended to produce an affordable family saloon, hatchback and estate for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The three-box saloon – known as the Fiat Egea in Turkey – was unveiled at the Istanbul motor show last year and replaced the Fiat Linea (itself a car co-developed with Tofas).

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
The cheapest car’s 15in steel wheels exemplify its bargain basement ethos

The two-box hatchback and estate are to be produced primarily for France, Italy and the UK and in all markets will succeed the Bravo – a model Fiat quietly deleted in 2014.

The Tipo gets the high-strength steel architecture co-engineered with GM that, in different configurations, has so far underpinned everything from the Grande Punto to the Jeep Renegade.

Deploying the so-called ‘Small-Wide LWB’ version of that modular platform, the Turin-penned Tipo is most closely related to the Fiat 500L, although its wheelbase is marginally longer.

Unsurprisingly, the conventional platform gets an equally conventional suspension set-up, featuring MacPherson struts at the front and a rear torsion beam, while a fairly unremarkable 1295kg claimed kerb weight was rendered plausible on our scales, with our test car weighing in at 1379kg full of fuel.

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The engine line-up is familiar, too. The five options are divided into three petrol and two diesel: a 94bhp 1.4-litre petrol, a 118bhp 1.4-litre T-Jet turbo petrol and a 108bhp 1.6-litre e-TorQ petrol twinned exclusively with a six-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. The oil-burners are a 94bhp 1.3-litre Multijet II and the larger 1.6-litre variant tested here.

The range-topping four-cylinder diesel – already featured in the 500L – develops 118bhp and 236lb ft, the latter available from 1750rpm. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, but as an option the engine can be had with Fiat’s new DCT dual-clutch automatic. Both variants deliver sub-100g/km CO2 emissions.

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