Fiat updates the Tipo and adds new Cross trim with SUV-inspired looks. Is it a good alternative to the Ford Focus Active?

The 2021 Fiat Tipo Cross is a crossover-style version of the company’s compact car. Introduced in 2020 as a new trim for the Tipo range, the 2021 Tipo Cross is based on the hatchback model.

The Cross version joined the existing sedan, hatchback, and wagon models following the mid-cycle facelift, which added revised exterior elements, new tech inside the cabin, and a brand-new gasoline engine. But is the Tipo Cross a good addition to the lineup and will it give the Ford Focus Active a run for its money? Let’s find out in the review below.

Exterior

  • very similar to regular Tipo
  • SUV-style cladding
  • Unique bumper
  • protection plates front and rear
  • revised front grille
  • all-LED headlamps
  • new "Fiat" badge
  • raised suspension
  • new wheel designs
2021 Fiat Tipo Cross Exterior
- image 945105
Design-wise, the Tipo Cross is basically a Tipo hatchback on stilts, but it benefits from the styling upgrades that Fiat rolled out for the entire lineup in 2020.

The Tipo remains very familiar as far as looks go, but a handful of revised details set it apart from the previous model.

Changes to the front fascia are exactly what you’d expect from a mid-cycle facelift. There are mildly revised headlamps and grille and a slightly remodeled bumper. Of course, with the Cross model being new, the bumper features some fresh, never-before-seen details on the Tipo. Specifically, the grille is slightly wider than before, with the lower area extending more toward the bottom of the headlamps. Because it’s wider, the grille also feels a tad narrower. The typical Fiat badge was replaced by large "Fiat" lettering, a new emblem that Fiat debuted on the latest-generation 500.

2021 Fiat Tipo Cross Exterior
- image 945104

The grille is flanked by the same old headlamps, but they’re now full LED units, so they feature a different lighting pattern. The bumper retains the old layout with a wide and thin vent in the center and fake outlets that house daytime running lights on the sides. However, all these elements have been redesigned on the Cross model and now include Ice Matte surrounds and extra cladding. You’ll also notice a protection plate instead of a splitter-like element at the bottom.

The profile of the Tipo carries over unchanged, but the Cross model sports a few SUV-style additions. There’s black cladding around the wheel arches and the side skirts, as well as Ice Matte inserts into the latter. The mirror caps are also finished in matte grey and, in typical crossover fashion, this Tipo comes with roof fails. The Tipo Cross also rides on new-design wheels in a diamond finish. You can choose between 16- and 17-inch rollers. The Tipo Cross also rides higher than the regular Tipo, as the suspension has been increased by almost 40 mm (about 1.6 inches).

2021 Fiat Tipo Cross Exterior
- image 945107

Around back, only the revised LED taillights set the facelifted Tipo apart from the outgoing model. The Cross package adds black cladding around the sides of the bumper and a protection plate in the center section.

The revised Tipo range comes with two new colors: Ocean Blue and Paprika Orange. Both are available on the Cross version too, with the orange hue being pictured in these press photos.

Interior

  • mild visual updates
  • optional 10.25-inch display
  • new Uconnect5 system
  • wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • digital instrument cluster
  • optional Mopar D-Fence package
2021 Fiat Tipo Cross Interior
- image 945116
Fiat describes the Tipo's interior as "all new," but it's just a mild upgrade over the outgoing model when it comes to design.

The dashboard and center stack look about the same. They’re somewhat modern and pack the usual features, like A/C vents, climate controls, and materials that don’t look bad, but aren’t too fancy either. The main change here is the availability of a larger infotainment display. While the standard unit remains identical to the pre-facelift model, you can order a much larger, 10.25-inch touchscreen. It stretches across a larger portion of the upper dashboard and it’s devoid of any physical controls.

2021 Fiat Tipo Cross Interior
- image 945115

The new infotainment display also provides access to FCA’s new Uconnect5 system, available with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can also connect two smartphones simultaneously via Bluetooth, while rear passengers can now use USB outputs.

Below the display we can see an updated climate control section with chrome and black inserts. Moving over to the driver’s compartment, there’s a revised steering wheel that’s a bit more compact and features an updated control layout.

The difference isn’t big though. A more important update happened behind the steering wheel, were the analogue clocks in the instrument cluster were replaced by a seven-inch digital screen. So while it might not be fancier than the pre-facelift Tipo, the Tipo Cross feels like a modern vehicle.

2021 Fiat Tipo Cross Interior
- image 945118

Just like the regular Tipo, the Tipo Cross is now available with the Mopar-made D-Fence package. The bundle includes a filter that stops impurities to enter cabin and reduces the formation of mold and bacteria by 98 percent. There’s also an air purifier that filters micro-particles such as pollen or bacteria and a UV lamp that helps sanitize all contact surfaces. With the coronavirus pandemic still going strong as of late 2020, the D-Fence package sounds like a smart option.

Drivetrain

  • new gasoline engine
  • 1.0-liter with 99 horsepower
  • 148 pound-feet of torque
  • same diesel engines
  • range-topping diesel with 128 horses
  • six-speed manual transmission
  • optional six-speed DCT
2021 Fiat Tipo Cross Exterior
- image 945106

The Tipo Cross shares engines with the regular Tipo. The big news here is that the facelift adds a new, 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine to the lineup. Part of the FireFly Turbo family, the three-banger cranks out 99 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. The 1.0-liter replaces the old 1.4-liter Fire four-cylinder, rated at 94 horses and 94 pound-feet. This means that the new mill, albeit smaller, generates an extra five horsepower and 46 pound-feet of torque. The wonders of turbocharging, right? The three-cylinder mates to the Tipo’s familiar six-speed manual transmission, but the unit has been recalibrates to handle the extra torque of the engine.

2021 Fiat Tipo Cross Exterior
- image 945103
On the diesel front you'll find the old MultiJet II units.

The 1.3-liter four-cylinder remains the base oil burner and generates the same 94 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of twist. The more powerful option is still the 1.6-liter four-banger, but output increased by 10 horses, from 118 to 128 horsepower. Torque remains unchanged at 236 pound-feet. Available with either the six-speed manual or a six-speed DCT, this engine is the most powerful you can buy with the Tipo Cross as of 2020.

Pre-facelift models were also offered with gasoline-LPG and gasoline-bioethanol mills, but Fiat had nothing to say about them yet. It remains to be seen whether they will continue to be offered, but these options could be restricted to the Italian market.

2021 Fiat Tipo Cross specificatins
Engine 1.0-liter three-cylinder 1.3-liter four-cylinder diesel 1.6-liter four-cylinder diesel
Horsepower 99 HP 94 HP 128 HP
Torque 140 Lb-FT 148 LB-FT 236 LB-FT

How much does the 2021 Fiat Tipo Cross cost?

2021 Fiat Tipo Cross Exterior
- image 945112

Fiat has yet to release pricing information for the facelifted Tipo lineup, but expect the Cross model cost a bit more than the regular hatchback. The latter starts from €16,562 in pre-facelift guise, with the range-topping model going up to €20,948. The facelifted hatchback should cost around €17,000 before options, so the Tipo Cross could retail from around €19,000. The Tipo Cross won’t be sold in the United States.

Is the Fiat Tipo Cross better than the Ford Focus Active?

The Ford Focus Active is Suffering From an Identity Crisis
- image 778976

Volkswagen started this compact hatchback on stilts trend back in 2006 with the CrossGolf, but the German vehicles has since been discontinued. Nowadays, Ford joined the segment with the Focus Active, essentially a Focus hatchback with extra cladding and a slightly higher suspension. Based on the fourth-generation Focus launched in 2018, the Focus Active is currently available with two drivetrains. There’s the 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost rated at 123 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque and the 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel with 118 horses and 221 pound-feet of twist. The Ford Focus Active starts from around €20,200 in most European markets, which makes it a bit more expensive than the Tipo Cross is expected to be.

Read our full review of the Ford Focus Active

Is the Fiat Tipo Cross better than the Kia XCeed?

2020 Kia XCeed Crossover
- image 846979

Kia also joined this small niche with its popular Ceed hatchback. Called the XCeed, it comes with similar extras, including black cladding, underbelly protection front and rear, and mildly revised features. Compared to the regular Ceed, the XCeed is three inches longer, almost an inch wider, and two inches taller. Engine options include the 1.0-liter Kappa II three-cylinder rated at 118 horsepower and the 1.4-liter Smartstream four-cylinder with 138 horses. Kia also offers a 1.6-liter U-Line turbodiesel with 114 or 134 horsepower and up to 236 pound-feet of torque. A plug-in hybrid variant is also available. Pricing starts from around €20,850 in most European markets.

Read our full story on the Kia XCeed.

Conclusion

2021 Fiat Tipo Cross Exterior
- image 945107

The Fiat Tipo has been surprisingly popular since its introduction in 2015. And not only in Italy, where the brand is enjoying success with all of its models, but in Western and Eastern European markets too. Sure, with around 670,000 units sold as of 2020, the Tipo is by no means as popular as hatchbacks from Ford and Volkswagen, but sales were high enough for Fiat to consider a new addition to the lineup. With crossovers still selling like hot cakes all over the world, the Tipo Cross should become a valuable member of the Tipo family, especially in Easter and Southern European markets, as well as emerging markets in Asia. The Tipo Cross might not feature the fanciest interior, but it’s a good looking vehicle on the outside and Fiat engines are still reliable.

  • Leave it
    • interior still looks cheap
    • soild competitors from Ford and Kia
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
About the author

The Tipo range, 4 & 5 doors and SW, is completely renewed and expands with the “New Tipo Cross”: the crossover that was missing.
New Tipo Cross - the second Tipo crossover - exciting, distinctive and dynamic, perfect for young people and families.
The Nuova Tipo is renewed in design, in on-board technology - with safety and infotainment at the top of its segment - and in engines.
New engine range: more ecological and more performing.
The new Tipo range is available starting from 13,900 euros, combined with financing from FCA Bank, and will be present in Fiat dealerships from the end of November.

The Tipo is renewed: complete restyling of the range, new design - more captivating, young and dynamic - technology at the highest levels and new, more performing and ecological engines. And the range is also extended thanks to the new crossover: the new Tipo Cross.

The new range is developed on two souls: the "Life" soul declined in 3 trim levels - Tipo, City Life, Life, available on three body variants (4-door, 5-door and Station Wagon) and the "Cross" soul which, on the other hand, is available in two trim levels - City Cross and Cross - and in the 5-door crossover body variant.

The Cross version of Panda, versatile and captivating, was the strategic key to the success of this model at European level. In fact, the “crossover” look has brought Panda closer to a new younger target, which is looking for a car that is not only functional, perfect for the city, but also super cool and with a modern design. The same strategy was adopted for Tipo, with the extension of the family. Thus Fiat’s designers and engineers have developed the new Tipo Cross, creating the new Tipo crossover, also for a new target, wider than the previous one in terms of age, aesthetic taste and mobility needs.

The new Tipo “look”
The New Tipo has been completely renewed and today appears more modern, more dynamic and elegant. On the new front grille here is redesigned on which stands the new Fiat logo, Fiat lettering, one statement important and strong renewal. The Tipo is also the first Fiat car to adopt this logo, after the New 500 just presented.

The headlights are completely redesigned, now they adopt "full-led" technology both in the front and in the rear: they not only enhance the lines of the car, but also give it a more modern look and increase active and passive safety - thanks to greater visibility and consistently with the search for greater sustainability in every small detail, they reduce the consumption of electricity on board - and therefore, consequently, of CO 2 .

The bumper in the lower part of the car, which has been completely redesigned with the inclusion of elements in ICE MATTE finishing - satin chrome - are combined with new 16 "or 17" alloy wheels with diamond finishes and new designs.

Inside, the cabin is all new. The seats feature fabrics with exclusive designs. The fully configurable 7 ”TFT digital cluster replaces the traditional analogue instrument cluster. An extremely more technological and sophisticated system, which allows you to have the status of the car, the multimedia part and the telephone under control during the journey. The cluster matches the brand new UConnect 5 radio with 10.25 ”touch screen. Also adopted for the first time in the FCA Group by the Nuova 500 and now available on Tipo.

The steering wheel, now even more elegant and sporty, has also attracted the attention of the designers. It is more compact and shaped for better ergonomics and also to allow perfect visibility of the 7 ”TFT cluster on board. Further attention was paid to the central control panel where the climate controls were revised and new chrome and black inserts were added.

The new Tipo range is also available in two new nuances: Ocean Blue and Paprika Orange.

New Tipo Cross, the second Tipo crossover The Tipo
family is expanding with the arrival of a new body. Fiat launches the Nuova Tipo Cross, which is added to the other three body variants (4-door, 5-door and Station Wagon): a real crossover, which is aimed at a completely new target. Today, families - which have always been the reference public of the Fiat Tipo - have changed their preferences, abandoning traditional 5-door and station wagon cars to approach the world of crossovers, without sacrificing space and comfort. Therefore, they are ready to experience a more exciting, distinctive, dynamic and young car, but at an affordable price. Tipo Cross, “Fiat’s new family crossover” is the answer.

Overall, the structure of the Tipo Cross is much stronger and more aggressive. The car immediately appears wider, with the new grille design that extends to under the headlights and, of course, higher. A true crossover.

In fact, the suspension of the Tipo Cross has been raised by almost 4 centimeters, thanks to a new suspension setting and the introduction of a wheel-tire solution already seen on another crossover in the Fiat range, the 500X. The Cross Type features larger tires for an even more robust look.

The new set-up also guarantees a higher driving position and facilitates entry and exit from the car, as well as simplifying all those operations to which the Type families are accustomed, such as the positioning of children in rear seats or the recovery of objects stuck under the seats.

Aesthetically new, Tipo Cross is almost 7 centimeters higher than the Life Type with the insert of "cross" details, starting with the tailpieces on the entire side and on the front, where there is also a skid plate and a specific bumper with a prominent bull-bar that gives the car a more solid and muscular look, passing through the side skirts, the rear extractor and the practical roof bars until now only present on the SW version.

Top safety and technology

In addition to design and style, a large and important renovation project involved the technological area, with one goal: to be at the top of the C segment. The New Tipo is equipped with a wide range of driver assistance systems (ADAS) last generation:

the Traffic Sign Recognition, which identifies the maximum permitted speed according to the limits of a road on which you are traveling;
the ’ Intelligent Speed Assist prompting the driver to set the speed limit;
the Lane Control which does not exit the vehicle from the lane, on condition that they are correctly detectable lines of demarcation of the same;
l ’ Attention Assist, or the detector which suggests the driver to take a break when too tired to continue their journey;
the Adaptive High Beam, which guarantees better visibility during night driving through the automatic switching on of the high beams when the opposite side of the road is clear;
the Blind Spot Assist which, through ultrasonic sensors, check blind spots, and notifies with a triangular light signal - which appears on the side mirror - if there are any obstacles;
in addition to the front parking sensors, the Keyless Entry / Go and the Wireless Charger that allows you to recharge your mobile phone without wires. It is a real powerhouse: a 15 watt fast charging object, with three times the power of the best-selling smartphones.

On the infotainment front, Tipo is the first FCA car after the New 500 to be equipped with the new fifth-generation UConnect 5 infotainment system, the connected platform made for the future, available with a 10.25 ’’ screen. Developed with the idea of ​​providing the customer with a simple and comfortable user experience , FCA uses an easy, intuitive and customizable Android Auto operating system. Uconnect 5 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wireless allows, without any cable, to use the Apple CarPlay Android Auto functions on the touchscreen radio with personalization of profiles and with the possibility of memorizing up to 5 configurations.

Thanks to the new infotainment system on the Nuova Tipo, two phones can be connected simultaneously via Bluetooth: this allows, for example, to use both the company and personal mobile phones, managing both incoming and outgoing calls simultaneously without having to "jump" from one connection to another to answer a new call on the unconnected phone.

Of note, then, the new white backlighting of all the controls in the passenger compartment, which gives a more modern look and the USB output for the rear seats very useful for families in case of long journeys, because it allows children to use their own. Tablet.

New, more efficient and ecological engines
Nuova Tipo adopts a completely renewed engine range. At launch, petrol and diesel engines are available.

Petrol. The new Tipo can be equipped with the new GSE 1.0 T3 100hp. The new three-cylinder engine delivers a maximum torque of 190Nm already at 1500 rpm, instead of 4500 rpm like the current 1.4 95hp petrol engine which stopped at 127Nm.
The GSE 1.0 T3 100hp belongs to the FireFly Turbo engine family and represents the most updated version for the best performance combined with very low consumption and emissions. The maximum power is 74KW (100hp). The new engine allows a pleasant drive and offers excellent starting thanks to the favorable torque curve already at low rpm and is also more comfortable, thanks to the remarkable silence. CO2 emissions drop to a value of 121g / km (WLTP).
Finally, the gearbox has been calibrated to ensure maximum responsiveness in city traffic and maximum comfort on the motorway, stopping the engine revs at 3200rpm at a cruising speed of 130km / h.

Diesel engine. The Multijet diesel engines - Euro 6D Final - offer two power levels 95hp and 130hp (previously 120hp), with a significant improvement in performance and CO2 values ​​which in the diesel family start at 110g / km (WLTP).
Furthermore, the 1.6 Multijet now with 130 horsepower represents the perfect engine for fleets, a strategic market for the C segment and consequently for the Type.

D-Fence pack by Mopar
Ever more environmentally friendly, the New Tipo range can be equipped, on request, with the D-Fence by Mopar package consisting of three devices: a filter that traps impurities arriving from the outside, blocks particulate matter is practically 100% of allergens, and reduces the formation of mold and bacteria by 98%; an air purifier inside the passenger compartment, which filters micro-particles, such as pollen or bacteria; a UV lamp that helps sanitize all contact surfaces such as steering wheel, gearbox and seats.

Tipo, a success story
Fiat Tipo was launched in 2016 and from that moment the Tipo family started to grow: alongside the sedan version came the 5-door and Station Wagon and today the new Tipo Cross body.

Since its launch, Tipo has immediately been among the most popular in its segment both in Italy and in Europe, where it has contributed to the performance of the Fiat brand, selling more than 70% of its volumes outside the domestic market.

Overall, 670,000 cars have been sold since launch with the best share outside Italy reached in 2019.

FCA Bank financial solutions for Nuova Tipo
FCA Bank supports the launch of the new Tipo range by offering a wide range of financial solutions to make it easier for customers to purchase their new car. In particular, those who want to get behind the wheel of the New Type will be able to choose from all the promotional financial solutions of FCA Bank that allow access to the additional advantage of € 2,000.

In addition to the traditional installments, the following are available: the loan that allows you to pay low initial installments for the first 24 months and the program that allows the customer the possibility of choosing, at the end of the contract, whether to replace the car by purchasing a new one, keep the car by paying the Final Residual Installment; Finally, the Private Lease, the ideal solution for those looking for an alternative to purchasing whether they are professionals or individuals.

To complete the financial structures, FCA Bank offers a complete range of insurance services, all of which can be combined with the loan agreement.

Turin, 26 October 2020

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release

Related Articles

2017 Fiat Tipo Hatchback

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: