1990 Fiat Tipo DGTSX 1.6 from UK and Ireland


One of the few cars I have owned that I wish I still had today


The only problem was a really big one - the cambelt snapped and destroyed every single valve as a result.

General Comments:

I really liked the looks and the interior of the car; it was something different and the seats were very supportive. The digital dashboard was a cool thing to have, even if it brought no practical benefit! The only real comfort issue was the lack of headroom - I had to sit with my head under the sunroof to gain the extra couple of centimetres required, or slouch down in my seat to fit in.

One thing that always struck me was the lack of rust anywhere on the car, despite it being kept outdoors in all weathers. I had grown up with tales of Italian cars falling apart from rust, and it was a very pleasant surprise to have one that was so solid.

The car was fun on back roads, relaxing on the motorway, and easy to drive and park in town; there wasn't a situation where I found myself wishing I was in something else. It was also a proper 5-seater with decent rear space. I loved driving this car; so much so, that after the cambelt problem I got the head rebuilt. Unfortunately the car was never the same again after the rebuild; it had to have the mixture changed to make it run properly, but that made it incapable of passing the emissions test at the MOT...

I'd have one of these as a runabout even today, if only there were any still on the road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th April, 2019

1990 Fiat Tipo DGT 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


Brilliant car and fond memories


Failed digital dashboard at 8,000 miles. Replaced under warranty.

Snapped cam belt at 80,000 miles resulting in one bent valve. Suspect that the main dealer didn't change it at the scheduled service.

Crank sensor failed at 100,000 miles.

Rear wiper stopped working at 120,000 miles.

Central locking failed at 150,000 miles. Disconnected as couldn't lock the car.

Rear window winder plastic cogs worn out at around 150,000 on both sides so can't raise the glass.

Starter motor failed at 180,000 miles.

Alternator failed at 200,000 miles.

Repeated cracked exhaust manifold and down-pipes.

Various clutches, exhaust parts, batteries and other semi-consumables have been replaced.

Lots of rust on rear sub-chassis. While the bodywork is largely intact, seventeen British winters has slowly corroded the underside.

General Comments:

I bought this car new in 1990. It was the first car I ever owned - company cars before that.

It has served us remarkably well for nearly eighteen years both as an only car and then latterly as a second. It has let us down only three times in over 216,000 miles.

New, the car was by far the best choice on the market at the time. The alternatives were the Astra, Escort, Renault 19, Rover 216. The only car even approaching its practicality and drive-ability was the Golf. But the Fiat was much more innovative.

I did most of the servicing on the car from when it was about four years old and used mobile mechanics for the trickier stuff.

The gearbox and engine are original and are in remarkably good nick for their age.

So it's sad that I'm taking the car to the breakers today. The rust underneath has eaten away at the rear sub-chassis and bodywork and, while repairable, it would cost far too much to put right.

To our beloved Tipo - thank you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 27th November, 2006

2nd Mar 2015, 22:03

To have a car for that long and that many miles... wow... there must have been tears that day mate. I feel your pain even now. RIP your Tipo.

1990 Fiat Tipo DGT 1.6 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


The Multi-Talented Bargain


Clutch needed replacing at 114,000 kilometres.

Crank Angle Sensor failed at 110,000 kilometres.

The engine seems to have a flat spot between 2000 and 3000 revs. It appears to be a common problem.

General Comments:

The Tipo achieves great balance as a true all-rounder.

Handling is laugh-out-loud fun - you can punt it through corners with ease. Only typical front-wheel drive understeer will try and spoil the party, but it's under control at all times.

Weighing in at just 980 kilos, the Tipo is quick off the mark, and still feels good at speeds over 120 kilometres per hour.

But it's also an extremely practical car. Interior space rivals a 2.0 litre saloon. And while some may baulk at the digital dash, it's a very handy apparatus. You know the odometer hasn't been tampered with by some backyard grease-monkey, plus it impresses chicks in the dark! But enough on that...

The forecast outside is looking good too, with chiseled lines courtesy of Italy's IDEA Studio.

FIAT's torquey 1597cc four-cylinder loves a thrashing, but can be very economical too. Sounds great with a big ol' hole in the muffler.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th September, 2002