- Attractive looks
- Fun to drive
- Various bits of equipment to choose from
- Ride can be stiff
- Interior could be of a better quality
- Not the most practical in its class
What's the Alfa Romeo MiTo like?
So many of today’s superminis follow the same shape, they all seem to meld into one another.
But there are a few, like the MINI and the DS 3, that stand out from the crowd, and they’re matched or bettered in style by the Alfa Romeo MiTo built from 2008 to 2018.
It’s a stunning and very distinctive 3-door with a lovely shape in the Italian marque’s tradition, and decent to superb performance from engines with a wide range of power outputs.
It’s worth noting that for a supermini, interior space is good, with legroom enough for four adults, but there's a main drawback in that the sporting suspension is pretty hard. So make sure you can live with the firm ride before you part with your cash.
The smallest petrol offering in the MiTo is the TwinAir 0.9-litre 2-cylinder turbo from the Fiat 500, which sounds brilliant and is very economical, but it’s also a little slow, only managing a 0 to 60mph time of 11.0 seconds in the higher powered 105bhp form, even if it is good for 67mpg.
All the other petrols are based on the same 1.4-litre - in turbocharged and non-turbocharged forms. The base model without a turbo has 93bhp and can get to 60mph in 10.8 seconds while giving a best of 47mpg.
And the range topper is a 170bhp rocket that scorches to 60mph in 7.3 seconds while still being capable of the same economy.
In between are 105bhp, 120bhp, 135bhp, and 155bhp models with gradually reducing 60mph sprint times and economy ranging from 43mpg to 50mpg.
There are also 1.3-litre and 1.6-litre diesels with 85bhp, 95bhp or 118 bhp, and the 1.6-litre has pretty good performance along with 60mpg economy. It can get to 60mph in 9.6 seconds.
The 95bhp 1.3-litre is capable of 65mpg and takes 11.2 seconds to get to 60mph.
All engines drive the front wheels through a 5 or 6-speed gearbox, and this has the slickest of changes, allied to a light clutch.
In the turbo 1.4-litre engines there's a dash ‘DNA’ button that electronically changes driving characteristics by adjusting the weight of the steering, engine power, and traction control, and this really makes a difference to driving feel.
Of course, that sporting suspension gives excellent roadholding and grip on almost every surface.
Equipment and Technology
There are an amazing 22 trim levels, many of them based on the major ones but with added equipment.
Progression, Distinctive, and QV Line were the main levels in 2015 with the Green Cloverleaf 170bhp scorcher at the top.
Mid-range spec brings the essential traction control, aircon, alloys, remote locking, cloth seats, audio remote control, bluetooth, and an alarm.
Height and reach adjustable steering and a height adjustable driver’s seat help to give a very good driving position for all sizes, and the front seats are well-shaped and supportive through fast corners.
However, poor noise insulation, lack of cabin storage, and so-so interior quality means it trails rivals.
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The Alfa Romeo MiTo is a fashionable supermini that offers a sharp driving experience and good economy all round. Only available as a 3-door, it may not be the most practical of cars, but very few can compete in terms of overall kerb appeal and style.