Car Review: Alfa Romeo - Mito  Series 09 (4 stars)

It looks great and does not cost too much. The future looks bright for the Mito.

While pictures don't do the cute new Alfa justice, the pretty little MiTo looks fantastic on the road. Styling features from the 8C Competizione and neat detailing, especially at the front, make it look unlike any other B-segment choice - a trait that has made the Mini and Fiesta such hits. Under the skin, the MiTo uses a platform carried over from the Fiat Grande Punto, heavily tweaked for Alfa's new small hatch.

The cabin has a great driver-focussed feel, with instruments angled towards the hot seat, the finish is high quality and, again, there's a feeling of uniqueness. All MiTo models come with sports seats for that additional performance touch.

The sweet spot amongst the engine range is the 120bhp turbo petrol four-pot, with a decent helping of performance and respectable economy, but even the 153bhp version of the same engine returns a healthy 43.5mpg during the combined cycle. There is also a non-turbo 1.4-litre petrol engine giving 94bhp, and the diesel line-up offers a 1.3-litre option emitting just 112g/km of CO2, and a more powerful 1.6 with 118bhp and 236lb ft of torque on offer. For speed lovers, Alfa has indicated that a hot GTA version will come later, producing in the region of 230bhp, although the existing 153bhp model is pretty swift itself.

All trim levels are well equipped and include driver aids such as Alfa's own DNA system which offers a choice of Dynamic, Normal and All-weather driving modes. 16-inch alloys are standard on Turismo and Lusso models, whereas range-topping Veloce trim brings 17-inch rims.

On quick, twisty roads, Dynamic mode is your best bet with its heightened accelerator sensitivity and sharper handling, and the MiTo is enjoyable in this environment, albeit being less composed than the Mini under hard cornering. As with many modern Alfas, the ride is on the firm side, which comes to the fore on the UK's bumpy roads and causes the car to hop around a little. Altering the DNA setting doesn't seem to help much - certainly on the Veloce's larger wheels - but we'll reserve judgment until we've driven one with the 16-inch rims. However, the car is much more composed and comfortable when cruising at high speed and makes a compelling case as a small, fun car that is also suitable for long motorway slogs.

The MiTo has bags of verve, mainly thanks to its gorgeous styling, and while it lacks the driving experience of the Mini, it will still win over plenty of style-conscious buyers.

Alfa Romeo Mito Series 09 StatisticsCar Reviews

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