Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016
- Stylish and beautiful
- Practical and comfortable
- Excellent fuel efficiency
- Lots of safety equipment
- Low price for a high entertainment factor
- Hard suspension
- Cabin heating is very poor
- The boot is difficult to access
The MITO is Alfa's best attempt to conquer the mainstream car market since the timeless and classic Giulietta in the 1950s. Although the Italian manufacturer has always stood out as one of the main influencers of car fashion in Europe, they've clearly struggled during the last couple of decades, especially when it has concerned the practicality of their cars. With the MITO, they decided to stop overcomplicating things and return back to their roots. Both the Giulietta and GTA were stylish coupes sporty and practical. The rich heritage has ensured that Alfa Romeo is once again in fashion.
Exterior and Interior
The MITO is a direct competitor of the MINI One and Audi A1. Although all three cars fall into the classified of a supermini, the Italian looks significantly bigger than the German alternatives. Its wheelbase is just 2 inches longer but it leaves an impression of a large car, mainly thanks to the classic proportions with the long bonnet. The design of Alfa Romeo MITO is not a brainchild of one particular designer, its a collective work of their in-house design team. The same team who designed the limited edition Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. If you look at both cars, the MITO is more or less a scaled-down version of the 8C, which is great news for the everyday driver meaning that you dont have to queue up for the 150,000 supercar and can drive a similarly beautiful sporty car for a tiny fraction of the price.
The interior design is slightly bland, but the seats are very comfortable, and unless you go for one of the high-end models fitted with 17 wheels, the car is also very quiet, even at high speeds. From the practical point of view, you cannot fault the MITO. It comfortably seats four adults and boasts a good-size boot. Its not that easy to load and unload but once you get a hang of it, youll be surprised at how much you can fit in this supermini. The boot volume is 270 litres, which is a lot more than the MINI One can offer at 160 litres.
Performance and Economy
All MITOs, apart from the ones equipped with the rather basic 76bhp 8-valve engine, are very quick and efficient. Its a combination that you can rarely achieve if youre looking for a sporty car. The engineers from Alfa Romeo have proven that an efficient car doesnt have to be boring. Even the top versions, the Distinctive with its 133bhp and Quadrifoglio Verde featuring a 167bhp engine and the resurrected four-leaf clover badge, will achieve economy between 45 and 50mpg.
For the ultimate economy, go with the 1.6-litre diesel that features a stop/start function. 64mpg is no big deal for this engine. The smaller 1.3-litre engine might be too weak. If you want to enjoy the MITO as it was designed, you really need to choose an engine that has more than 100bhp at its disposal.
Like to Drive
The MITO is so much fun to drive. Its a great little car with oodles of character. The majority of cars on the 2nd hand market will be either the 1.4-litre 133bhp MultiAir or the 1.6-litre 118bhp diesel. Both can get to 60mph in less than 10 seconds. Although both engines are feisty, the MITO is a pseudo sports car. Its built with economy and daily use in mind. However, it will feel fresher and more fun than many other cars in the same attractive price gap. The car has two distinctive driving modes. In the normal mode, you have all the usual electronic assistance like traction control and (lifeless) power steering.
At a flick of a switch you can reduce the intervention of the clever devices and have the car at your disposal. In the sporty mode you will lose a certain amount of comfort because it also stiffens the suspension.
Faults and Repairs
There are not that many faults to report. Although Alfa prides themselves on the range of nice colours they offer for the MITOs, the paintwork is far from faultless. Youll have to commit to look after it properly, otherwise expect ugly chips and blemishes. Another problem that might eventually catch up with older Alfas is suspension faults. The suspension is so hard that it is likely to develop problems sooner or later. Overall, the MITO is a reliable car.