Review

Alfa Romeo MiTo hatchback

Price  £12,960 - £20,500

Alfa Romeo MiTo hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Well equipped
  • Reasonably cheap to run
Cons
  • Suspect interior quality
  • Uninspiring to drive
  • Choppy ride

At a glance

“The Alfa Romeo MiTo wants to take on premium superminis like the Audi A1 and MINI hatchback, but can’t match either for quality or driving fun.”

While the Alfa Romeo MiTo does have plenty going for it – stylish looks, low running costs, a spacious interior and a lengthy list of personalisation options – it can’t quite keep up with rivals like the DS 3, Audi A1 or MINI hatchback in certain key areas. 

It doesn’t ride particularly well due to firm, supposedly ‘sporty’, suspension, but unfortunately that doesn’t result in a particularly involving or fun driving experience. Whichever mode you have the ‘DNA’ system in, the steering always feels numb and the car is never as agile as many of its rivals.

Inside, the quality of materials on show disappoints – especially compared to premium rivals like the MINI, Audi A1 and Volkswagen Polo. Even the cheaper Vauxhall Adam feels better built inside.

It's not all doom and gloom, however. The MiTo has a good range of powerful and economical engines. Our favourite of the mainstream petrols is the turbocharged two-cylinder TwinAir. Despite displacing just 0.9 litres, it still manages to produce 105bhp and has CO2 emissions of 99g/km, meaning it's exempt from road tax. 

The most efficient engine in the range is the 1.3-litre diesel, which manages 85bhp, returns over 80mpg and keeps CO2 emissions down to just 95g/km. There's also a much quicker 1.6-litre diesel, which makes 120bhp, but still manages nearly 66mpg. 

The quickest model in the range is the 170bhp Quadrifoglio Verde (four-leaf clover), which will do 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds. However, it can’t match other small hot hatchbacks such as the Ford Fiesta ST, MINI Cooper S and Renaultsport Clio for driving fun, and it's a bit pricey, too.

Safety is a bit tricky to judge with the MiTo. Although Euro NCAP awarded it five stars, it was crash-tested way back in 2008 and the test has been revised several times since then. However, you do get seven airbags, stability control anti-lock brakes and traction control as standard, as well as hill-hold assistance – a system that keeps the car from rolling back during hill starts.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.2 / 5

With both diesel and petrol engines emitting less than 100g/km of CO2, the Alfa Romeo MiTo is frugal and cheap to run

Engines, drive & performance

3 / 5

All Alfa Romeo MiTo models come with the DNA system, which gives you three driving modes, but it isn’t as much fun as a MINI or as comfortable as an Audi A1

Interior & comfort

2.5 / 5

There’s lots of wind and tyre noise from the Alfa Romeo MiTo, especially in top-spec models with larger wheels

Practicality & boot space

2.9 / 5

Alfa Romeo MiTo interior storage and rear passenger space is poor, but the 270-litre boot is big enough for a week’s shopping

Reliability & safety

2.5 / 5

All versions of the Alfa Romeo MiTo have a full five-star safety rating

What the others say

3.1 / 5
based on 4 reviews
4 / 5
“The driving position is low and sporty, and while some plastics don’t have the high-quality feel of a German car's, the raft of kit compensates.”
5 / 10
“It's far better kitted out for the money than a Mini, so all you have to do is decide whether or not you like the way it looks. We do.”
4 / 5
“This is the first Alfa in a very long time that appeals to both the heart and the head.”
2 / 5
“The Mito neither steers nor rides with the precision and composure you expect of a sporty-looking supermini.”
What owners say 
4.28875
4.3 /5 based on 80 reviews
68%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
12 Feb 2016
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