Alfa Romeo MiTo hatchback

£12,760 - £20,300

The Alfa Romeo MiTo is a small supermini with a big slice of Italian style. It also offers a wide selection of efficient engines and a lengthy list of options to personalise the car. There's even a decent amount of space inside – it can just about fit four adults.

On the downside, it's not as comfortable as the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo or Citroen DS3. It also lacks the overall quality and premium feel of the MINI and Audi A1, while even the cheaper Vauxhall Adam feels better built.

Some of the plastics and panels used inside look and feel cheap, while the driving position is quite cramped and uncomfortable. The firm suspension thumps over bumpy roads and plenty of noise gets into the cabin at speed.

However, the engines offer great fuel economy, which goes some way towards making up for the MiTo's other issues. There's a choice of three petrols and two diesels. The two-cylinder TwinAir petrol is the cheapest and also arguably the best choice, thanks to its 99g/km CO2 emissions, tax-free status and claimed 67.2mpg fuel economy. And in spite of its tiny 875cc capacity, it produces 105bhp, enough to accelerate the car from 0-62mph in 11.4 seconds.

The offbeat hum and vibration of the two-cylinder TwinAir engine isn’t for everyone, though. Fortunately, the bigger MultiAir petrol impresses with its smoothness and is available with either 140 or 170bhp.

The diesels are popular, too: there's the choice of a 1.3-litre 85bhp or a 1.6-litre 120bhp MultiJet here. The less powerful of those two claims over 80mpg fuel economy and 90g/km CO2 emissions, while even the quicker 120bhp car is claimed to return 65.7mpg.

The TwinAir petrols and diesels come with a manual gearbox, while the MultiAir petrol is exclusively paired up with a TCT twin-clutch automatic. The Alfa Romeo MiTo isn’t cheap, though: prices start at just under £15,000 and rise to just under £19,000.