Stylish small premium car that's ageing well
- Strong performance
- Distinctive Alfa styling
- Excellent turbocharged petrol engines
- Firm ride
- Diesels off the pace
- High boot sill
The Alfa Romeo Mito is an Italian MINI - the kind of car Alfa should have been building years ago. It's trendy and eye-catching, making it ideal for the fashion-conscious car buyer.
Interior quality below par
It’s not perfect, though. A harsh ride, poor noise insulation, lack of cabin storage space and interior quality that falls short of the standards of its rivals all conspire to spoil the experience.
The various different plastics used throughout the interior feel cheap and low-quality, as do the minor controls and switchgear.
DNA driving modes
A key ingredient in the way the Mito drives is its ‘DNA’ system. The first Alfa Romeo to feature the program, the Mito has three driving modes selected via a switch ahead of the gear lever: Dynamic, Normal and All-weather.
They change the power steering, engine and traction control settings, among other factors, and the car feels markedly different depending on which mode is selected. Engine response, for instance, is much more immediate in Dynamic mode, which also makes the steering far heavier.
Depending on your point of view, it’s either a fun gadget or a frustrating system that makes you wish Alfa had picked one optimum setting and stuck with it rather than offering several compromised choices.
A year after its launch Alfa raised the bar with its MultiAir petrol models. Incorporating new technology that makes it run more efficiently, the Mito was given more power, lower emissions and improved fuel economy.
There was also the introduction of the sporty 170bhp Cloverleaf model – a return of an iconic performance badge. That model has since been replaced by the similar Quadrifoglio Verde derivative.
2012 saw the addition of Fiat’s clever two-cylinder Twin Air petrol engine, producing more than 80bhp from less than 0.9 litres along with low CO2 emissions.
In autumn 2013, Alfa announced a range of updates in time for the 2014 model year including a touchscreen multimedia system and a new version of the TwinAir engine with 104bhp.
The Mito also got a bit of makeup with chrome plating on the front grille, tinted rear windows and a different finish for the headlights together with new seat fabrics and dashboard colour schemes.
The Parkers verdict
Buyers who opt for the Mito over the MINI can be confident of owning a car that's far less common, more attractively priced and better equipped as well as more practical.
Couple that with strong resale values and affordable lease and running costs and it's clear that this is the first small Alfa in a very long time that appeals to both the heart and the head.
For the full low-down on this stylish supermini, navigate through the categories below for the rest of our Alfa Romeo Mito review.
What owners say about this car
I kinda like it but sometimes kinda hate it. The ride isn't good, lots of bangs and rattles especially over... Read owner review
Boot lip quite high and storage not great. I often ended up using the back seats instead. Read owner review
Not the most practical of cars due to its size, perfect for me tho as most of the time it... Read owner review