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Alfa Romeo Mito 0.9 TwinAir 105hp Sportiva Review

Striking styling stands out against any rival

December 2013

picture of car from the front picture of car from the rear picture of car interior picture of car detail

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5 stars

Likes:

  • Striking styling stands out against any rival
  • High quality of workmanship in the optional interior leathers
  • TwinAir engine offers unparalleled character and enjoyment
  • Supportive seats offer good all-round comfort

Gripes:

  • Ride is far too firm in the DNA selector's Dynamic mode
  • Fuel economy is generally poor because of the hard use the engine encourages
  • Rear visibility is restricted by thick C-pillars
  • Expensive purchase prices for desirable models
This is a car that's centred on style, and its curvaceous Alfa looks have distinguished it from the supermini mainstream ever since the model's launch a few years prior to the arrival of this updated version. Sales have been convincing in the UK, but there's always room for improvement and the Italian firm hopes to achieve that with new convenience technology.

The main count against the Mito is just how expensive it gets in the upper echelons of the range, and while Alfa Romeo executives will claim that it's a premium product going head to head with the likes of the Audi A1 and Mini, the reality is, in too many ways, too far from that to be realistic.

In terms of quality and residual values it's competing more on a level with superminis from Ford, Seat, Honda and the myriad other mainstream manufacturers' efforts. That puts it in a slightly awkward position in the marketplace, as though it's trying too hard and, by the premium manufacturer rulebook at least, underachieving.

This new-for-2014 model is actually little changed on the outside, with the majority of the updates coming in the cabin in the shape of a new sat-nav unit and media interface. Lower models feature it too, only without the sat-nav. It offers new, fresh and engaging graphics that differentiate it from the largely sober, dull opposition.

Also central to the Mito is the driving behaviour switch, known as the DNA selector. It toggles between three different drivetrain setups that alter the way the suspension and engine respond, and it's integral to Alfa's desire to make the Mito seem like a fun, advanced and good-to-drive option.

Our verdict on the Alfa Romeo Mito 0.9 TwinAir 105hp Sportiva
The Mito is a little out of step with the rest of the supermini market, whether mainstream or premium. Its latest tech updates have certainly narrowed the gap to the class leaders and the Mito remains itself class-leading in the style stakes, but there is still work to be done. A drive mode selector option that gave full power along with softer, more compliant suspension would be a great start. At least the TwinAir engine adds huge, unique character.