The Alfa MiTo is a cocktail. Everything Alfa Romeo has learned about sporting performance been mixed together to produce a compact car that looks good, performs brilliantly and is great fun to drive. And it’s just got cheaper.
Despite being small, this is unmistakably an Alfa Romeo. It oozes Italian style, with the distinctive Alfa grille and offset number plate. The car’s profile rises gently towards a high and distinctive rear end, with classic Alfa cues. From the side, the lack of B-pillars means a large area of glass which adds to its good looks, and helps the interior ambience. This is a sleek and stylish little sports compact.
Looking at it from the rear, its wide wheels sit flush with flared arches giving it a stable, muscular stance which emphasises its limpet-like grip.
Inside the three-door Alfa is as you would expect, with all effort concentrated on driver comfort and convenience. Sports seats hug you in a cockpit which is designed primarily for the driver. The front passenger seat is equally comfortable, but rear seat passengers may find themselves cramped for legroom, though headroom is surprisingly good.
But most people buy Alfa Romeos for their handling and their excellent engines. This won’t disappoint.
I drove the award-winning 1.4 MultiAir 170 bhp option. This unit has sparkling performance, but is quiet and efficient, with more than respectable fuel consumption of 47.1 mpg in mixed driving.
It’s a real pleasure to drive. Linked to a slick six speed manual gearbox the engine is quiet and unruffled throughout. It never sounds or feels under pressure and delivers power exactly when you want it. A floor-mounted switch can move you from normal, dynamic or all-weather settings. This adjusts the car’s responses depending on road conditions.
Ride and handling are exceptional, with crisp and positive steering response and nicely damped suspension to give a smooth ride. The Alfa’s grip on the road is never uncertain, even when cornering at speed. A small, nicely sculpted steering wheel adds to the driving pleasure.
Equipment levels are good. I drove the Green Cloverleaf special edition which includes distinctive 17 inch alloys, front armrest with storage compartment, conspicuous red-painted brake callipers, rear spoiler, Bluetooth phone system, steering wheel mounted controls, air conditioning, automatic stop/start, all-round airbags including knee airbags, electric windows and CD player as standard.
This is an easy car to like – particularly with its striking bright red paintwork – and I was sorry to see it go. The whole thing comes at a value-for-money £18,755 on the road.