THAT bright spark of superminis, the Alfa Romeo MiTo has brought a lot of Italian sunshine to British driveways.
This irrepressible character is no newcomer, but an established part of the Alfa scene in the UK and its current line-up is a fresh as the day it was launched.
This example, a 1.3 JTDM-2 95bhp proved that the old Alfa character is still bubbling away with power courtesy of a punchy four-cylinder diesel with 112mph in its sights and capable of whisking the car from a standstill to 62mph in 12.5 seconds.
But one of this car's biggest claims to fame is its combined fuel economy readout of 83.1mpg and CO2 emissions of only 89g/km.
Although the MiTo is the entry model into the Alfa range it has all the swagger and style of some of the famous Alfas of the past and present.
It was revamped a short time ago with the current design cues and trim levels of its new stablemates.
Changes included a new sports grille, dark-finish headlamp bezels a revised rear bumper and new alloy wheels, while inside there were new upholstery materials.
One notable feature, a Â£750 option on this Â£16,080 car was Alfa's Uconnect system which includes map navigation, a five-inch colour touchscreen plus Bluetooth, MP3 player and DAB radio.
The updated 1.3-litre JTDM-2 turbo diesel gives slightly more power than the engine it replaced.
The MiTo is something of a Jekyll and Hyde to drive because the Alfa sporting character is encompassed in the DNA drive mode selector. DNA is this case stands for Dynamic, Natural and All-Weather.
Select Natural for everyday driving, but switch to Dynamic and the old Alfa magic kicks in. Not to a massive extent, but enough to enhance driving enjoyment and demonstrate just what a competent suspension set up this car has.
In Dynamic mode, the engine revs more freely, throttle response is sharper and the steering response is much more sharp. The 0-62mph figure is certainly not earth shattering but you do seem to be accelerating faster than you really are in this setting.