Alfa Romeo MiTo -

Used Car Review

Alfa Romeo MiTo, front
Alfa Romeo MiTo, side
Alfa Romeo MiTo, rear
Vauxhall Astra GTC, dashboard

SO many of today's superminis follow the same shape they all seem to meld into one another.

But there are a few, like the MINI and the DS 3, that stand out from the crowd, and they're matched or bettered in style by the Alfa Romeo MiTo built from 2009 to 2018.

It's a stunning and very distinctive three door with a lovely shape in the Italian marque's tradition, and decent to superb performance from engines with a wide range of power outputs.

It's worth noting that for a supermini, interior space is good, with legroom enough for four adults but there is a main drawback in that the sporting suspension is pretty hard. So make sure you can live with the firm ride before you part with your cash.

Incidentally, when you take a test drive in any car - and never buy without one - do at least five miles to show up any problems when it gets warm.

The smallest petrol offering in the MiTo is the TwinAir 900cc two cylinder turbo from the Fiat 500, which sounds brilliant and is very economical, but it's also a little slow, only managing a 0 to 60 miles an hour time of 11 seconds in higher powered 105bhp form, even if it is good for 67 miles per gallon.

All the other petrols are based on the same 1.4 - in turbocharged and non-turbocharged forms. The base model without a turbo has 93bhp and can get to 60 in 10.8 seconds while giving a best of 47mpg.

And the range topper is a 170bhp rocket that scorches to 60 in 7.3 seconds while still being capable of the same economy!

In between are 105, 120, 135 and 155bhp models with gradually reducing 60 sprint times and economy ranging from 43 to 50mpg.

There are also 1.3 and 1.6-litre diesels with 85, 95 or 118 bhp, and the 1.6 has pretty good performance along with 60mpg economy. It can get to 60 in 9.6 seconds.

The 95bhp 1.3 is capable of 65mpg and takes 11.2 second to get to 60.

All engines drive the front wheels through a five or six speed gearbox, and this has the slickest of changes allied to a light clutch.

In the turbo 1.4s there is a dash ‘DNA' button that electronically changes driving characteristics by adjusting the weight of the steering, engine power and traction control, and this really makes a difference to driving feel.

Of course, that sporting suspension gives excellent roadholding and grip on almost every surface.

There are an amazing 22 trim levels, many of them based on the major ones but with added equipment.

Progression, Distinctive and QV Line were the main levels in 2015 with the Green Cloverleaf 170bhp scorcher at the top.

Mid-range spec brings the essential traction control, aircon, alloys, remote locking, cloth seats, audio remote control, bluetooth and an alarm.

Height and reach adjustable steering and height adjust driver's seat help to give a very good driving position for all sizes, and the front seats are well-shaped and supportive through fast corners.

However, poor noise insulation, lack of cabin storage and so-so interior quality means it trails rivals.

Pay about £4,150 for a '15 15-reg 1.6JTDM diesel Distinctive, or £10,100 for an '18 18-reg 140bhp 1.4 MultiAir QV Line.

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