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The Mito looks stunning, has some fine engines and should hang on to its value well. All versions come with a five-year warranty, too.
It neither rides nor handles with the panache you’d expect of a premium supermini. Rear legroom is tight, rear visibility is poor and refinement isn’t great.
The Alfa Romeo Mito is a classic case of style over substance. It impresses in some areas, but has far too many weaknesses to compete with the Audi A1 or Mini.
The line-up of petrol engines kicks off with a 0.9-litre two-cylinder Twinair, which pulls strongly from low revs but doesn’t like to be revved. You’re much better off going for one of the turbocharged Multiairs; the 133bhp version is particularly impressive, with a strong and smooth power delivery. Diesel buyers have a choice of two engines: the 1.6 JTDm is lively, although the 1.3 is perfectly adequate for most buyers.
Ride & Handling
The Mito neither rides nor handles with the composure you’d expect from a premium supermini. In fact, at times it's crashingly firm, and sharp steering combined with sloppy body control make the Alfa feel nervous on twisty country lanes. High-spec versions with adaptive suspension are better, but are still nowhere near as good to drive as an Audi A1 or a Mini.
The Multiair petrol engines are generally smooth and quiet, whereas the two-cylinder Twinair lets the side down because you feel plenty of vibration through the pedals. The diesels are worse; the 1.6 is particularly intrusive at motorway speeds and clattery at start-up. All Mitos suffer from wind and road noise at higher speeds, and clunks from the suspension at low speeds.
Buying & Owning
The Mito is pricey for a supermini, but it’s cheaper to buy than a Mini and the desirable image will help keep resale values strong. For the lowest running costs, go for either the Twinair petrol engine or the 1.3 JTDm, because both emit less than 100g/km of CO2.
Quality & Reliability
The cabin feels pretty solid, but the materials aren’t anywhere near as dense or as plush as those in an Audi A1. Alfa Romeo has a poor reputation for durability, which is backed up by the latest JD Power survey; the Mito was rated near the bottom of all the cars featured, and scored badly for mechanical reliability. Still, at least the Mito comes with a five-year warranty.
Safety & Security
Not many superminis come with a roster of safety kit as comprehensive as the Mito's. All versions have stability control, seven airbags and active anti-whiplash head restraints. It's no surprise, then, that the Mito achieved the maximum five-star rating in crash tests conducted by Euro NCAP. All versions also come with an engine immobiliser and an alarm.
Behind The Wheel
The Mito’s seats are easy to adjust, but you might find the driving position rather uncomfortable, especially if you choose a version without lumbar support. Most of the dashboard controls are intuitive and clearly marked, but over-the-shoulder visibility through the small rear window is poor.
Space & Practicality
Three-door superminis don’t have to be the last word in practicality, but some rivals – including the Audi A1 – are better in this respect. The Alfa’s rear seats are small and difficult to access, the cabin feels dark and cramped, and while the boot is a decent 270 litres, the high load lip makes it hard to drop in heavy items.
Entry-level Sprint cars get air-conditioning, alloy wheels, Bluetooth and a USB socket, but we'd go for Distinctive trim, which adds larger wheels, rear parking sensors, lumbar support for the driver’s seat, cruise control and various aesthetic add-ons. Sportiva models look even sportier, while range-topping Quadrifoglio Verde cars have yet more sporty touches, plus sat-nav.