Alex Kersten
15 January 2012

What is it?

Alfa’s modestly refreshed Mito range brings with it lower entry prices, higher standard specifications and a fuel-sipping, sub-100g/km CO2 version tested here.

This new 1.3-litre turbodiesel Mito is the cheapest diesel and most frugal version in the line-up. The engine is one you’ll also find in the Fiat Punto and Vauxhall Corsa, although power outputs and economy differ slightly.

In the Mito, it emits just 95g/km, making it exempt from road tax and the London congestion charge. Alfa also claims an average of over 75mpg. On paper, things look promising.

What's it like?

In practice, however, this eco model disappoints. In the lower regions of its torque band, the engine’s turbocharger doesn’t respond quickly enough, making smooth progress between the Mito’s five forward gears strangled and frustrating, especially in traffic. A six-speed ’box would probably ease this but isn’t offered.

Other mechanical gripes include a gruff-sounding engine, spongy steering and a hesitant stop-start system that doesn’t spark up the engine quickly enough when called upon. Intrusive tyre roar, especially at motorway speeds, is another issue.

The ride is fidgety and sports-car firm; add to this an impractical ride height, which causes the Mito’s front end to kiss – sometimes hammer – the tarmac over speed bumps and town driving can be challenging. On the plus side, though, front-end grip is great, making this a fun car to pilot on twisty (but smooth) roads.

Inside, you get plenty of kit – cruise control, Bluetooth and air-con are included – and the seating position is second to none, but the Mito’s interior quality can’t compare with the superior fit and finish of its diesel-powered Audi A1 and Mini rivals. It’s also lacking in cubbyholes.

Should I buy one?

The 1.3 JTDm-2 certainly isn’t the best model in the Mito range (that’s the 1.4TB MultiAir), but it is priced very competitively. And although our 200-mile mixed-driving test route didn’t return Alfa Romeo’s keen average fuel economy figure, 53mpg is still respectable.

However, given the fierce competition, the Mito fails to shine. The ride is too compromised and the Germans simply do it better.

Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTDm-2 Sprint

Price: £14,450; Top speed: 108mph; 0-60mph: 12.9sec; Economy: 78.5mpg; Co2: 95g/km; Kerbweight: 1150kg; Engine type, cc: 4 cyls in line, 1248cc, turbodiesel; Power: 85bhp at 3500rpm; Torque: 148lb ft at 1500rpm; Gearbox: 5-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
42

Re: Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTDm-2

2 years 26 weeks ago

The Mito is a car I always liked until I drove one. I was so utterly disappointed in it. I like the looks, although they aren't the best. But as the article says, the ride quality is shocking! I had a smart fortwo at the time, which has a dreadful ride, but it was much better than the mito. Then there was the steering. Worst set up ever. Only way to describe it was it was like the steering wheel was connected to the front wheels by elastic bands. In the end, I bought a MINI instead.

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10 years of Smart ownership over, sensible car mode activated

Re: Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTDm-2

2 years 26 weeks ago

Thanks but no thanks.

Sad when you only make two cars, and can't even get one of them right.

Re: Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTDm-2

2 years 26 weeks ago

I can't remember the last time I saw a Mito, is anybody buying them?

Re: Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTDm-2

2 years 26 weeks ago

Its always sad when a great looking car is let down by poor dynamics. I'm sure Alfa can do so much better.


Re: Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTDm-2

2 years 26 weeks ago

Lee23404 wrote:

I can't remember the last time I saw a Mito, is anybody buying them?

There is one I walk past every night when I take the dog out. Looks highly specced as well

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10 years of Smart ownership over, sensible car mode activated

Re: Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTDm-2

2 years 26 weeks ago

superstevie wrote:
Lee23404 wrote:

I can't remember the last time I saw a Mito, is anybody buying them?

There is one I walk past every night when I take the dog out. Looks highly specced as well

Well that's one then.

I really do worry about Alfa. The two dealers I know have both closed and sales aren't exactly brilliant, even in Italy. The Giulietta was in the top 20 sales chart in Italy last year, the first Alfa in the top 20 since the 33 (which obviously means the Mito never made it to the top 20).

If Alfa can't sell a small Italian car sucessfully in Italy there's no hope for them.

Re: Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTDm-2

2 years 26 weeks ago

"The ride is fidgety and sports-car firm, no matter which of the three ‘DNA’ electronic damper settings you’re in"

There's a reason for that.

The dampers are only linked to the DNA settings on the Cloverleaf, on all the other versions the DNA affects the steering and engine mapping.

Autocar got this wrong when the Mito was launched and stil get it wrong.

Unacceptable, again, by Autocar

Re: Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTDm-2

2 years 26 weeks ago

Its a shame Alfa couldnt get this car right, otherwise im sure it would have sold alot better especially with sub 100g/km Co2 emsission. I think they almost needed to get it right to as they only have 2 cars in their range since Marchionne seems to be floundering about with the 159 replacement, how can alfa even be profitable at the moment?

Re: Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTDm-2

2 years 26 weeks ago

To correct my previous post, the Giulietta is the first car Alfa has had in the top 10 in Italy in the last 20 years, not the top 20. The Mito was the 23rd best selling car in Italy in 2011.

Re: Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTDm-2

2 years 26 weeks ago

Bring back the Alfasud, with a galvanised body, keep the flat 4, and all will be forgiven. I had one as a hire car for 10 days in the Lake District. Fantastic. Trouble with chasing low emissions is that this seems to seriously compromise usability. I'd rather pay the road tax and have more fun. I never drive into London, so saving on the congestion charge holds no attraction as far as I am concerned. I go by train.

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Our Verdict

The Alfa Romeo Mito is a usable, fun package, but the DNA system frustrates

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