This was the most disappointing area for previous Mito models, but the new Cloverleaf offers both more driver reward and better ride comfort. It is only on this range-topping model that Alfa Romeo has changed the damper attributes, and it is not flawless, but the Cloverleaf covers broken and rutted road surfaces with better body control and more supple damper absorption.
Oddly, the DNA system’s sport mode is preferable to normal, even in town. By selecting normal, the car keeps its softer setting unless it senses that the driving style demands otherwise, but its extra suspension rebound actually makes for a less comfortable ride, even if occupants are more isolated from breaks in the road surface. The firmer setting in dynamic helps eliminate the rebound and the dampers still effectively cushion occupants from most of the tarmac’s imperfections.
The Cloverleaf also handles better than previous Mitos. The steering responds with less of the artificial springing sensation and, together with the firmer damping, it allows the driver to benefit from a sharp turn-in and nimble chassis response. Unfortunately, while it has improved, the sterile steering disappoints no matter which DNA setting is selected.
Although there is body roll, the weight settles progressively on the suspension into a corner and stabilises very quickly, making this car a predictable steer even at high speeds on a track. Predictably, if you carry too much speed into a corner, the Mito will understeer until you lift off the throttle, when it will pull itself back into line.
Everything about the Mito speaks of a car that is set up to be very safe, but it doesn’t detract from the fun. In dynamic mode, if not in any other mode, it has quick responses, plenty of grip, a well-balanced chassis and a usable engine that makes it a thoroughly likable performance hatch.