From £13,840
A strong, economical real-world Mini Cooper fighter

Our Verdict

The Alfa Romeo Mito is a usable, fun package, even if its DNA drive modes can prove frustrating

12 October 2009
Alfa Romeo Mito 1.4 135 Multiair

What is it?

Alfa Romeos have long sold on their looks and chintzy nods to history, but that all stops with this car.

The Mito’s upgraded Multiair engine doesn’t just introduce a complex, new technology. It’s also just plain good.

All of a sudden, the Mito is starting to look a seriously tempting proposition.

What's it like?

The engine's so strong that it feels more like a mid-sized six pot and the numbers say it can overboost the turbo to deliver 152lb ft of torque at an astonishingly low 1750rpm.

Given that it weighs only 1135kg, that’s more than enough to accompany the 130bhp of power and it gives the MiTo a spread of strength that most four pots can only dream about.

It’s so flexible that Alfa dispensed with its predecessor’s weightier (and more expensive) six-speed gearbox in favour of a wider-spread five speeder, with some justification. It will pull from just 1000rpm in fifth gear, there’s none of the traditional off-boost blah, either, and the low-rev strength lessens the surging feel of the turbo once it does kick in properly.

Alfa claims it will sprint from 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds, which feels a touch pessimistic, and says it will top out at 129mph. Neither figure really matters, because when you push down on the pedal, at any rpm, it just works. It’s still a sweet spinner, but it’s now the most flexible car Alfa has ever made.

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There have also been fiddles to the steering system and the bushes to make it a bit more stable at the straight-ahead and to help it turn-in more reliably, both of which work pretty well.

But they’re dominated by an engine that introduces something completely new, but doesn’t trumpet it from the mountain tops. It just torques the torque and gets on with it.

And about time, too.

Should I buy one?

Okay, so this car lacks the sizzle of the Quadrifoglio Verde, but MultiAir turns the workhorse of the MiTo range into a strong, economical real-world Cooper fighter.

If you're in the market for that sort of car, you'd be a fool not to take the Mito out for a test drive.

Michael Taylor

Join the debate


16 October 2009

£12,745 is the on-the-road price for the current, superseded? 1.4 120BHP Turismo Mito. Are you really saying the new MultiAir, more powerful version will be the same price A/Car?

Come on, play fair, you're misleading people. Surely there'll be a price hike, taking it closer to £14k than £13k, minimum. A/Car again showing its blatant bias?

Alfa UK are not showing this new version's price on its website yet. Alfa Germany are and put it at €18.8k, suggesting the pound price version will again be closer to £14/15k given the exchange rate.

16 October 2009

After all what Autocar have written about Multiair engines, I'd like to see a comaprison between Mito Multiair (but in 170 PS spec) and Ibiza Cupra. 1.4 vs 1.4, Multiair vs Twincharger. That should tell us whether Multiair is really such a breakthrough, or just an upgraded version of Variable Valve Timing?

16 October 2009

i love this car and by far one of the best in its class for exclusivity and individuality

16 October 2009

Is it true to say that Alfa have finally found a way to match the old 1750 and 2000 twin cam engines with their twin Dellorto side draughts? These never lacked for mid-range and were a feature of the GTV and Spyder

16 October 2009

I think I'll go to my local Alfa dealer to have a test drive of Mito with this engine - it looks really promising. There's only one thing where this baby Alfa can't match the rest of the package - the dashboard, and especially the steering wheel, don't look good enough.

17 October 2009

[quote JackB]the dashboard, and especially the steering wheel, don't look good enough.[/quote]

They look great from behind thewheel, I thought the same as you, judging from the pictures.

I test drove a 155 Veloce at launch and the das and wheel were fine, I liked them and th car a lot

I think its worth waiting for the Multi-Air versions, must try the 170 QV

17 October 2009

The dash and steering wheel look great in reality, looks very special - but somehow that doesnt come accros in photos.

MultiAir really seems to have moved the game on - cant wait to have a go at this and compare to my partners MiTo 155 Veloce. I may get one of my own!!

17 October 2009

I like this car it's quite funky!. Just a shame it will fall to bits when you start driving it home and be worth 10 pence in 3 years time.

17 October 2009

Alfa residuals have been pretty good of late - due to them not discounting so much at the dealership, under supply etc. And did you see where Alfa cam in the Gemran JD Power survey?? 2nd!! Says a lot from the Germans!!

18 October 2009

Alfa is still pretty low on the Euro JD Power Survey.

I dont trust them, and I think them teamed up with Chrysler is a bad idea, but well see.

If they can make it more reliable than the MINI, which that's not hard to do as the MINI is an unreliable POS Alfa will sell tons of them.


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