Multiair is a strong, economical real-world Cooper fighter
It weighs in at 1135kg, and has 130bhp
152lb ft of torque at an astonishingly low 1750rpm
Engine pulls from 1000rpm in fifth
Alfa claims 0-62mph in 8.4sec - it feels faster
Mito has all the hallmarks of an Alfa interior
Bushes have been modified to boost stability
Steering system has been tweaked to aid turn-in
First DriveAlfa fits six-speed TCT transmission to its spritely 'Cloverleaf' version of its ageing supermini
First DriveTwo-cylinder Mito proves occasional good fun when pushed hard, but predictably fails to deliver on the claimed economy front
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.
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.