What is it?
We’ve already driven several versions of the tweaked-for-2014 Mito, and it’s fair to say that Alfa’s elderly supermini hasn’t exactly set our trousers alight. Thankfully, this time round it’s the turn of the Quadrifoglio Verde, which, in its former life as the Cloverleaf, was by far our favourite version.
That’s good news for Alfa, because in keeping with its current theme of incredibly gentle facelifts, there isn’t much actual facelifting to report. As with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV, the most noticeable alteration comes in the shape of the six-speed TCT transmission – fitted to the spriteliest Mito for the first time.
The 1.4-litre MultiAir engine it’s mated with is unchanged, which means you get 168bhp from 5500rpm and 184lb ft of torque at less than half that. Because the gearbox is heavier than its predecessor and there’s no launch control to aid a standing start, the Cloverleaf’s 0-62mph time is only bested by a negligible 0.2 seconds – despite quicker shift times.
Instead, the more prominent improvement comes in the form of running cost gains, where Alfa Romeo claims a 10 per cent improvement in economy, to 52.3mpg, and an 11 per cent drop in emissions, to 124g/km – placing it shoulder-to-shoulder with the automatic version of the latest Mini Cooper S (at 54.3mpg and 122g/km, respectively).
That comparison can’t have escaped Turin; at £20,210, the new Mito QV is a very direct rival to Oxford’s most famous son. For that outlay you get a new flat-bottomed steering wheel, revised instrument dials, 18-inch wheels, a carbonfibre-effect dashboard and a five-inch touchscreen infotainment system which includes sat-nav.