Dynamically, the Alfa Romeo Mito doesn’t even meet the class standard, let alone our hopes for a brand as illustrious as Alfa. It has some good points: it grips strongly, changes direction well and entertains if pushed. But there are some crashing inadequacies.
First, the ride quality is poor. Over large potholes the Mito is relatively supple. But it takes only the shortest drive for the real problem to become obvious: a restless patter that stays with you regardless of speed. And show the Mito a challenging road and there’s too much rear axle movement.
The second issue is the steering, which is lifeless just off centre. The steering also suffers from two imperfect DNA modes: Normal is too light, while Dynamic feels springy. In either mode there isn’t much in the way of feedback, and the assistance is inconsistent especially a few degrees either side of dead-centre in Dynamic mode.
The third mode, All Weather offers a disconnected feel that is rare in any small car, let alone one that sells on Alfa’s sporting heritage.
In the 170bhp 1.4 TB petrol models, the DNA system also configures the adaptive suspension. Here, oddly, Dynamic 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.