When I was asked about my star of the London motor show I had no hesitation in opting for the Alfa Mito. 

 Okay, so it’s not a high-performance icon like the Megane R26R or Focus RS. And, as it’s already in production, it lacks the show-stopping capacity of concepts like the OSM. But after meeting it in the metal for the first time, I really like it.

So why do I feel the need to justify my choice? Well, Alfa’s baby hatch seems to be polarising opinion in the office at the moment, with the majority definitely not feeling the love for the Mito.

I can’t comment on the driving experience, but what made my mind up was the interior of the Mito, which to me seems to exude the same kind of high-quality finish as a Mini or any of its premium rivals.

The seats were comfortable, the dash was well-laid out, the materials were good quality and I felt like I was sitting behind the wheel of a car worth the £10k-plus that it will cost.

Plus, I really like the looks. Styling is subjective, we all know that, but I couldn’t walk past the Mito without getting a good look and admiring the sweeping lines.

I’m not being unrealistic here. I don’t believe that the Mito will make a huge difference to the seemingly unstoppable Mini sales. But as someone who’s always been a sucker for the nostalgic (and distinctly clichéd) Italian ‘flair’ you get in Alfas, I’m pleased to see a car wearing the famous serpent badge that also appears to equal its rivals for build quality.

Time will tell whether, as some of my colleagues have warned, the show cars are not a good measure of a car’s true quality. But for now, at least, I remain an unashamed fan of the Mito.