I’ve been waiting around 15 years to drive the Alfa Mito. I was a big fan of the small front-drivers from the 70s and 80s, and, let’s face it, 145s and 147s have hardly hit the spot.

The Mito is different, though. If you’ve got reservations about the way it looks, hold them until you see one on the metal. It looks fantastic. Brilliantly proportioned, taut, and glamorous, inside and out – especially for the money.

The 1.4-litre turbo I was driving feels extremely sprightly too. It’s got a great driving position, feels better built than any Alfa hatch I’ve ever been in and has much more usable space than a Mini, which must surely be considered as its natural rival.

There is a but though and that’s the ride. It’s yet another Italian that can’t really cope with British ruts and bumps. Would this be enough to put me off buying one though? Almost. I just wish they’d let an acknowledged chassis tuner such as Lotus loose on it for a couple of months.

But even if it stays as is it shouldn’t stop the Mito being a big success, because it deserves to be.

So the Mito’s been (nearly) worth the wait.