Having loved the old MINI’s and Fiat 500’s and revelling in their return to the car market with fantastic cars I was keen to set my eye on a car which was not only a supermini but also an Alfa Romeo.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo, designed in Milan and built in Torino (hence the name) has built their first ever supermini based on the simple principle of sexy styling with an £11,000 price tag, tempting for any mere mortal.
The exterior of the MiTo takes hints of inspiration from the achingly beautiful Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, with similar if not softened front air intakes, and lights. Much like it’s range topping cousin, the MiTo has an immense challenge of competing in a well established market. Give me Ferrari and Lamboughini to compete with any day over what the Alfa Romeo MiTo has however. The daunting challenge of competing with a giant seller such as the BMW MINI and the heart warming FIAT 500, not to mention the Vorsprung durch Technik of the new Audi A1, this is a dog eat dog market. All we need now is an American challenger and we will have the car equivalent of WW2 (although they will probably join in a few years time when the MINI has nearly won).
The Alfa Romeo MiTo does have a lot on its side however, most importantly a badge which signifies in its self the joy of driving. Much like the synonymous images which were conjured up of the MINI’s return to market, it’s hard not to have the same feelings for any Alfa Romeo, even if it is a supermini.
Take a look inside the Alfa Romeo MiTo and you will find a low seating position, back hugging seats and a choice of hides that wouldn’t look out of place on a Gucci handbag. The deepset sporty dials and sweeping dashboard finish off the charm, while the Blue&Me TomTom sterio option will keep you safe while chatting to your friends about where to meet for a Macchiato.
Engine choice includes 95bhp and 120bhp petrol units, plus 90bhp and 120bhp diesels - all of which are cheap to tax and fuel, while arguably the most intriguing element of the MiTo’s drivetrain is a small switch mounted next to the shifter on the centre console. Alfa calls this the DNA system, derived from Ferrari’s manettino switch, allowing the driver to switch between Dynamic, Normal and All-Weather modes.
Although having slightly numb feeling in the steering, and having a ride which will see you cracking your veneers as you bounce over potholes, Alfa Romeo’s Q2 system which uses the front brakes to rein in the engine under hard acceleration works extremely well even with a very heavy foot.
Even at £14,975 for the range-topping model, the MiTo is huge value for money. And next year the hottest MiTo of them all will arrive: the fiery 230bhp GTA, which will feature an all-new 1750cc turbo-charged four-cylinder petrol engine, producing real high powered hot hatch performance.
British supermini buyers have a great choice of cars this year, and the future looks even brighter.