Alfa Romeo MiTo (2008 - )
Last updated 20 December 2014
On turbocharged Alfa Romeo MiTos, illumination of the engine management light when the engine is under load may be due to a split in the turbo pipe.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo is an Italian take on the upmarket small car, competing with rivals like the Audi A1. It offers a stylish design but sadly doesn’t feel quite up to the quality of a MINI or Citroen DS3, nor is it quite as good to drive. It’s not the most practical small car either, which leaves it lagging in quite a few key areas.
There is still a lot to like though – the looks ape those of the 8C supercar and the more recent 4C, plus there’s a good degree of customisation on offer. Buyers can choose from some great alloy wheel designs and a host of interior finishes, including great-looking leather upholstery in a choice of colours. Unfortunately things are let down by some poor quality plastics and a dowdy design.
The engine range consists of 0.9-litre TwinAir and 1.4-litre MultiAir petrols with power outputs of between 105PS and 170PS, plus a 1.3-litre JTDM diesel with 85PS and a 1.6-litre JTDM diesel with 120PS. The characterful TwinAir suits the MiTo well and offers low emissions of 99g/km, so it’s a good choice. Those who need outright pace can choose the 170PS petrol in the Quadrifoglio Verde model, while the diesels offer impressive economy.
Practicality could be better – the MiTo doesn’t offer much space in the back row and access is tight. The boot has a tall lip, which makes it tricky to load and unload – and it’s not particularly spacious or well-shaped either. Cars like the Audi A1 and Citroen DS3 are better on the practicality front, particularly the A1 thanks to a four-door Sportback offering - there's no five door MiTo.
Thankfully the MiTo is reasonable to drive. It rides fairly well over speed bumps and the steering is immediate and direct. It’s not perfect though – the otherwise reasonabe ride quality is poor over broken road surfaces and while there is plenty of grip, the handling doesn’t inspire spirited driving.
If style is your top priority then it’s tricky to top the MiTo – it has Italian flair by the bucketload and you can make it your own thanks to a good range of customisation options. That won’t be enough for many buyers though - and the MiTo falls short in too many other areas to be a worthy contender for the stylish hatchback crown.
Comfortable, fast and striking looking alternative to the German offerings.On 1 May 2014
Fun with too many issuesOn 20 July 2013
Life SaverOn 3 April 2013