Alfa Romeo MiTo (2008 – 2018) Review

Alfa Romeo MiTo (2008 – 2018) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
If style is your top priority then it’s tricky to top the MiTo. That won’t be enough for many buyers though - and the MiTo falls short in too many other areas.

+Great looks and some really nice details inside and out, TwinAir and MultiAir engines are fun.

-Not particularly good to drive, can't compete with Audi A1 or MINI for quality, not great value.

Insurance Groups are between 8–27
On average it achieves 75% of the official MPG figure

The Alfa Romeo MiTo was the Italian firm’s reply to premium small hatches such as the MINI, Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series, as well the likes of the DS3. It was also aimed at more mainstream offerings like the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo in their more upmarket trims. Alfa made a great job of the styling, though the MiTo was only ever offered as a three-door hatch, and it delivered a driving experience with a definite leaning towards the sporty as you might expect of this company. Launched in 2009, the MiTo enjoyed a nine-year lifespan through various trims until reaching the end in 2018.

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.

Ask Honest John

Why is my Alfa Romeo MiTo burning oil?

"I recently bought a 2012 Alfa Romeo Mito with 100k on the clock. Whilst testing it, it drove nice and was smoke-free but following it on the way home when warmed up I knew it was burning oil. Could it be something obvious and worth spending on or will it mean spending loads investigating as it could be turbo, valves? "
Might be the turbo bearing oil seals, valve stem oil seal, piston rings or the injectors.
Answered by Dan Powell

Is there a pure petrol engine that is tax free?

"Is there a pure petrol engine that is tax free?"
If bought new before April 2017: Alfa MiTo TwinAir 98g/km Citroen C1 manual from 2012 99g/km FIAT 500 TwinAir 95g/km FIAT Punto TwinAir 98g/km Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost 100PS 99g/km Honda Insight 80g/km (original coupe model) Hyundai i10 Blue (from February 2011) KIA Picanto 1.0 3-cylinder 2011 model 99g/km KIA Picanto 1.25 4-cylinder with ISG 100g/km Lexus CT200h 96g/km, Lexus IS300h 99g/km Nissan Micra K13 Supercharged Peugeot 107 manual from 2012 99g/km Peugeot 208 1.0 3-cylinder 99g/km SEAT Mii 1.0 Ecomotive 97g/km Skoda Citigo 1.0 Ecomotive 97g/km Toyota Aygo 5-spd manual from 2012 99g/km Toyota IQ 1.0 5-spd manual 99g/km Toyota Yaris hybrid 89g/km Toyota Auris hybrid Toyota Prius III VW Up! 1.0 Bluemotion 97g/km
Answered by Honest John

Comfortable small car - Mito with active suspension?

"I've been doing masses of research on comfortable cars and came upon an article you wrote for a national newspaper...In it you wrote about the Alfa Romeo Mito Cloverleaf - with SDC suspension - that I'm interested in. That car particularly because it's got to be small enough to fit in my drive and maneouvable off a busy main road. I couldn't see a date on the article so I'm wondering whether your thoughts on this car are still valid or would there be newer, better, more modern alternatives by now? You can appreciate I favour plush and soft riding cars!"
This might be what you mean, but it wasn't written "for a national newspaper", it was written for the HJUK website: More recently, the new Citroen C3 has excellent seats:, the new Peugeot 3008 is vary good: and the new Toyota C-HR, tested this Monday/Tuesday has an outstanding combination of ride quality and handling due to proper, fully independent suspension: VAG's MQB cars (A3, Golf, Leon) when fitted with independent rear suspension (GT/FR spec upwards) are very good. But the easiest way to turn an average car into one with much better ride quality, less tyre noise and better steering feel is to fit it with Michelin Cross Climate tyres run at cold pressures of 30-31PSI.
Answered by Honest John

How reliable are Alfa Romeo twin clutch autos?

"I have read about the problems with Volkswagen dry clutch autos. Does the same issue exist with the Alfa Romeo TCT auto? Also does this Alfa gearbox need any maintenance? "
The Alfa TCT is wet clutch and yes, will require fresh fluid and filter every three years. Reports suggest has been more reliable than DSGs and Powershifts, but not as many of them around so that may be the reason for not as many reports of failures. I'd stick with six-speed torque converter, now available in some Focus models, all Mazdas, some Citroens and Peugeots and five and nine speed torque converters in some Hondas.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Alfa Romeo MiTo (2008 – 2018) cost?