Review: Alfa Romeo MiTo (2008 – 2018)
Great looks and some really nice details inside and out. TwinAir and MultiAir engines are fun. 1.3 JTDM diesel is frugal.
Not particularly good to drive. Can't compete with Audi A1 or MINI for quality. Not great value. Not commodious. Difficult to get in and out of the back seat.
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Alfa Romeo MiTo (2008 – 2018): At A Glance
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.
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Alfa Romeo MiTo (2008 – 2018): What's It Like Inside?
The exterior of the MiTo might look exotic but the interior is quite disappointing. At a glance it looks pleasant enough, with deeply recessed instruments - lettered in Italian - and, on upper trim levels, beautiful seats, particularly when they’re trimmed in leather. But the plastics leave a lot to be desired and the layout of the centre stack is hardly eye-catching or memorable.
Space could be better too. The front row is fine but access to the back seats is tight, especially because no five-door is offered. There’s not much headroom or knee room for taller passengers, however children should be fine. The boot is reasonable for a car this size at 270 litres (a Fiesta has 290 litres), but it isn’t particularly wide and has a high load lip that makes loading bulky and heavy items tricky.
On the plus side there are some nice customisation options, including a selection of red, black or natural tan leather upholsteries, plus two-colour paint and some beautiful alloy wheel designs. There are comfort options too, like dual-zone climate control and heated front seats – but it can get expensive once you start ticking all those boxes.
On the plus side, standard equipment is reasonable. All cars get alloy wheels and a UConnect touch-screen system, which includes iPod connectivity. Air conditioning is standard, along with a good level of safety equipment. Upper trim levels get larger alloy wheels and extras like cruise control.
Sprint models come with DNA Switch, UConnect touch-screen, Bluetooth, USB and aux ports, 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, front fog lights, tinted rear windows and cloth interior upholstery.
Distinctive trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, red-painted brake calipers, rear parking sensors, cruise control, front arm rest, aluminium pedal trims, aluminium kickplates, chrome exhaust finishers and lumbar support, plus the option of upgrading to various leather upholstery finishes.
Sportiva models gain 18-inch alloy wheels and sport details inside and out.
Quadrifoglio Verde models come with the same equipment as Sportiva, plus Brembo brakes with red calipers, flat-bottomed steering wheel with shift paddles and white instrument dials with QV logo.
Child seats that fit a Alfa Romeo MiTo (2008 – 2018)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Alfa Romeo MiTo (2008 – 2018) like to drive?
The Alfa Romeo MiTo gets a good selection of petrol and diesel engines including the characterful 0.9-litre TwinAir and a proven and frugal 85PS 1.3-litre JTDM diesel. There is also a more powerful 1.6-litre diesel with 120PS, plus 1.4-litre MultiAir petrol engines with power outputs of 135PS or 170PS.
If economy is your chief concern then the 1.3 JTDM diesel is the one to go for. It offers acceptable pace thanks to a reasonable torque output of 200Nm, plus it’s free to tax and has an official economy figure of 80.7mpg. You might not see that in reality, buy you should at least see 60mpg.
The petrol engines are more fun though. The TwinAir offers a characterful, rumbling exhaust note and manages low emissions of 99g/km. It’s difficult to match the official economy figure of 67.2mpg in real world driving, but at least you can have a bit of fun thanks to a power output of 105PS.
The other options are 1.4-litre MultiAir petrols, with either 135PS or 170PS. The 135PS version offers a good blend of performance and economy, with an official figure of 50.4mpg and a 0-62mph figure of 8.4 seconds. The 170PS version is offered in the speedy Quadrifoglio Verde, but it’s not quite up to the standard of rival hot hatches like the Ford Fiesta ST - a substantially cheaper car.
The TCT gearbox is okay if you need an automatic, but it’s not the smoothest dual-clutch system on sale, plus it sometimes refuses to do as it is told when driving hard. The manual gearboxes aren’t really worth writing home about either – they’re clunky and less precise than you’d hope for in a peppy little hatchback.
Alfa Romeo has fitted a fast steering rack to the MiTo which gives the car a sporty, eager character plus a feeling of nimbleness and immediacy. Unfortunately, while the steering might be immediate it isn’t the most well-weighted set up and it doesn’t offer much feedback, which means it doesn’t inspire much confidence.
The suspension set up is good over speed bumps and individual potholes, soaking them up well, but the ride gets busy over rougher, more broken surfaces and is upset by mid-corner lumps and bumps. It does a reasonable job of keeping body roll at bay though. There's nothing massively wrong with the way the MiTo drives, but niggling problems keep it from being truly impressive, like a Ford Fiesta or a MINI.
|0.9 TwinAir||67 mpg||12.5 s||98 g/km|
|0.9 TwinAir 105||67–67 mpg||11.4 s||99 g/km|
|1.3 JTDm||63 mpg||11.8 s||119 g/km|
|1.3 JTDm 95||66 mpg||11.6 s||112 g/km|
|1.3 JTDm-2 85||81–83 mpg||12.9 s||89–95 g/km|
|1.3 JTDm-2 95||81–83 mpg||-||89 g/km|
|1.4||50 mpg||13.0 s||130 g/km|
|1.4 16V||48 mpg||11.2–12.3 s||138 g/km|
|1.4 MultiAir 105||50 mpg||10.7 s||134 g/km|
|1.4 MultiAir 140 TCT||52 mpg||8.1 s||124 g/km|
|1.4 TB||46 mpg||8.8 s||145 g/km|
|1.4 TB 155||44 mpg||8.0 s||153 g/km|
|1.4 TB MultAir 140 TCT||52 mpg||-||124 g/km|
|1.4 TB MultAir 170 TCT||52 mpg||-||124 g/km|
|1.4 TB MultiAir 105||50 mpg||10.7–11.2 s||134 g/km|
|1.4 TB MultiAir 135||50 mpg||8.4 s||129 g/km|
|1.4 TB MultiAir 135 TCT||51 mpg||8.2 s||126 g/km|
|1.4 TB MultiAir 140 TCT||52 mpg||-||124 g/km|
|1.4 TB MultiAir 170||47–52 mpg||7.3–7.5 s||124–139 g/km|
|1.4 TB MultiAir 170 TCT||52 mpg||-||124 g/km|
|1.4 TB MultiAir TCT||51 mpg||8.2 s||126–128 g/km|
|1.6 JTDm||59–66 mpg||9.9 s||114–126 g/km|
|1.6 JTDm-2||64–66 mpg||9.9 s||112–114 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Alfa Romeo MiTo (2008 – 2018)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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