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First drive: Alfa Romeo MiTo TwinAir. Image by Alfa Romeo.

First drive: Alfa Romeo MiTo TwinAir
Alfa's updated MiTo supermini makes more sense with its tiny new TwinAir engine.

   



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| First Drive | Alfa Romeo MiTo TwinAir | Alfa Romeo MiTo TwinAir |

Overall rating: 3 3 3 3 3

Alfa Romeo has updated the MiTo supermini for 2014. Tweaks inside and out keep it up to date, though it's the more powerful TwinAir engine and revised transmission that really matter.

Key Facts

Model tested: Alfa Romeo MiTo 'Sportiva' TwinAir
Pricing: 14,350 basic; 18,425 as tested
Engine: 0.9-litre turbocharged two-cylinder petrol
Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Body style: three-door hatchback
Rivals: Fiat 500, Vauxhall Adam, Volkswagen up!
CO2 emissions: 99g/km
Combined economy: 67.2mpg
Top speed: 114mph
0-62mph: 11.4 seconds
Power: 105hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 145Nm from 2,000rpm

In the Metal: 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5

Alfa's MiTo may not be as timeless a design as its cousin, the Fiat 500, but in the right specification it still has kerb appeal. The changes to this new 2014-spec car are slight - a front grille that now has a chrome finish and some updated headlight surrounds are pretty much it for the outside. Alfa has updated all of its trim levels though, which sees this higher 'Sportiva' spec benefiting from 18-inch wheels that give the car added presence.

On the inside, there are revisions to the dashboard design, which sees higher quality materials being used. In addition, a new five-inch touchscreen infotainment system has been added featuring Bluetooth connectivity and optional satellite navigation. The steering wheel features remote controls for the Bluetooth and infotainment systems, although I felt it is too large a diameter for a car of this size. Rear passenger space, as is common in the class, is limited as before, though the boot is at least a decent size.

Driving it: 3 3 3 3 3

The feeling of spaciousness from the driver's seat in the MiTo gives the impression that it is a larger car than it really is. Its relatively short wheelbase means it is still quite practical around the city, but it is let down somewhat by the ride quality, which can best be described as 'busy' in most circumstances. Compounding the issue is the fitment of 18-inch alloy wheels to this 'Sportiva' specification, which although stylish, do little to aid comfort.

On a more positive note, the 105hp TwinAir petrol engine suits the MiTo very well, delivering sufficient performance, as well as a cracking engine note - although that may not be to everyone's taste. The engine's wider power band (than the previous iteration), combined with a new six-speed gearbox, means that there is less work involved in keeping it ticking along and crucially that extra gear ratio means that motorway trips are now a less tiresome experience. As with all Alfa Romeos, there is a 'DNA' switch that enables the driver to change between three different driving modes, altering the personality of the car.

What you get for your Money: 3 3 3 3 3

Although pricing has risen slightly across the MiTo range, it is a car that still comes reasonably well-equipped. All models are fitted with that new five-inch touchscreen system, which features voice recognition, along with air conditioning, Bluetooth, a USB port and multi-function steering wheel as standard.

Worth Noting

Buyers will look to the TwinAir engine for its on-paper economy strengths, but it is worth remembering that its ballsy engine note and punchy power delivery do mean that you will have to adhere quite stringently to the dashboard display's gearshift indicator if you want to come close to the quoted fuel economy figures. We say buy it because it has personality and is a hoot to rev.

Summary

Alfa Romeo's MiTo is never going to be the most popular choice for city car buyers in Britain, but that'll suit buyers that want to have something that stands out from the crowd. It still does that, just a little bit better than before.


Dave Humphreys - 28 Apr 2014



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2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo. Image by Alfa Romeo.2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo. Image by Alfa Romeo.2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo. Image by Alfa Romeo.2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo. Image by Alfa Romeo.2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo. Image by Alfa Romeo.



2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo. Image by Alfa Romeo.
 

2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo. Image by Alfa Romeo.
 

2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo. Image by Alfa Romeo.
 

2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo. Image by Alfa Romeo.
 

2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo. Image by Alfa Romeo.
 

2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo. Image by Alfa Romeo.
 

2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo. Image by Alfa Romeo.
 

2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo. Image by Alfa Romeo.
 

2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo. Image by Alfa Romeo.
 






 

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