A history lesson…
Created to fit into the supermini segment of the market, Alfa Romeo’s new MiTo was a bit of a risk for Alfa. The Italian giant was hoping to take sales away from Fiat’s 500 and Mini’s Cooper, which is a tough task, especially when you consider everybody loves and wants those aforementioned cars. Alfa knew it had to come hard with the MiTo, and thankfully, they did. The MiTo is cute from every angle; possibly more a girl’s car than a guy’s, but good-looking nonetheless.
It featured new technology like the DNA system – which helps the driver decided what type of set-up they want for their MiTo – and represented the first properly modern Alfa Romeo to help it enter the new decade with a bang.
The risk paid off, and Alfa now sells MiTos at a very impressive rate.
Bang for your buck
There are three specs to choose from: Turismo, Veloce and Lusso, with the latter being the top-of-the-range, unless you take the sporty Cloverleaf as taking that crown. Whichever MiTo you choose, however, you’ll end up with a cracking little supermini with bags of character and style. What it lacks in boot space and size, it more than makes up for in agility, eagerness and sex-appeal.
The MultiAir engines are brilliant, as they give you both economy and performance, and combined with the DNA system, it makes the MiTo a barrel of laughs on the road. There is a diesel option, for those after seriously MPG, in either 1.3 or 1.6 guise, while the petrol Cloverleaf will keep you entertained all summer and throughout the darkest winters.
What you’ll pay
Having only been released in 2009, the MiTo hasn’t really had too much time to come down in price on the market, but with it being a supermini, prices were never really too high in the first place. Prices for an 09 plate 1.4-petrol start at around £9k, while it’ll be around £11k for a higher-spec Lusso 1.4.
Cloverleaf petrol models are holding their value surprisingly well, so you will have to pay a premium for the sporty version in the range.
What to check
With the new DNA system on the MiTo, it’s best to check that it works properly, as it’s one of the main selling points of the supermini. Turn it to every mode and check that it does what it says it should. Such an elaborate and complicated system would be a nightmare if it were to break, so ensuring that works is a necessity.
Along with the DNA system, it’s best to check all the electrics on the MiTo, and make sure the paintwork is in good order, along with the clutch system and basic interior finish.
A clutch assembly is around £140, while a new radiator will set you back about £95. If an alternator should go wrong, that’ll be about £220 and a starter motor £105. So not cheap if the worst was to happen, but thankfully, because the MiTo is relatively new, you shouldn’t have too many problems.
How it drives
Driving the MiTo is great, as it’s agile, eager and responsive, especially with the MultiAir petrol engine sitting proudly under the bonnet. Even the diesels are a hoot to drive, and all of them come standard with style, passion and tonnes of character. If it’s a sporty drive that you crave, get yourself a Cloverleaf MiTo and go for a drive; if it’s economy you’re after, get yourself a diesel and bask in the impressive MPG figures. Really, there’s a MiTo for everyone.
All MiTos have respectable 0-62mph times, with the 135bhp 1.4-petrol model hitting 62mph in just 8.4 seconds, which is more than enough to keep things interesting. The gearbox is a treat to use too, as it feels notchy and in Cloverleaf spec gets a six-speed option, which just makes life feel a lot easier.
If you want an all-rounder in your supermini, the Alfa MiTo is a great alternative option. It may not be as obvious as a MINI or Fiat 500, but it is something a little different.