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Alfa Romeo MiTo Review

Alfa Romeo Mito
Alfa Romeo Mito
Alfa Romeo Mito
Alfa Romeo Mito
Alfa Romeo Mito
Alfa Romeo Mito
Alfa Romeo Mito
Alfa Romeo Mito
Alfa Romeo Mito
Alfa Romeo Mito
Alfa Romeo Mito

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Alfa Romeo Mito

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Alfa Romeo Mito

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1 / 10

  • Launched in 2009
  • Small hatch
  • Petrol, Diesel
  • Launch year
    2009
  • Body type
    Small hatch
  • Fuel type
    Petrol, Diesel

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heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Pretty styling, mediocre to drive

Best bits

  • Zippy engines offer good economy
  •  All but base models are well kitted out
  •  Chic looks stand out from the crowd

Not so great

  • Build quality not as good as key rivals
  • No five-door option
  • Sluggish automatic gearbox

Read by

Alfa Romeo MiTo Review: Exterior Front

Overall verdict

Alfa Romeo MiTo Review: Interior

On the inside

Alfa Romeo MiTo Review: Driving Front

Driving

Alfa Romeo MiTo Review: Exterior Back

How much does it cost to run

Alfa Romeo MiTo Review: Driving Back

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Alfa Romeo MiTo

"Take a look at the Alfa Romeo MiTo and you’ll find it has many of the things buyers of premium hatchbacks want. There’s the badge for starters, with volumes worth of history behind it, great looks and some very perky engines."

Alfa Romeo MiTo Review: Exterior Front

It’s also a rarer sight than the likes of the MINI, Fiat 500 and Audi A1 that are its natural adversaries, though that is also down to the fact it didn’t sell as well and not one of the best small cars you can buy...


Pitching it against premium hatchbacks meant list prices from Alfa Romeo that at the time started higher than most rivals. So to justify this, the Italian firm created a hatchback that is beautifully styled on the outside. Even the name was deliberately concocted from its Italian heritage, derived from Milan and Torino where the car was built. Hence the weird capitals...


Alfa Romeo also turns on the charm when it comes to trim levels and equipment. The entry point is the Turismo, followed by the Lusso and the Cloverleaf that revives a classic name from Alfa’s back catalogue. To confuse you all a bit more, other trims include the Sport and Sportiva, Sprint, Distinctive, Veloce, Super and Quadrifoglio - all used at different times in the car’s life.


All models come with Alfa’s DNA system which has Dynamic, Normal and All-weather modes. This changes the feel of the steering, accelerator, gearbox, brakes and suspension, so there are tangible differences in how the MiTo drives. Most MiTo models come with a five- or six-speed manual gearbox or there’s an automatic available with the 1.4 Turbo MultiAir petrol.


When it was launched, the MiTo was also notable for its safety, using a driver’s knee airbag to help gain a five-star Euro NCAP adult occupant score. As safety ratings and equipment have moved on, the MiTo has been left trailing, but it was one of the safest cars in its sector in 2009.


For a small car, the MiTo comes with a surprisingly wide range of engines, starting with a basic 1.4-litre petrol. The turbo 1.4-litre MultiAir is much better with power starting at 140PS, more than enough for a small hatch like the MiTo


The other petrol is the unusual TwinAir that has a tiny 0.9-litre size and half the cylinders with just two. Even with a modest 105PS, it punches above its weight in pace,  though this is at the expense of fuel economy. 


If it is economy you want, the 1.3-litre and 1.6-litre JTDm-2 diesels are the ones to look for. The smaller one should see around 65mpg, while the 1.6 is still good, delivering an average around the 50mpg mark.


Most MiTos come with a manual gearbox, with five speeds for the less potent versions and a six-speed for the faster Cloverleaf and Quadrifoglio models. Alfa also numbered itself among those car makers to offer a dual-clutch gearbox, called TCT, that was very on-trend in 2009. However, it was never the smoothest and the manual is always the wiser and more popular choice.


On the road, the Alfa MiTo is a bit of a mixed bag. Its steering responds immediately to driver input, which suits the sporty driver but can make it tiring on longer journeys. Its suspension is similar in that it’s fun when pointing the car down a jinking back road where it feels on a par with a MINI for fun. However, the MiTo is only average at best when it comes to absorbing bumps and quelling noise in the cabin.


Where you will notice a difference in the driving manners of the MiTo is the DNA modes. This lets you choose between Dynamic, Normal and All-weather settings. Unlike others that offer little variation, the Alfa’s actually does something.


In Normal, the car can feel lethargic, so it’s better in the Dynamic mode, even when driving in town. It’s just a shame Alfa didn’t build the MiTo with this as the default setting and forget about the others.


The MiTo is also off the pace when it comes to cabin space and quality. It’s more generous than a MINI for rear seat passengers, but a Volkswagen Polo beats it hands down. There’s a similar story with the boot, which is larger than a MINI’s but wastes this with the high load lip and a rear seat that was only offered with a 50/50 split as an option when rivals have this as standard.


While it’s possible to overlook such shortcomings on first acquaintance, the MiTo had a harder time ingratiating itself into wider acceptance. It didn’t quite have the design flair of the MINI or the practicality of the Volkswagen Polo. By the time the Audi A1 was launched in 2010, the writing was already on the wall for the MiTo. As such, the MiTo is a car you buy more with your heart than your head.


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  • All cars come with a warranty
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  • All quality checked
Alfa Romeo Mito
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Alfa Romeo Mito

1.3 JTDM-2 Super 3dr

  • 2017
  • 29,583 miles
  • Motorpoint Birtley
  • Birtley, DH32BQ
Price:£8,999
PCP: £198.24/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £198.24, Customer Deposit: £1,349.00, Total Deposit: £1,349.85, Optional Final Payment: £2,134.00, Total Charge For Credit: £1,423.25, Total Amount Payable: £10,422.25, Representative APR: 9.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 9.42%, Excess Mileage Charge: 4.8ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Alfa Romeo Mito
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Alfa Romeo Mito
Alfa Romeo Mito
Alfa Romeo Mito
Alfa Romeo Mito
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Alfa Romeo Mito
Alfa Romeo Mito
Alfa Romeo Mito
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Alfa Romeo Mito
Alfa Romeo Mito

Alfa Romeo Mito

0.9 TB TwinAir Super 3dr

  • 2017
  • 26,415 miles
  • Motorpoint Widnes
  • Borough of Halton, WA89NR
Price:£9,999
PCP: £227.10/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £227.10, Customer Deposit: £1,499.00, Total Deposit: £1,499.85, Optional Final Payment: £2,095.00, Total Charge For Credit: £1,544.35, Total Amount Payable: £11,543.35, Representative APR: 9.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 9.43%, Excess Mileage Charge: 4.8ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Is the Alfa Romeo MiTo right for you?

For anyone looking for a stylish hatch that is not a MINI, Citroen DS3 or Audi A1, the Alfa Romeo MiTo is a very attractive proposition. It majors on looks just like its rivals and the closer you look, the better the detail design of the MiTo.


Another reason the MiTo will appeal is its wider than usual choice of engines for a hatch, all offering lively performance in town and, if you avoid the least powerful 1.4-litre petrol, on the motorway. Choose the smaller 1.3-litre diesel and you could achieve more than 70mpg if you have a light right foot.


The MiTo lives up to its looks with decent handling and performance, while the suspension is also supple enough to cope with most rumps and ripples it encounters on the road. 


What’s the best Alfa Romeo MiTo model/engine to choose?

It’s very tempting to plump for the 0.9-litre TwinAir engine thanks to its tuneful engine note and gutsy performance. We also like the smaller 1.3 JTDm-2 diesel for its impressive economy.

However, the MiTo that gets the nod is the 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo 170. It may be the most powerful engine in the line-up, but it offers the same economy as the less potent 140PS version while delivering enough pace to keep the likes of the MINI Cooper S. You could have the TCT automatic gearbox with this model, but we’d recommend staying with the six-speed manual for more fun, better consumption and cheaper maintenance.


With this engine, you’ll be looking at either Veloce or Cloverleaf trims and that’s alright by us. They come with air conditioning, cruise control, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth connectivity and Alfa’s DNA drive control modes.


What other cars are similar to the Alfa Romeo MiTo?

There’s no ignoring the MINI in its many shapes and guises that sets the benchmark in the premium hatchback sector. You can choose from frugal to very fast versions and there’s also a convertible, albeit with cramped rear seat space.


The Audi A1 is a more sensible, practical choice than the Alfa, while the DS3 is fun to drive and well equipped. It’s also impossible to discount the Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Polo for just how capable they are in every area that counts in a hatchback other than perhaps missing the chic style of the MiTo.


Learn more

Alfa Romeo MiTo Review: Interior

On the inside

Alfa Romeo MiTo Review: Driving Front

Driving

Alfa Romeo MiTo Review: Exterior Back

How much does it cost to run

Alfa Romeo MiTo Review: Driving Back

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Why did Alfa Romeo stop making the MiTo?

Alfa Romeo announced plans to phase out the MiTo in 2019 due to the low demand for a three-door cars across Europe. While it was hoped that potential buyers would then choose the five-door Giulietta, Alfa Romeo also announced in early 2021 that it would also be stopping production of its family hatchback.

Russell Campbell

Answered by

Russell Campbell

What does MiTo stand for?

The Alfa Romeo MiTo was designed in Milano (Milan) and then built in Torino (Turin), leading to the fusion of the two cities to create the name MiTo.

Phil Hall

Answered by

Phil Hall

Is the Alfa Romeo MiTo a good first car?

It certainly has the looks, but there are better options out there for new drivers. It'll cost more to insure as the insurance groups that the MiTo falls into are higher than rivals like the Volkswagen Polo or Ford Fiesta.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

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