Alfa Romeo Mito

The Essentials

  • Price from £12,500
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 80.7mpg
  • What is it? Great to look at, but mediocre to drive and lacking the practical virtues of cheaper alternatives.

Great

  • Designer looks
  • Classy, upmarket cabin
  • Cheaper to buy than a Mini

Gripes

  • Poor rear visibility
  • Cramped rear seats
  • More expensive than a Mini to run
  • Drive

    Refined but can't match the on-road thrills of a Mini

  • Inside

    Classy, user-friendly and comfortable for those in the front

  • Safety

    Doesn't get much better for a supermini

  • Reliability

    There's a five-year warranty, but you might need it

  • Space

    Tight, even for a supermini

  • Standard and extras

    Lusso is the best choice. The cheapest cars only have the bare essentials included

  • What's it like to drive?

    Not as exciting as it is to look at. Dynamically, this Italian fashionista falls well short of the best superminis, including the Mini and Ford Fiesta. There's enough grip in the corners, but the ride is crashy on most road surfaces and the gearshift is decidedly mushy.
    The range of petrol engines starts off with a 1.4, but the two Multiair units are better bets; they respond more eagerly than conventional petrol engines and are remarkably fuel-efficient. The range-topping diesel - the 1.6 JTDm - is also lively.
    Avoid the shuddery 0.9-litre Twinair model, but the rest of the engines are smooth and generally quiet. The Mito does suffer from wind and road noise at higher speeds, though.

  • What's it like inside?

    The dashboard looks stylish and showcases the quality materials well, while also being functional and easy to use. The seats are easily adjusted, although they could do with more back support, and the small rear window also limits visibility.

    The Mito is only available with three doors, and the baby Alfa's rear space is cramped and difficult to access. The boot is at least a decent size, but even here the Alfa falls short of the competition, with a high lip that makes it hard to load bulky items.
    Entry-level Progression cars have air-con, electric windows, remote central locking and a CD player. Sprint trim adds alloys and Bluetooth and cruise control, while Distinctive has sporty design touches and parking sensors. The range-topping Quadrifoglio Verde adds a spoiler.

  • How reliable is it?

    Alfas aren't known for their dependability, and it seems that reputation is well deserved; the Mito received below average marks for mechanical reliability in the latest JD Power ownership satisfaction survey. However a five-year warranty is a plus point.

    All versions come with electronic stability control, seven airbags and active anti-whiplash head restraints. The Mito hasn't been tested under the latest Euro NCAP crash-testing programme, but under the old-style system it received five stars for adult safety and three stars for child protection. A Ford Fiesta is a safer bet for your kids.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Mito is pricey for a supermini, but that desirable image and the Alfa badge help keep resale values high. All engines are competitive on fuel economy and CO2 emissions, but overall you'll need to really like the way the Mito looks to choose it over more rounded rivals.