I will start off by saying before this review I’ve always been a bit of a fan of old Alfa’s and not having driven one for quite a while I was interested to see whether I got the same feeling from driving a new one that I use to get from driving older ones.
I really like the look of the MiTo and from the front you can the MiTo is an Alfa even from a long distance as the trade mark Alfa shield shaped grille stands out.
Newly designed teardrop shaped headlights and V shaped bonnet, together with the chromed grille rising waist line, combine with the newly designed round LED tail lights to give the MiTo a sporty look, this model rides on attractive 16in Alloy wheels which adds to the look and is specially nice looking in the wonderful white paintwork.
Stepping inside and the first thing you get is sign of classiness, the seats are black with cream inserts which match the exterior so well and are comfortable and very supportive.
The leather bound steering wheel is comfortable to hold and the perfect thickness for me and contains controls for the audio system and blue tooth.
The instrument panel is easy to read in all levels of light and lights up at night with red back lighting at night which is easy on the eye’s.
In between the dials there’s a red LCD screen which can display various functions such as fuel economy, distance to empty and handy boost gauge when your in Dynamic mode.
The dash is made from soft touch material which gives it a nice feel, the centre stack has small touch screen for the audio and while I would of liked a bigger screen this one seems to fit the dash nice nicely. The audio system offers full Bluetooth connectivity and is simple to use, the sound is pretty damn good as well although I didn’t turn the stereo up a lot during the week with awesome sound track from under the bonnet.
My darling daughter pointed out that the round air con vents combined with the audio system an appearance of a face when sitting in the back seat and when you look at it, it does which I quite like in some sort of unusual way.
You can’t help but notice the big silver switch for the Alfa DNA system at the front of the console but I add more about that later on.
The front seats fold forward allowing access to the back seat which actually has more room then it looked while it’s nots blessed with a massive amount of leg room back there I still managed to fit 3 teenagers in there easily.
The boot while not being absolutely massive offers plenty of storage and the back seats do fold down which increase the space.
Back to the DNA button Alfa DNA gives the 3 car different settings.
D stands for Dynamic mode which gives ESP and ASR a sport calibration, gives the engine faster response and overboost which lifts the torque when needed, It also gives the Steering tuning a sportier calibration.
N stands for Natural mode which meant to use around and on long trips as it gives the steering a standard calibration and standard engine response to maximise fuel economy.
A stands for ALL Weather which is good for poor weather conditions it gives the ESP and ASR a calibration for maximum safety and activates a maximum comfort for the steering.
Under the bonnet the MiTo is powered by Alfa’s awesome MulitAir 1.4l turbo 4cyl engine pushing out 99kW and 230nM, not a whole lot of power but by god is this engine a little cracker.
The engine is very tractable and will easily keep up with traffic, fuel economy even in heavy bumper to bumper traffic is marvellous I easily averaged in low 9’s high 8’s which puts it towards the pointy end of the fuel economy stakes for all the cars I’ve reviewed it also has a start stop mode which when engaged swtiches the engine off when you stop in traffic which helps with the impressive fuel economy.
Driven around normally the MiTo can feel a bit slow and less exciting, but then it has a trick up it’s sleeve the Alfa DNA button I mentioned before.
Turning the DNA switch to D for dynamic wakes the MiTo up turning it from a nice sedate drive to a bit of an animal, Dynamic mode not only sharpens the steering but allows more boost for the engine and that that’s when things get exciting.
I did a test driving at 80km/h in normal mode I flicked it into dynamic and the car surged forward like I had put my foot down although it hasn’t moved.
Handling is a fraction on the firm side not overly firm to the point of being annoying but you did feel some of the bumps a bit more although at no stage did it crash or bash it’s way through them.
The offset to that is the handling is wonderful specially when you giving it a bit of a go and believe me with the DNA system, the wonderful engine and the intoxicating exhaust note it’s really hard not to give it some.
The steering is sharp and responsive specially in dynamic mode, changing it into natural mode and the steering is a touch more softer and makes it extremely easy to park and whip around tight car parks.
The 5 speed manual in this car was wonderful the shifts are smooth and easy and the clutch was extremely light, the hill hold function means no worries on hill starts.
Safety wise the MiTo boasts an impressive list of safety features including seven airbags (front, side, curtain and driver’s knee), ABS brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, collapsible steering wheel, hill hold.
It does have reverse sensors but looses points for not having a reverse camera which means the MiTo is a bit of a pain to reverse park given the limit view you get from the back window which did take some getting use to.
So after a week did the MiTo bring back those old feelings yes it did and then some, despite some deficiencies such reduce vision from the rear window, a firm ride that some people might not like as much as I did. I absolutely loved the MiTo.
It’s extremely fun to drive and can be very rewarding specially when driven in dynamic mode, but switching it to normal mode and the MiTo becomes an awesome commuter which is extremely good on fuel and the looks give you a bit of style compared to some of the boring looking competitors in it’s class.
If you are after small car that gives you a bit style then you would be bonkers not to have the MiTo on your list of cars as the MiTo is not a car it’s an Alfa Romeo. sorry but I couldn’t help it I had to add that bit.
For full details on Alfa’s great range of cars check out their website http://www.alfaromeo.com.au/