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Review: Looking for a sexy supermini? Try Alfa Romeo's stylish Mito

 

Alfa Romeo has garnered a reputation for Italian flair and design, with its SUV the Stelvio currently getting lots of attention. But there's a little gem at the start of the range too.

What's new?

Alfa Romeo's smallest car, the Mito, had a revamp for 2017, with smart new lines and improved trim levels.

It was always a good looker, and now it's even better.

Launched eight years ago, this is still the first generation of the Mito although several good updates and an excellent initial design have ensured it has stayed fresh: stylish, practical and great to drive.

It's always been a car that had something a bit special in the looks department. When it debuted back in 2008, the event was, with a typically Italian flourish, at a magnificent 15 century pile called Castello Sforzesco.

Whether the Duke of Milan's ancestors were hoping the castle magic would rub off on the Mito, or that some of the Alfa magic would rub off on the Castello is not sure.

Looks and design

What's new with the revised new model? Well, crucially it's been re-sculpted to align itself with the new Alfa Romeo Giulia, the compact executive saloon upon which Alfa has pinned big hopes.

Externally, Alfa's designers have given the Mito a good mid-generation working over and it works.

Styling revisions include new sports grilles, dark-finish headlamp bezels, new rear bumper designs and fresh alloy wheels.

They haven't exactly gone overboard with new paint options - there's just one, but it is rather nice: a new 'Alfa White'.

Cabin and engine

The cabin has had the onceover as well. Better seat upholsteries have been added to complement an improved dash and centre console and, crucially these days, the technology has been updated.

Nothing mega has changed under the bonnet, but there is an addition to the engine range - an updated and efficient 1.3-litre JTDM-2 turbo diesel with a power output of 95hp - to complement the existing assortment of TwinAir, MultiAir, diesel and turbo powerplants.

New model range

New trim levels have been introduced, scrapping the previous Progressive, Distinctive and QV Line models.

Instead, after the entry-level model, we get the much more Italian-sounding Super, Speciale and Veloce trims.

2018-01-10_lif_37567361_I2.JPG
The Mito

Standard equipment

The outgoing "Progression" entry level model is replaced by a new trim known simply as Mito.

Standard equipment generous and includes new 16-inch alloy wheels, satin chrome-effect exterior detailing (grille surrounds, headlamp and tail lamp surrounds), air conditioning, Alfa DNA driving mode selector, a rear spoiler and a Uconnect 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with DAB and Bluetooth connectivity.

Engine choices include the 78hp 1.4-litre petrol, 875cc Turbo Petrol TwinAir 105hp and the 1.3 JTDM-2 95hp.

Key options include the Visibility Pack (auto headlamps and wipers, electro-chromic rear-view mirror and folding door mirrors) and Comfort Pack (front centre armrest, floor mats, rear parking sensors and front seat lumbar adjustment.

There's also an attractive Sport Pack (tinted windows, front fog lamps, sports instrument cluster and red brake) and you can also spec the following: dual-zone climate control, electric sunroof; sat nav and an eight-speaker BOSE audio system.

Distinctive trim

Replacing the old "Distinctive" trim level is the new Alfa Romeo Mito Super which builds on the standard Mito's specification by adding cruise control; 17-inch 'Turbine' alloy wheels; and Alfa code immobiliser and alarm.

You also get front fog lamps; special upholstery with Eco-Leather side bolstering; aluminium sports pedals, footrest and kickplates; chrome effect window sills; satin-effect door handles; space-saver spare wheel and the Comfort Pack as standard.

A wide range of options and engines is available including the Lusso Pack (leather upholstery with heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and a third rear seat with head restraint and seat belt and an 18-inch alloy wheel upgrade.

Engines offered in Super spec include the 875cc Turbo Petrol TwinAir 105hp, the 1.3 JTDM-2 95hp and the 1.4 MultiAir 140hp petrol with ALFA TCT transmission and steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles.

New mid-range model

In place of the QV Line, the new Alfa Romeo Mito Speciale offers the looks and specification of the new Veloce flagship (which, in turn, replaces the Quadrifoglio Verde) but is available with the 875cc TwinAir 105hp turbo petrol; the 1.3 JTDM-2 95hp diesel engine or the 1.4 MultiAir 140hp petrol with ALFA TCT transmission.

In addition to the equipment on the Super, the Speciale adds 17-inch darkened five-hole alloy wheels; a flat-bottom steering wheel; red stitching on the steering wheel, gear shifter and handbrake; steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles on the Alfa TCT version and a long list of other extras and goodies.

Range-topping model

The new range-topper, the Alfa Romeo Mito Veloce, is available from £20,500 and is powered by the most powerful engine in the range, the 1.4 MultiAir 170hp petrol with ALFA TCT transmission (with steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles) making it capable of reaching 62mph in just 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 136mph.

Standard equipment is a long list including 18-inch, darkened five-hole alloy wheels; Alfa Active Suspension system; Brembo brakes with four-piston front brake callipers (finished in red); upgraded Uconnect 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system and twin chromes exhaust tail pipes.

The new Mito range is available now, priced from £12,960 to £20,500.

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