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How much? £15,785
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 1248cc four-cylinder TD, 95bhp @ 4000rpm, 147lb ft @ 1500rpm
Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Performance: 112mph, 11.6sec 0-62mph, 65.7mpg, 112g/km
How heavy / made of? 1150kg/steel
How big (length/width/height in mm)? 4063/1720/1446
Need to know

CAR's rating

Rated 4 out of 54

Handling

Rated 3 out of 53

Performance

Rated 4 out of 54

Usability

Rated 4 out of 54

Feelgood factor

Rated 5 out of 55

Readers' rating

Rated 3.5 out of 53.5

Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTD Veloce (2010) CAR review

By Tim Pollard

First Drives

29 April 2010 10:56

The Alfa Romeo Mito has got under the skin of us here at CAR. We're starting to see them on the road in some numbers – helped no doubt by the smashing £8995 scrappage deal under recent Government incentives – and to these eyes it's the best looking supermini by miles. It's arguably the first car to dislodge the Mini from top-dog status.

We've tested it here in 1.3 diesel form. And first things first, it's not quite so attractively cheap here: £15,785 before options, which spiral to £18,095 with the addition of dual-zone climate control, leather, parking sensors and metallic paint.

So what's all the fuss about? Is the Alfa Mito really good to drive?

First things first. Soak up the stunning looks from all angles and then tug the door open. There are lovely handles that feel crafted from solid chrome (they're not) and the door flops open with none of the technical prowess that a Mini's would. It's a small detail, but a metaphor that keeps resurfacing throughout our week with the Mito.

Sink into the lovely (but optional) ribbed leather seats, fire up the engine and notice the digital Mito graphics that animate the dashboard. The 1.3 JTD engine has a rattly thrum, but soon quietens down once warm. You'll tell by reading dials that have a slightly naff typeface, but the effect of reading Giri and Acqua has a strange effect on many petrolheads...

Perky performance with responsibility

Why would you choose a diesel Mito? Especially one that costs so much? Don't forget our test car in Veloce spec is the top of the range model; the same 95bhp JTD starts at a much more realistic £13,960 in Turismo trim.

The reason you might consider that rarity of things – a diesel supermini – is the extraordinary emissions and fuel consumption it offers. Yes, yes, we know that small, light cars (the Mito pegs in at 1150kg) benefit less from going derv, but there's no arguing with the 112g/km of CO2 and 65.7mpg claimed economy. If you do high mileages, this car will save you a fortune.

Drive off, and the powertrain feels right. Although five speeds seem stingy nowadays, the transmission feels well geared to the engine and the standard stop-start mechanism works unobtrusively once you remember to select neutral at the traffic lights.

And that modest 95bhp is countered by a healthy 147lb ft of torque, percolating to the boil at just 1500rpm. It makes for a relaxed, perky drive. You'll still pick one of the excellent petrol engines, including the rapid, Mini Cooper-rivalling MultiAir, if you want aural thrills, but the diesel makes a strong case for itself.

>> Click 'Next' for the rest of our Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTD first drive review

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Average rating: Rated 3.5 out of 53.5 (141 votes)

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Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTD Veloce (2010) CAR review

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Uno83

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Uno83 says

RE: Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTD Veloce (2010) CAR review

I have owned my mito for several months now, and what a great car it is for the money! The multiair engine is divine! The build quality is excellent and most of all, it's exclusive and has charisma unlike some of it's rivals!

31 December 2010 19:09

 

Archibold

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Archibold says

RE: Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTD Veloce (2010) CAR review

Don't like Vauxhall's but at least the Corsa is neat and not pretentious, also cheaper and 99CO2 when equipped with the sam motor as this Mito.

11 May 2010 18:57

 

Ray_A

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Ray_A says

RE: Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTD Veloce (2010) CAR review

Looks good in that colour, but blimey! Small cars are pricy these days!

07 May 2010 12:07

 

bertandnairobi

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bertandnairobi says

RE: Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTD Veloce (2010) CAR review

 "Make Alfas like the old 1750 Veloces - small, light, rwd, delightful steering - and people will come flocking." The BMW 1-series saloon follows this formula. If Alfa wasn´t part of the Fiat empire they´d probably have a go at a rear-drive car. But in the name of short term cost concerns, they´re stuck with remediating FWD systems and they always fail. The 156 was a fine attempt but it was updated with the 157 which lost all the charm. Elsewhere at the forum there´s a debate about how Fiat could revive Alfa and Lancia with a complementary range of cars, most of which would be RWD. Look under for a thread entitled "Lancia´s news from 2006."  I don´t believe the engineers can´t be found to make a crisp-steering, chuckable car like the Alfasud. The problem is the will.

04 May 2010 11:39

 

lcreemers

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lcreemers says

RE: Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTD Veloce (2010) CAR review

Drove one of these from Milan to Venice a month or two ago.  Having had a Mini Cooper that we still mourn, my wife and I were keen to try out the Alfa.  Sorry, no contest: too damn heavy for its size; bad, bad ride; lame steering; engine strong but hardly zippy; quality of materials simply not good enough compared to the Mini.

Love the idea of Alfas but not the substance - or perhaps lack of it.  Recently drove Alfa 159 with new 1750 engine that reminded me of the old saying that with Italian cars you pay for a great engine and beautiful styling - the rest is thrown in for free.  Not true anymore (the 159 is quite well built and fitted out) but the emphasis does still lie with engine and styling.

Perhaps we need to adjust our expectations.  Alfa Romeo is not a powerhouse car manufacturer anymore: it is a small company trying to keep up with well-funded larger rivals.  Inevitably they will lag in some ways.  Trouble is they lag in too many that to me all come down to excess weight and fwd.  Make Alfas like the old 1750 Veloces - small, light, rwd, delightful steering - and people will come flocking.  Keep churning out me-too designs and as a small car manufacturer, you're just staving off the inevitable.

And yes, I was thinking of Saab, too, when I wrote that.

03 May 2010 18:46

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