The Alfa Romeo Mito supermini hasn’t really had a face-lift; this update is more like applying new make-up.
Even existing owners may struggle to spot the styling tweaks; some lighter headlamp bezels and a refreshed grille are the only changes to the nose.
It’s the same story inside, too. There’s a new touch-screen infotainment system in the dashboard and some more durable trim materials, but it hardly amounts to a substantial revision.
Instead, it's under the bonnet that you'll find the biggest news. Alfa Romeo is offering a new version of its two-cylinder Twinair engine, which produces more power than its predecessor, but with no hike in CO2 emissions or fuel consumption.
What’s the 2014 Alfa Romeo Mito Twinair like to drive?
The new 104bhp engine offers a full 20bhp more than the old Twinair unit, and its power delivery is fairly smooth.
Unfortunately, the engine is the only part of the drivetrain or chassis that’s been changed, so the Mito still has some big flaws.
At idle you can feel vibrations coursing through the cabin, even if the thrummy exhaust note does sound quite appealing.
What's more, the Mito is far from fun to drive. The steering is quick, but it lacks precision, while the body control is nowhere near as taut as the ultra firm ride might imply. Even on the smallest 16-inch alloys, the car thuds loudly and uncomfortably over bumps.
The Mito also remains too unrefined. While its engine does die down at low revs in higher gears, there's a lot of wind and road noise at speed, and any detritus flicked up into a wheelarch clatters loudly.
What’s the 2014 Alfa Romeo Mito Twinair like inside?
The Mito’s cabin has always been smartly styled, but lacking in substance, and the 2014 model doesn't change that.
Despite the upgraded materials and new five-inch colour touch-screen, perceived quality still falls well short of the standard found in premium rivals such as the Audi A1.
The new Uconnect touch-screen system is fitted across the range, and includes Bluetooth and USB and aux-in connections. For an additional cost, you can also specify the system with sat-nav.
Unfortunately, adults will find the rear of the Mito pretty cramped, and the decent-sized boot has a high lip, which can make loading heavy items difficult.
Should I buy one?
In a word, no. You may think you’re buying a classy, sporty and frugal supermini, but the Mito simply doesn’t deliver on the handling front, and it isn’t comfortable or refined enough when you back off the throttle.
It also remains to be seen if the new Twinair engine can get anywhere near its official fuel economy in real-world driving conditions – its predecessor didn't.
If you’re after an efficient, well-equipped supermini, the Renault Clio 1.5 dCi should be at the top of your list, or for something with a real premium feel, you should take a look at the Audi A1.
What Car? says…
Specification 0.9 Twinair 105
Engine size 0.9-litre turbocharged petrol
Price from £14,350
Torque 107lb ft
0-62mph 11.4 seconds
Top speed 114mph
Fuel economy 67.3mpg
CO2 emissions 99g/km