2014 Alfa Romeo Mito Twinair review

* New 104bhp petrol Mito driven in the UK * Five trims available across revised range * On sale now, priced from £14,350...

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Ed Callow
24 March 2014

The Alfa Romeo Mito supermini hasn’t really had a face-lift; think of this update more as a bit of a extra make-up.

Even existing owners may struggle to spot the styling tweaks, because some lighter headlamp bezels and a refreshed grille are the only changes to the nose.

There are more comprehensive changes inside – most notably a new touch-screen infotainment system in the dashboard and some more durable trim materials – but this hardly amounts to a substantial revision.

It's under the bonnet where 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, so it's nippy enough.

Unfortunately, as with all Twinair engines, you feel too many vibrations coursing through the cabin – even at tickover, let alone when accelerating hard.

True, the thrummy exhaust note is fairly appealing when you're in the mood, but the din doesn't die down enough at a steady motorway cruise, so can get quite irritating.

Overall, the Mito remains too unrefined, because as well as that noisy engine, there's a lot of wind and road noise at speed, and any detritus flicked up into a wheelarch clatters away loudly.

Unfortunately, the engine is the only part of the drivetrain or chassis that’s been changed, so there are still big flaws in the way it drives. 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 thunks loudly and uncomfortably over bumps.

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, the perceived quality still falls well short of the standard found in premium rivals such as the Audi A1 and the 2014 Mini.

The new Uconnect touch-screen system is standard across the range, and includes Bluetooth as well as USB and aux-in connections. For a bit extra you can add satellite-navigation.

Unfortunately, adults will find the rear seats pretty cramped, and while the boot is a decent size it has a high lip, which can make it difficult to load heavy items.

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, either. It is also expensive and not likely to hold on to its value as well as rivals from Audi or Mini.

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 Mini Cooper D or Renault Clio 1.5 dCi should be at the top of your list.

What Car? says…


Audi A1
Renault Clio

Specification 0.9 Twinair 105
Engine size 0.9-litre turbo petrol
Price from £14,350
Power 104bhp
Torque 107lb ft
0-62mph 11.4 seconds
Top speed 114mph
Fuel economy 67.3mpg
CO2 output 99g/km