The Italian Alfa Romeo MiTo supermini has just been updated and the simplified and cheaper line-up is now lead by the award winning 0.9 TwinAir 2 cylinder petrol engine.
Subtle changes to both the exterior and interior help distinguish the updated Series II Mito.
Alfa Romeo MiTo Overview
With a choice of two engines and three trim levels the simplified ranges now starts from a keen $22,500 that is a $7,490 saving over the previous Alfa Romeo MiTo Series I. Buyers have a choice form MiTo, Progression and range topping Distinctive.
Standard equipment levels are as you would expect from the Italian brand. Entry level MiTo ships with MiTo a 6-speed manual transmission, 15-inch alloy's, 7 airbags, Air-con, Cruise control, Alfa Romeo DNA system, a multi-function steering wheel and a five-inch infotainment touch screen. Progression adds a 1.4L multi-air engine, 5-speed manual or 6 speed TCT auto and 16' alloy wheels. Range topping Distinctive gains auto lights and whippers, dual-zone climate control, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and parking sensors.
Safety levels across the range is also impressive for with 7 airbags, ABS, EBD, EDC, LED rear lighting and ASR (Anti-Slip Regulation System) all coming as standard.
The local line-up for the Alfa Romeo MiTo is:
Alfa Romeo Mito $22,500 6-speed manual only
Alfa Romeo Mito Progression 1.4 MultiAir 4cyl petrol $24,500 5-speed manual, +$2,000 for the TCT 6-speed auto
Alfa Romeo Mito Distinctive 1.4 MultiAir 4cyl petrol $28,000 TCT 6-speed auto only.
Alfa Romeo MiTo Engine
Buyers can choose from the 0.9-litre Twin-Air 2 cylinder petrol or the 1.4 MultiAir 4 cylinder petrol engine.
Carshowroom.com.au had the opportunity to drive both engine at the launch event held down in Victoria's Mornington Peninsula and was amazed at the performance from the 0.9-litre Twin-Air and found the 1.4 MultiAir rewarding when matched with the 5-speed manual transmission.
The Alfa Romeo MiTo 0.9 TwinAir 2 cylinder petrol engine produces an impressive 77kW when in Dynamic mode if the drivers leaves the car in 'Normal' mode it produces XXkW and 145Nm of torque. The TwinAir sips fuel on the combined cycle at only 4.2 litres per 100km (5.0litres per 100km as tested) and can lay claim to having the lowest carbon dioxide emissions of any massed produced petrol engine in the world.
The 1.4-litre MultiAir four-cylinder engine produces 99kW of power and 206Nm of torque, fuel consumption is 5.5 litres per 100km combined and outputting 123g of C02 per kilometre. impressively the MultiAir already meets European standards for the year 2020.
All engines come with start/stop technology
Alfa Romeo MiTo Interior
Entry level MiTo and Progression models can be optioned with a choice of three different cloth seat trim colour combinations: black, black/white and black/bronze. The range topping Distinctive gain new colour combinations: grey/black with grey inserts and grey/black with red inserts. Excluding the entry model the Alfa Romeo MiTo can also be optioned leather sets for $2,000 and an electric sunroof is available across the range for $2,000.
The introduction of the awarding wining five-inch Uconnect infotainment system (also seen in Jeep and Chrysler models) is a great addition, however the lack of Sat-Nav is disappointing.
The Uconnect systems delivers wireless audio and phone streaming via Bluetooth, outside temperature, trip information, fuel consumption and a clock. The handy SMS messages via text-to-speech technology for supported phones is a great feature.
Drivers are able to control phone, audio and voice commands via the multi-function sports steering wheel, the Distinctive model also has steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
Alfa Romeo MiTo Exterior & Styling
No radical updates to the MiTo, buyers are still offered a European design and flare, but as with most mid-life updates the changes to exterior styling are subtle. The Alfa Romeo MiTo series II sees enhancements to front grille which now features a chrome-plated frame, updates to the head and taillight fittings of the entry level and Progression models whilst the the Distinctive model gains chrome finish surrounds.
Each of the trim levels are fitted with alloy wheels, the MiTo (base model) has comes with 15-inch design, the Progression has a 16-inch, multi-spoke design and the Distinctive is fitted with premium 17-inch alloy wheels.
Another update to the exterior is the addition of a matte paint called Magnesio Grey, we didn't get to see the car in the flesh but we expect it to look great.
Alfa Romeo MiTo On the Road
On all wheel sizes the Alfa Romeo MiTo handled exceptionally well, the right amount of feedback is received via the steering wheel.
Both the five and six manual transmissions are excellent, however the same can't be said for the TCT automatic. The gearbox can sometime gets caught between gears and become stuck in a lower gear.
We did find when the DNA system (Dynamic, Normal, All-weather) is placed in to Dynamic mode the changes made to the steering, suspension and gearbox delivers a much more rewarding experience.
Ride comfort was very good and only on secondary roads to the cabin become slightly noisy.
Alfa Romeo MiTo Challenges
The upgrade to the Uconnect media system is move in the right direction but the lack of Sat-Nav across the range is disappointing. We would also like to see reversing sensors standard across the range, not just Distinctive.
I'm sure Alfa Romeo know there target market but we would love to be able to get the range topping Alfa Romeo Mito Distinctive with a manual transmission.
Alfa Romeo Mito The Competition
The premium European supermini segment has a great array of cars to choose from, however we would test drive the following:
The new Renault Clio is keenly priced and starts $16,790 for the 0.9-litre Authentique and the range topper is keenly priced 1.2-litre Dynamique at $23,290.
Audi A1 range kicks off from $26,500 for the 1.2 litre TFSI Attraction, while the range top is a 1.4-litre TFSI Sport at $39,990
Fiat 500 is close to one of the cheapest European supermini's on the market. Entry level Fiat 500 Pop starts at $14,000 and the TwinAir version is priced at $20,300.
Mini 3-door hatchback is available in manual transmission only and starts from $31,650.
Alfa Romeo MiTo Verdict
Alfa Romeo shares a interesting relationship with the buying public. It seems people either love or hate the Italian brand.
The new Twin-Air is a great little car and is keenly priced, the new pricing might just open the Alfa Romeo range up to a whole new generation.
Those looking for a sportier model will need to wait until the Alfa Romeo MiTo QV is launched later in the year.