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The first impression
My motoring journalism career began by reviewing an Alfa MiTo - back in 2012. Since then, and most recently, the Italian Kiss (MiTo) has undergone some minor tweaks, keeping it up to date and as sweet as ever.
The MiTo carries its age well, especially for a car launched six years ago in 2008. Its compact proportions and interesting design, which is magnified by details like its classic V-shaped grill, matt silver side view mirrors and door handles, through to its tight yet stocky rear end and twin chromo tail pipes. The MiTo is a modern classic. In Quadrifoglio Verde version, the MiTo is fitted with aggressive 18” rims in a suitably appropriate gunmetal grey finish.
Like most things Italian, the MiTo is a complex contradiction of beauty, juxtaposed by characterful imperfection.
On the road
The MiTo and more specifically the Quadrifoglio Verde (translated - Four-leaf clover) and Verde Sport, are Alfa Romeo’s version of a fiery vixen. Think Penelope Cruz’s character in the Woody Allen movie, Vicky Cristina Barcelona - MarÍe Elena: sexy and sensual, but ruled by her passionate temperament. The overall effect leaves you wanting more.
The heart of the Mito, its 1.4 turbocharged engine, given a twist in the Quadrifoglio Verde, means that the power plant has increased power over the standard MiTo, which boasts 100kW, to a fierce 125 kW for the Quadrifoglio Verde.
Dynamically the MiTo has been designed to entertain. It is a driver’s car. Steering is precise, albeit the feeling of the large leather covered steering wheel does detracted from the effect. A smaller wheel would be better suited. The ride is firm, though not bone shattering, this makes for a sporting character that allows for quick cornering and playful driving dynamics.
Switching the MiTo from either A (All-Weather) or N (Normal) into D (Dynamic), from its DNA driver mode selector, alters the cars character. Normal mode is best suited for daily driving, while Dynamic is great for quick getaways and robot to robot dashes, as it increase the cars power output and response from the engine.
In keeping with my dessert analogy, I found the 6-speed manual gearbox like manoeuvring a submerged tablespoon, while in a warm sticky toffee pudding, not ideal. As your mouth waters for the next taste of heaven, you inevitably become emotional as you force your way through the process. In other words, gear changes can be challenging, with a sticky motion being the bone of contention, though this is most apparent when driving in an enthusiastic manner where quick changes are all part of the fun!
The cabin of the MiTo is playfully upmarket. The black leather sports seats feature duo-toned colouring highlights - cream piping and Quadrifoglio Verde green top-stich as the final detail. A carbon fibre draped dashboard now features a nifty touch screen infotainment system, allows easy access to the Bluetooth hands free system, audio controls and navigational system. The cabin of the MiTo is both good on the eye and practical enough for the brain.
What I liked
What I wasn’t mad about
The extra stuff
The Alfa Romeo MiTo comes standard with a 3 year/100 000km maintenance plan and a 5 star euroNCAP crash test score.
Like MarÍe Elena, the MiTo is Latin: passionate, exciting and exquisite. Like MarÍe Elena, the MiTo is fiery and temperamental.
Vicky the attractive and highly intelligent pragmatist with a desire for excitement, which errs on the side of mischief, that is like the Audi A1.
Cristina, oh Cristina: cute as a button, sporty and just gorgeously lovable. Naughty is her middle name. She loves to be noticed, having a tiny twist of narcissism in her character. Like Cristina, so is the MINI Coopers S.
That leaves us with our final case member, a creative and handsome protagonist for which all three ladies are vying for his attention, the artist Juan Antonio: charming, comically sophisticated and totally charismatic. Like Juan, so too is the Citroën DS3.
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