Review: Alfa Romeo MiTo

Posted on 29. Jan, 2010 by in Auto News

Today's tester is a red Alfa Romeo. So I really should not tell you how you derived its name from the cities of Milan and Turin. I should not be telling that it is based on the Fiat Punto and I really need no closer than his underhood gadgetry, because in ancient times, "Red" was all you needed to know to be an Alfa Romeo. To paraphrase on the other side, Dylan, things have changed.

Alfa Romeo exists in that rare pantheon of automotive name that inspires blind devotion of enthusiasts in the world, built by decades of cars that appealed the soul rather than the mind. But today, everyone wants air conditioning, power steering and enough safety distance to land resources on the moon. Everyone cares about the environment, cross-platform use, polar bears and electronic driver aids. Perhaps more importantly, nobody wants the infamous breakdown Alfas are renowned. So we need to talk about meaningful things.

Enter the Alfa Romeo MiTo, which will, together with the Alfa 159 saloon the Germans positioned a good run for their money, and directly against BMW Mini Cooper. Ah, but the Mini already competes with the Fiat 500, you say. But the 500 is a mini-car, the Cooper significantly undercut in price and size. The MiTo is larger than the Mini, but it is still below the matching stickers Cooper throughout Europe. Will it ever end up in the U.S.? Time will tell, as Alfa Romeo was able to North America back in 2011 … if it survives its "strategic review."

The MiTo – introduced in late 2008 – fills a bygone slot in the Italian range of the company: the small car, also one of the most important car segments in Europe. ? A spiritual successor to the 70 "Alfasud Maybe, but Alfa has much more to do with Fiat than what you think is not only that it shares its basics with the Punto small car, but also shares many of its components -. And as engines gear – with other Fiat models Fortunately, sporting bits -. are tailored – as the suspension and brakes.

You certainly can not call badge-job evaluation from the outside, the -. And Alfa standards – gorgeous The front is much inspired by the Alfa 8C Competitzione – so difficult, in fact, that the result is a nose, a little busy for such a small car. Nevertheless, the car usually is simply a delight, the sense of sight with a sexy roof slope and the world's first automobile tasteful use of chrome surrounding the round LED lamps. It really could park a car in the driveway and stared for hours admiring its carved alloys and even the brake calipers, careful with 'Alfa Romeo' is written in a beautiful script. A run-of-the-mill Punto? Not so much.

Enter the cabin, and remains the design festival. Talk about oxymorons – there are (optional) dark-red-soft-touch faux-carbon, which looks and feels great. The molded dashboard hides some good-looking, orange-glowing dials and Benzina is certainly the sexiest title ever grace a fuel gauge. Honestly. It's pleasant attention to detail here: the vents are covered with a smooth chrome application is showing the tachometer turbo boost pressure (no conceivable purpose or measuring units), and the windows are frameless.

On the quality front, not everything is perfect. The faux-aluminum trim on the center console is not so bad, but that changes when you touch it. Worryingly, when slight pressure, but also squeaks. There are some low-rent plastics hidden under eyesight and any left turn what seemed to be a screw on the barrel rolled somewhere in the back of the glove compartment. Small niggles However, the MiTo cockpit a touch of quality there, if not as impressive as some of the latest products from Fiat.

In the name of the style, of course, the MiTo has only two doors. While it is spacious front, the rear seats offer little in the way of leg room, and thanks to this great looking roofline, larger individuals may find that her head hits the ceiling more often than it is socially acceptable. It gets worse offers in the trunk of a miserly 9-and-a-half cubic meter capacity. Alfa small car, then is (thankfully) a triumph of form over function.

You can download the MiTo with a variety of ubiquitous 1.4 Fiat Group engines have gas (or diesel MultiJet), starting with a basic 90 bhp unit, but our kitted-out Veloce tester has the top-spec turbocharged version with no less than 155 horses. This is not the first time the unit has impressed me, and it gets even better in the Alfa, where it has a fantastic, throaty soundtrack, which makes it considerably larger capacity than it really is. Even on it will stop producing a high burble – not anything from the turbo pipe.

While turbo lag is hardly noticeable, this is still an engine that lives in the mid-range. Sure, it turns happy with 6,500 revolutions per minute, but there is much more at home live on the main street, where she oozes with a torque. Disappointing for a small car with such levels of power, including the MiTo the sprint to 60 in 8 seconds, but makes up for the disappointment spec sheet with excellent medium power range.

And lo and behold, ladies and gentlemen – the Alfa has a third pedal and a real stick between the front seats. Not a Selespeed sequential, semi-automatic devil, but a plain and simple 6-speed manual transmission, which really complements the MiTo. Thanks to the never-ending supply of torque, there is not much to do rowing. You can see it in the third, while put in the city and forget it. The box itself is a pleasure to use, but it could use a slightly shorter throw.

The thick-bellied steering wheel holds a special significance for the driver. But I was scared. New Fiat Group products leave driving experience way down on their list. One that will be on a cash cow, rather than offer real fun is – the MiTo, Alfa would be a commercialized?

It was a relief to find out that the Alfa Romeo MiTo is more than capable of holding through the curves. Yes, this is the numb steering and missing feedback, but at least it's accurate. Otherwise, it's easy, good-hearted fun – the MiTo resists understeer nice and progressive, so you get plenty of warning before the tire-squealing area. That's what the front part of the Q2 electronic limited slip differential. It will even throw out their tail should ask them nicely. Brakes are good, the body roll is well controlled and to control torque is nowhere to be seen.

The MiTo, Fiat-variable assistance electro-hydraulic device, and in the town the steering is frighteningly easy – you really could make a U-turn by coughing in his immediate vicinity. At higher speeds, the steering stiffens and is weighted acceptable, but still errs on the lighter side, and is not nearly as communicative as you would expect from an Alfa.

The MiTo also has an electronic card up its sleeve – the DNA system, which allows you to choose between three different modes: Dynamic, Normal and All Weather. It will not turn the little Alfa into a giant roaring lion within the flick of a button, but it does make the right changes in the right places. In Dynamic mode, throttle response is sharper, increasing the boost pressure and the steering gets a little more rubbery resistance (which contributes nothing to their feedback skills). Traction control and stability systems are easy – but unfortunately, when the grant will be a degree of freedom is not completely solved.

On the open road, the MiTo is a mixed bag. On the one hand creates the suspension level off to minor flaws, but bumps and potholes, it brings out of his composure. While wind noise are kept at bay, there are constant tire roar in the cabin. Fuel consumption was impressive, with the MiTo an average of 20 MPG Ed: "enthusiasts kilometers," not indicative of normal use of our strong performance on a test track.

The Alfa Romeo MiTo is not glorified Punto. Far from it – it's a car in its own right, with a different feeling, sympathy and character. If you seek it as a transport method, it's a surprisingly thorough package – even his greatest shortcomings are not deal breakers, if you want exceptional functionality of your small car. If it looks like a car, it's a quick and fun hot hatch with styling panache and lots of character – though it's still not a thoroughly serious driver's car. And when you look as Alfa, well, it's red. And that's all you really need to know.

Vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas provided by Alfa Romeo.

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