GUARANTEED to be bursting with Italian flair and extravagant designs, the Alfa Romeo MiTo certainly lives up to all expectations and then some.
With eye-catching streamlining and that oh-so-distinguishable front end incorporating the classic shield grille suspended between the air vents and headlights with the number plate positioned to the side, the MiTo is instantly recognisable as an Alfa Romeo.
And that flamboyant approach is emphasised even further once you take your seat behind the steering wheel. You cannot fail to immediately notice the fascia with its carbon fibre appearance although to be brutally honest it had a real marmite effect on me.
At first I loved the uniqueness of the design, but after a while in the driving seat I had started to hate the pattern and longed for a good old traditional bland and plastic dashboard.
Another amazing feature on the MiTo is its DNA and unlike humans it’s nothing to do with deoxyribonucleic acid, but all about Dynamic, Normal and All-weather. Basically, you can choose the driving mode that suits your mood and suits the driving conditions.
For me, the Dynamic mode just cannot be ignored and with the flick of a switch there is instant power with more rapid acceleration and sharper steering - it’s a bit like being fired out of a canon and then opening a parachute as you revert back to Normal mode.
Everywhere you look there are snazzy features and plenty of creature comforts including air conditioning with pollen filter, neat sports dials with white illumination, a great sound system and media player with USB port, electric windows and plenty more besides.
The MiTo delivers a very comfortable ride, although there is not that much space for rear seat passengers. The 1.4-litre engine is very quiet meaning there is little or no cabin noise even at higher speeds and the five-speed manual transmission is tightly grouped and very responsive.
In and around town, the excellent all-round visibility means you are able to cruise safely through congested city centres and then out on the faster roads the MiTo really burst into life with deceptive power, blistering acceleration and excellent road-holding - even in the wet.
Alfa Romeo has kitted the MiTo out with an extensive range of safety features including vehicle dynamic control, anti slip regulation, cornering brake control, dynamic steering torque and lots more.
All in all the MiTo (named after Milan and Torino) is great fun to drive and left me questioning why every car isn’t fitted with a Dynamic mode.
Alfa Romeo MiTo 1.4 MultiAir TB Veloce
Mechanical: 135bhp, 1,368cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 129mph
0-62mph: 8.4 seconds
Combined mpg: 50.4
Insurance group: 19
CO2 emissions: 129g/km
BIK rating: 15%
Warranty: 3 yrs/unlimited miles