USED CAR ROAD TEST: ALFA ROMEO MITO (2010-14)
That MiTo name is a clever play on words, combining as it does the first two letters of Milan (where Alfa Romeo was conceived) and Turin – or in Italian ‘Torino’ (where the cars are made).
Yes, this car is a lot cheaper than the larger Alfa Romeos you may have been used to, but it’s also still pretty profitable given that the money to develop its underpinnings and engines was already spent a few years before this car’s original launch on its close cousin, Fiat’s Punto. Fortu- nately for potential buyers, the two cars have a very different feel thanks to the MiTo-specific steering, seating, suspension and brakes.
Most cars have some kind of styling brand identity but with an Alfa, the whole shape has a unique look that could belong to no other marque, from the serpent-eating-baby badge on the shield-shaped front grille to the rounded jewel-like LED tail lights.
The MiTo has a reliability record that’s at the lower end of accept- able. In a very comprehensive review in 2013, the German TuV organisation looked at all two to three-year-old used cars and ranked them in order from one to 132. The MiTo ranked 96th which isn’t a stellar score, but a few years ago, you’d have put money on a used Alfa being in the bottom 20, so that’s progress of a sort.
If you prefer a bit more verve and style in your life, the Alfa Romeo MiTo could well be a very smart choice, especially in post-2010 guise.