Alfa Romeo MiTo Phase 3 test: 18 months and 30,000 km, get on board for a review!

The Alfa Romeo MiTo was released in 2008 and is getting ready to retire in a few months, after 10 years of career. A vehicle that will have marked the spirits by its look in particular. My companion and I own one ourselves.

The opportunity to give you an assessment in the form of a photo report before the little Italian flea takes her leave...

Genesis of a love at first sight

For me, the MiTo is a a sensual and desirable city-dwellerIt was a car with a pencil stroke that only the Italians have mastered. For my friend, it was just one car among others. I am passionate about Italian cars, he is not attached to any particular brand. Besides, he was and still is not a fan of the pre-restyling version with its chrome bars grille, nor of some accessories like the black ring on the front lights or the sport rims.

In December 2016While my friend is looking for a new vehicle (a Citroën Saxo Phase 3) and is about to break his piggy bank to buy a new or almost new vehicle, his attention is immediately drawn to a Alfa Romeo MiTo white, restyled version with black honeycomb grille, with only 100 km on the odometerThe car is on display in front of a FIAT-ALFA-JEEP dealership in the Yvelines. Test is taken but love at first sight is already for him, as for me, present. He wants it, we want it. We take it. Get on board, the journey begins...

The style? We still can't get enough of it!

The MiTo's style is a unique style. The pencil stroke is superb. At the front, the round lights with a dark grey color are superb. Combined with the V-shaped grille so characteristic of the brand, black honeycomb for this model of June 2016 which has then 6 months and only 100 km on the odometer when we acquire it in December of the same year, that provides a stylish and elegant appearanceThe MiTo is a car that is easily distinguished from the soulless Franco-German movers. The MiTo, you see it, you recognize it, it attracts and charms you because it's different. It's Italian and that means everything to me.

Also, small details add to the natural elegance of this model. Details that made us fall in love with this particular vehicle: the 16″ aluminum wheels with many spokesthe sport rims which did not suit us, or the chrome mirrors which contrast with the bodywork. Not to mention the remote plate on the side that makes so Alfa or the white color, without sinking into the cream of some other models. Here, it's bianco Alfa. It is also, to conclude, the new logoThis is a less colorful and more elegant model recently introduced by Alfa Romeo.

Seen from the side, its compact and compact look, all in sportiness but all in suggestion, still charms us. A work of art does not need artifice to subjugate, it is enough to itself... The unframed windows always have their little effect, if not on the others, at least on us and that's the main thing. It's classy, it's sporty, it's Alfa.

At the back, the small round LED lights are still as timeless as ever. The beauty has 10 years of design in the rims but it has has not aged a bit... The chrome ring around the lights, identical to the front, adds to the delicacy of the whole. Whether I rediscover it in my garage with all the lights on, in the countryside of Normandy or in an urban environment, as you can see below, it still stands out for the fineness of its features and its sculptural linefrom all angles.

Still today, 18 months after the beginning of the ownership and while some people get tired of their vehicle, we, when we find it, on a parking lot in rainy weather or in a clearing after a romantic walk in a beautiful spring sun, whether it is in the middle of the crowd of other vehicles or alone, in the nature, exposed like a Greek statue, we still exclaim "how beautiful she is!" It is instinctive, it is passionate. We can't get enough of it. Yes, we find our MiTo always so bellissima than at the beginning!

Inside ? It's nice (despite some flaws...)

Climb inside with me.

When we bought it in December 2016, we immediately appreciated the quality of the whole. It must be said that we came out of a 15 year old Saxo which, despite its valour and the good memories we have of it, does not have the means to compete. In the Mito, what predominated from the start was the feeling of being wrapped up. We feel coiled in a cocoon where everything seems to be padded, so much so that we have the impression that the front window is 4 meters away! The interior design seduced us and the quality of the materials is always good.


from all angles
On this subject, having ridden in an Audi A1, I'd like to send a message to the car testers that I respect so much: stop with your German manufacturing quality because, without any bad faith (I assure you!), the manufacturing quality of an A1 did not seem superior to that of our MiTo. If the precision of the assemblies can be put to the advantage of the German (but the difference is millimetric), it is especially the fact of proposing uniform materials that contributes to the feeling of visual quality, whereas the Alfa uses different materials that can make you think of a patchwork appearance. As for the A1's plastics, they sound hard and hollow outside the dashboard's visuals. Here again, it's best not to look in the corners. So, does the MiTo have anything to be ashamed of? In my opinion, no. Intrinsically, no.

But the A1 is not the subject of our article so let's get back to our Milanese. L'foamed look of the top of the dashboardThis wave-shaped device, which joins the center console, is still very pleasant and is located in the fairly insensitive to scratches (we are rather careful anyway). The same goes for the storm doors. The round aerators4 of them, are very Alfa in their design and the The new steering wheel is reminiscent of the V-shaped grille in its style typical of the brand. It's very nice.

The MiTo we have is a finish Super well provided for. Thus, it has many useful facilities such as CD MP3 radio with USB and 6 HP Aux., steering wheel radio controls, touch screen, hill start assist, reverse parking radar, power heated mirrors, dual zone automatic climate control, lumbar adjustable front seats, power windows, leather steering wheel, a host of airbags including a driver's knee airbag, ESP, fog lights, automatic headlights and wipers, seat belt sensors, chrome exhaust...

Others are less useful like the Stop&Start system which my companion is not a fan of (he thinks it harms the engine more than it helps with consumption), cruise control (he doesn't use it much and prefers to drive by himself). And yes, an Alfa is driven! Also we have not never used a single CDOur music is played via MP3 and USB.

Finally, some nice details like the colorful reminder of the Alfa Romeo logo on the driver's seat mat or the brand name on the center consoleabove the touch screen or on the bottom of the doors.

As for the seats, they are well wrapped aroundespecially at the level of the pelvis but my companion finds theseat a little too shortwhich is tiring for long journeys. The driving position is easily found. As someone who has only driven it a few times (the characteristic of many people in Paris who have the pink paper but only use public transport, which unfortunately led me to hardly touch a steering wheel), I found, when I got behind the hoop, that the driving position was easy to find.

On the other hand, as a passenger, which I am 99% of the time, I find the poorly made storm doors. Putting your arm on the armrest of the back door doesn't help me much, it's too low! Putting it on the top of the door near the window is a torture, due to a very high body line, perfect for the design, but torture inside, where putting your right arm as a passenger is a headache. So, I prefer to put my left arm on the central armrest! Without disturbing the driver of course... Also the doors, large and heavyare difficult to maneuver and the amplitude to stabilize them is badly dosed. Slightly parked on a slope, you easily catch the door falling on your leg when you get off! Beware of bruises!

A word about thetouch screen which manages many functions. It is in color for the appearance of the logo but in black and white the rest of the timewith some red details. Little disturbing but it may seem old-fashioned for some technophiles. Getting to grips with the radio stations and some of the other menu options is pretty straightforward according to the driver involved. Personally, I'm more concerned with music via MP3 and USB. The sound is good and the orders are quite intuitive. More painful, the USB connection detection timewhich takes sometimes almost a minute and lets the screen spin in a vacuum. It lacks speed. Also, when I'm in sub-menus or even sub-sub-menus of music folders, it is sometimes mandatory to go back to the main folders because the one time back button is not always possible. An often annoying detail!

A little note on life at the back all the same. For being up there, we feel good also but claustrophobic people are not our friends because we feel confined by the imposing character of the front seats and the reduced size of the side windows combined with an absence of opening, even by compass. But access remains easy. My nearly 80 year old grandmother easily sits in the back and did not suffer from any sense of engulfment. Legroom is still very good and the sufficient width at the elbows. Despite this, the MiTo remains a The car was designed primarily for two, installed in the front, where there is no lack of space. The rear doors offer appreciable storage space, although not very wide, as well as the central armrest (which falls perfectly under the arm) and the bottom of the center console. Sufficient. Cheap detail, however: the glove box, ridiculously small, which does not open enough because of the legs and which seems, in the closed position, to be trowel finished, badly fitting the rest of the dashboard.

As for the trunkIt takes our luggage for a weekend or for the vacations. It cube 270 lThis is an honorable value (more than a Mini, a little less than a 208. For comparison, the Clio cube 300l). On the other hand, the price of its style, it takes the form of a well with a high loading sill. Beware of the lumbar vertebrae in case of heavy luggage to unload and be careful not to scratch the bodywork either. Quite a pity, the bench seat is monobloc. Well, for the few times we had to fold the rear seats, the whole bench was folded and if the seats had been split, we would have folded them all the same way. But, at least, 60/40 or 40/20/40 seats leave possibilities that we simply don't have.

Engine ? It turns!

Our June 2016 MiTo Super trim is equipped with a 1.4 MPI engine with 78 hp. I can already feel the cries of rage from some. What's the point? But when you have an Alfa, you don't take an entry-level engine! It's unworthy ! And they claim to love Alfa ! etc etc... Stop ! Several reasons explain this engine:

- Love at first sight was aesthetic before it was about power.

- For the budget we had, the choice was simple: either a new or almost new MiTo with this small engine, or a more powerful engine but with a vehicle with more miles on it or simply more expensive to buy. Which was impossible.

- A more powerful engine, of course it is good, but we are my companion and me, young. The banker might not have followed, the insurer might not have either, and the license might be even less.

- To drive at 130 km/h on the highway and at 90 80 on secondary roads is enough. To drive less and less in the name of the sacrosanct mortality on the road spearheaded by the perrichonesque harpies, to soon drive on a scooter or even in reverse (to bring the dead back to life?), it's even quite enough!

This 1.4 MPI, what can we say about it?

First of all, visuallythe first time we opened the hood, we found it very small. We could almost fit two engines in the hood, as we had the impression that there was still some space left. Oh yes, we're far from the big V6s that fit in a row!

On the road, it does the job. Flexible, efficient and very alertit fulfills the function. With 78 hp, of course, it's not a thunderbolt (my friend says that they are "more 78 ponies than 78 horses"). But that's enough for our limited speeds in France and with a small ton on the scale only. On the other hand, when it is necessary to relaunch, in full dimension, to double for example, one feels that the diva has difficulty to find the energy and we are quickly caught up by powerful vehicles arriving behind at full speed. But at a stable speed, no problem. You just need to don't hesitate to whip it from time to time.

On the road, the car is rather well soundproofed (even if the competition is more accomplished). If the accelerations are not lightning, the car, on the other hand, brakes hard. As far as consumption is concerned, we started when we bought the car, with only 100 small kilometers on the odometer, with a rather high consumption since, for a 45L tankWe were only doing 450 to 500 km. As much to say that the stops at the pump were frequent and that the miss was drinking! It was a average of 10L/100 km at the beginning! My friend often complained but I told him that the break-in was necessary.

Today, after 30,000 km behind the wheel (in 18 months, yes, that's a lot!), we carry out up to 650 km on a full tank. Either a average consumption around 7L/100 kmAt 130 km/h at stabilized speed, we are at 6.3L on average. Even though the question of diesel could be raised in view of the mileage we drive, it was a no-go. No farm tractor noise worthy of a Peugeot in our car! Even if we had to go to the pump more often. In any case, with the higher purchase price, the maintenance, the numerous breakdowns due to the (too) many parts and in view of the diesel scandal, we did well! Viva Benzina !

Sound level, at the risk of sounding like a fool, it makes a great noise! I can already hear the "What, a 78 hp? What a joke!" And yet, I affirm it. It makes a a real rally car sound, with a petulant side. What remains imperceptible inside with the windows closed is, on the contrary, very noticeable when you are outside. At start-up, as when you make it take turns, it offers a a little side of a 70's sports car that we are particularly fond of. It hums slightly, it slams on the exhaust. See the video below: https://www.youtube.com/embed/gMl9YHv0Urg?feature=oembed&wmode=opaque

The maximum speed is marked for 200 km/h on the meter but be aware that we have "only" taken it up to 175 km/h. Which is already prohibited, you will agree. But hush, you haven't read anything!

In ordinary life, the small one is handy and easy to drive but beware because its bodywork is terribly exposed ! It is otherwise comfortable in its saddlery but the suspension is a little dry on the bump and some irregularities are sometimes felt. In the same way one serves the teeth (and the buttocks!) with the approach of certain speed bumps, without counting that, taken a little quickly, the long black plastic bib located under the front spoiler can rub. Softness and delicacy!...

Finally, the 5-speed mechanical gearbox fulfills its mission and mates well with this engine. She doesn't catch on and is well tiered. On the other hand, don't expect to pick up at the bottom of the rev counter in 2nd gear, the MiTo will stall! It's not a diesel, by any means! When driving smoothly as well as briskly, the car follows its trajectory well, hugs the roadon straight and winding roads, and has proven to be always safeThe front end remains heavy when the rear, it follows without flinching. When entering a traffic circle, the tires stay glued to the asphalt. Don't expect to make them sing or to make the rear end drift, the car remains stuck, even if the front end tends to widen the trajectory a little.

Balance sheet

In the end, after 18 months of owning it, it is clear that we love our MiTo. We are attached to it. It is beautiful and desirable. We feel that she is being watched as she passes. Try it with a C3 to see!

Of course, it is not the most technophile, nor the most powerful nor the most efficient, but it is very well equipped, sufficient for regulation speeds, comfortable and safe.

Mostly, it has that little "+". that the others will never have, no matter how brilliant they are: it is beautiful, definitely beautiful. It's an Italian, a car with a soul and a heart. One perceives sometimes this small sparkle in its glance. We get attached to her, we are one with her. Even the little plush who keeps her company on the back deck, black eye and white dress, wants to look like her, that's to say...

We love our MiTo for its qualities as well as its (small) defects. Our MiTo is quite simply Alfabulous!

One Comment

Leave a Reply
  1. Great car and great memories in a 2010 QV version, with active suspension.
    Family car, 2 adults, 2 kids, a dog, and yes I don't like sedans, let alone suvs, finds large cars useless 355 days a year.
    Same opinion for the comparison with the A1, one of my aunts owns one, I burst out laughing when I got inside. What's with the premium finish!
    I love the trunk, it's deep and you can stuff it to the brim! No wasted space, which is not the case with the low load sills, where everything degenerates and breaks! And on top of that, it's a great exercise to move around a bit!
    But well, end of the ALFA adventure, thank you to this fool Marchionne to have screwed up a range, by stopping abruptly the Brera, 159, Gt, by stopping the developments of the giulietta, Mito, by being unable to make evolve the 4C.
    Sickening what happens to this brand after Lancia, Alfa will be the next to disappear. It's not the two future suvs that will fight in a duel in the middle of exhibition halls invaded by fiat, jeep, abarth, and why not DS that this brand will find a semblance of credibility. It's a done deal!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *