The Alfa Romeo MiTo is a very Italian sporty three-door hatchback that has excellent
styling, inside and out. It was overpriced when introduced here in July 2009 so sales
were very slow. Though prices were reduced several times the damage had been
done and sales didn’t really pick up. So, it was withdrawn from sale here early in
Though it’s sold as a three-door hatch, MiTo’s interior is more coupe like in that it’s
rather tight inside. The front seats have good legroom but some people may find
headroom is tight. The back seats are probably better left to kids, as always try for
yourself before making a decision.
When the MiTo first arrived in Australia it was powered by a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol
engine in two stages of tune, producing 88 kW in the standard version, and 114 kW
in the Sport.
In July 2010 the standard MiTo got the 114-kW unit previously used in the Sport was
offered as an option. The basic engine was improved to 99 kW late in 2010.
A fascinating feature of the little Alfa is the DNA (Dynamic, Normal, All-weather)
system. This electronically adjusts the throttle, steering and suspension systems to
give the baby Alfa quite a different feel on the road. Try the DNA in all its settings
when you take the MiTo for a test drive so see if you like them.
A more powerful engine, in models called Quadrifoglio and later Quadrifoglio Verde
(QV,) was offered from 2010. It has 125 kW of power and 230 Nm of torque. Torque
can be temporarily boost to 250 Nm by using the `Dynamic’ mode switch when you
want added grunt to get it off the line in traffic-light Grand Prix, or when hammering it
on your favourite driving road. This is the sort of sporty Italian machine that you will
want to get up early on a Sunday morning to have a fang.
Fiat’s clever TwinAir twin-cylinder 900cc engine was offered in the MiTo in 2014, not
many were sold and it has become a bit of an orphan. It’s worth trying to find one if
you’re keen on driving something that’s out of the ordinary. It sounds great and has
an excellent buzz.
Five-speed manual gearboxes were sold with the standard model Alfa Romeo MiTo
in the early days. Six-speed units were used on all others.
What Alfa Romeo calls a TCT six-speed dual-clutch transmission was offered in
some models. It is slow and cranky at times and it really spoils the driving
experience. Then again, if you’re doing a lot of stop-start commuting in peak hours
this automatic might be okay for you.
The number of Alfa Romeo dealers has significantly increased in recent years due to
the work of an aggressive new Australian team. Almost all Alfa dealers are situated
in major metro areas but quite a few Fiat dealers are able to help.
We have heard of no major problems with spare parts availability. Prices tend to be
Insurance costs are higher than average, which is hardly a surprise considering the
antics of some owners. Shop around but don’t be swayed by price alone.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Make sure the engine starts easily and idles reasonably smoothly, even when cold.
Ideally you should arrange to do this when the engine is started in the morning after
cooling completely down overnight
Do some fast gearchanges and listen for protesting crunching and stickiness from
Make sure the service books show that the MiTo has been professionally serviced,
ideally by Alfa dealer.
Check that the camshaft timing belt has been replaced. It has a shorter than average
life of just 60,000 km or three years, whichever comes first.
Uneven tyre wear is a sign of hard driving.
Have the front wheel alignment checked as thumps against kerbs can knock it out of
adjustment which greatly reduces tyre life.
Look for signs of crash repairs. Uneven paint colours, overspray on glass and
badges and ripples in the panels are clues. If there’s any doubts have a professional
do a full inspection, including a test of chassis alignment.
Expect to append from $4000 to $7500 for a 2009 Alfa Romeo MiTo; $6000 to
$10,000 for a 2010 Quadrifoglio or a 2014 Progression Series 2; $7000 to $11,000
for a 2013 Quad Verde; $9000 to $14,000 for a 2014 Quadrifoglio; and $10,000 to
$16,000 for a 2015 Quadrifoglio
CAR BUYING TIP
Cars with a reputation for sporty driving may have wear and tear far greater than you
would expect from the kilometres covered.
RECALLS: To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at: