Alfa Romeo MiTo

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Road Test

Alfa Romeo MiTo TwinAir Distinctive driven

Driven January 2014

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On the outside, this isn't much of a facelift. More like a slight plucking of the nostril hairs. On the inside, the most obvious novelty is an optional red dash moulding. It's black on top, so it doesn't reflect in the screen, but gradually fades to red on the vertical surfaces. Like the inside of some prog-rock band's tour bus.

More functionally, there's now a bigger in-dash screen. The old phone and music system was a bit rubbish because there wasn't the space to show long enough menus of contacts or tracks. Now there is. You can add TomTom nav to that same screen for £550, and digital radio for £200 (should be standard, eh?).

The base TwinAir engine is now up from 85bhp to 105bhp. It pulls enthusiastically enough that I kept accidentally biffing the rev-limiter. That's enough power to have fun, and yet it stays under 100g and the insurance is cheap, plus there are discounts, so even though it's bound to drink more than the official rating, other costs are low.

The ride is more pliant and less likely to thump in the light-engined MiTo TwinAir, but, even so, it can get caught out by potholes. And the steering is better weighted than it was.

Paul Horrell

Verdict: Competitive non-mainstream supermini with an interesting engine. Likes smooth roads best. Good all-rounder.

Stats: 875cc 2cyl petrol, FWD, 105bhp, 107lb ft, 67.2mpg, 99g/km CO2, 0-62mph in 11.4secs, 114mph, 1130kg, £15,550

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