Cars - Alfa Romeo

Road tests and reviews of the latest Alfa Romeo models available in South Africa

We take a look at the 2016 Alfa Romeo MiTo

2016 Alfa Romeo MiTo

By Franky Johnson

Before the Alfa Romeo MiTo name was confirmed, Alfa’s new baby went under the codename Junior – a nameplate steeped in Alfa folklore. But at the last minute, Mito was chosen as it represents Milan and Torino where Alfa's smallest hothatch is designed and built.

Maybe Mito kept the marketing men happy, but Junior would have nicely defined what the MiTo is about. It also would have satisfied the Alfisti, the legions of Alfa fans across the world which the company holds dear.

MultiAir technology (in conjunction with turbo-charging and the emission-reducing Start & Stop system) is standard across the revised Alfa Romeo MiTo Series 1 range. The innovative MultiAir technology delivers high performance motoring while, at the same time, significantly reducing emissions and fuel consumption. The MiTo line-up also enjoys exceptional safety credentials thanks to a five-star EuroNCAP rating and seven airbags as standard fitment.

The 100kW version of the unit powers the MiTo 1.4 which is now kitted out to more upmarket Distinctive specification, while the racier 125kW 1.4 unit powers the Quadrifoglio Verde and the new flagship in the range, the Quadrifoglio Verde Sport.

Despite being the entry into the range, the MiTo Distinctive MultiAir includes a host of creature comforts and styling features. DNA system (without Alfa Active Suspension), 16-inch alloy wheels, follow-me-home headlights, electrically adjustable door mirrors, air-conditioning, LED rear lights, electric power steering and 6-speaker radio/CD/MP3 player audio system with steering wheel radio controls, are just a few of the specifications that are offered as standard in the Distinctive model.

The MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde ups the stakes in the power department with its racy 125kW power plant. It also benefits from a number of features over and above the Distinctive model, including: 17-inch alloy wheels, satin chrome beading, a rear sports bumper with extractor and micro-brushed aluminium logos with the iconic four-leaved clover in relief. Inside the cabin, the Quadrifoglio Verde is distinguished by its chrome kick plates, black sports fabric and Alcantara seats with signature green stitching and a leather steering wheel. A new front grille surround under the badge broadens the lower part of the front, emphasising the impression of a car with a vice-like grip on the ground.

The new Quadrifoglio Verde Sport heads up the range with Alfa Active Suspension. The system, developed as a joint venture between Alfa Romeo and Magneti Marelli, is able to call on the extraordinary experience both companies have accrued in motorsport throughout the world. The system - through the control of the shock absorbers - reduces vehicle oscillation in all driving conditions, ensuring better safety, comfort and drivability.

The interface between the car and driver is facilitated by the Alfa DNA system, which regulates the car's geometry according to the selected drive mode. The Alfa DNA has three operating modes which the driver can select: Dynamic (sports driving mode), Normal (driving mode for normal conditions) and All Weather mode (for driving in slippery/rainy conditions).

In conjunction with the Active Suspension, Alfa DNA operates the Engine Control Unit, Instrument Panel, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Steering and Suspension (for example, in "Dynamic" mode the damping becomes stiffer, improving handling).

However, the new Active Suspension is not the only unique feature on the Quadrifoglio Verde Sport; there are also stylish new 18" alloy wheels, red brake calipers, dual zone climate control and an eight-speaker radio/CD/MP3 player audio system.

Available as an option on the rest of the range, but standard on the Quadrifoglio Verde Sport, is the Blue & Me system with My Port that allows the fitment of an optional portable navigation device fully integrated with the rest of the vehicle’s systems. The Blue & Me TomTom is a genuine infotelematic system that combines practical use by means of the complete integration with the vehicle's existing Blue & Me system.

Retail prices for the new MiTo's start from about R313 000 for the Distinctive range to R337 000 for the Quadrifoglio range. Standard across the MiTo range in South Africa is a five-year/150 000km warranty (three years on paintwork and five years on rust anti-perforation) as well as a six-year/90 000 km service plan.

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