MiTo 1.4 MultiAir TB 135 Lusso
the back of Alfas
successful sporty supermini
hatchback comes the second
turbocharged petrol engine...
SECOND GENERATION MiTos are arriving at the fifty Alfa UK dealers with a
new 1.3-litre Multijet ll diesel engine option. But more significantly
because most MiTo sales are to retail customers for petrol models Fiat's
new-generation MultiAir 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engines are the real headline-makers.
Initially, the new Euro V 1.4-litre MultiAir petrol engine is offered in two
turbocharged forms for the UK market the 135bhp version powers
the £15,165 Lusso and £16,135 Veloce with a top speed of 129mph and a 0-62mph
time of 8.2 or 8.4 seconds (depending on the trim and equipment specification).
The Combined Cycle fuel economy is 50.4 to 51.4mpg, CO2 emissions are 128-129g/km,
again depending on the model. A new six-speed, twin-clutch automatic transmission
is also available with this engine.
The new top-of-the-range MiTo, priced at £17,895, sees the return of the famous
Cloverleaf badge and uses the 1.4-litre unit boosted to 170bhp. Top speed is
136mph with a 0-62mph time of just 7.5 seconds. The Combined Cycle fuel consumption
is 47.1mpg; CO2 emissions are 139g/km.
In addition to MultiAir, the new MiTo range showcases more innovative technologies,
including active suspension on the Cloverleaf variant, which is claimed to be
a first in this segment.
All new MiTos have the emission-reducing Start&Stop system and the Alfa Romeo
DNA function. This is derived from motorsport and the three-mode electronic
system communicates with the engine, brakes, steering, suspension (on MiTo Cloverleaf)
and transmission, allowing the driver to adjust the responses of the car to
suit their personal driving style and road conditions.
Electronic Q2 limited slip differential, which reduces torque-steer, heads a
number of dynamic driver aids including a long list of safety systems for the
new models. Other improvements cover the interior finish, trim combinations
and gearchange quality as well as modifications to the steering, suspension
and braking systems.
be able to obtain so much useable power and, importantly, responsive torque
from relatively small capacity 1.4-litre, four-cylinder petrol engines is utterly
remarkable. Just as impressive is the refinement and lack of stressed harshness
when the engine is worked really hard. Also, it's technology which offers the
best of both worlds because driving these units at slow speeds in town is effortless
and not, as you might expect, in the slightest temperamental.
are the improvements
this latest MiTo offers in
the way of ride comfort
stability and handling...
think the 135bhp unit is going to be the best choice for most people. It feels
strong, it is quiet and with a real-life fuel consumption figure of 42.6mpg
recorded during my test driving in Scotland there is nothing to complain about.
Maximum torque of 152lb ft (manual gearbox models) is available from just 1,750rpm
that's turbodiesel territory.
This same engine, if used with the new six-speed automatic twin-clutch gearbox,
also has 169lb ft of torque from 1,750rpm so it is still responsive and, interestingly,
marginally better for fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions but
only by a whisker.
The 170bhp unit in the Cloverleaf version is equally as good with 184lb ft of
torque developed from 2,500rpm. This unit will be a fine choice for the fast
driving enthusiast. The test drive fuel consumption was 33.1mpg
still very much acceptable for this performance.
Equally impressive are the improvements this second-generation MiTo offers in
the way of ride comfort and much-improved stability and handling. The original
MiTo received some negative comment from the motoring media regarding the ability
of the suspension to soak up potholes and bumps and which unsettled the car's
balance, ride comfort and handling. Detailed damper changes have improved this
performance a great deal. The electronically controlled 'smart' variable suspension
used in the Cloverleaf version again brings improvements although at a price.
Unfortunately nothing can be done regarding the MiTo's lack of rear seat head
and legroom or the poor rear visibility. But it's very well equipped and you
do get improved handling and fantastic performance for a 1.4-litre petrol engine.
You also get great style which of itself is an important reason to buy an Alfa
Romeo. David Miles
Alfa Romeo MiTo 1.4 MultiAir TB 135 Lusso | £15,165
Top speed: 129mph | 0-62mph: 8.4 seconds | Power:
135bhp | Torque: 152lb ft
Overall test MPG: 42.6mpg | CO2: 129g/km