Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde review

11 Jun, 2014 11:00am Oliver Kew

The Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrofoglio Verde replaces the old Cloverleaf hot hatch, but it's seriously disappointing

Verdict

2
The Alfa Romeo Mito has never been the sharpest handling car in the supermini playground, and asking over £20,000 for the Quadrifoglio Verde with its mediocre dual-clutch gearbox is awfully steep - especially when the Fiesta ST is so superb to drive for so much less cash.

Talk about making life difficult for yourself. From summer 2014, the new Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde (which replaces the old 168bhp Alfa Romeo MiTo Cloverleaf with a more exotic-sounding name) will be fitted exclusively with a six-speed, dual-clutch paddleshift transmission. It’s a strategy that’s hasn’t gone down well on the new Renault Clio RS, so can it work for Alfa?
 
It’s exactly the same gearbox that lives in the back of the Alfa Romeo 4C supercar, which has also migrated into the 2014 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Quadrofoglio Verde (albeit both with different software maps). Efficiency has seen a welcome increase for the 2014 MiTo QV: claimed economy has leapt from 47.1mpg to 52.3mpg, and CO2 emissions fall from 139g/km to 124g/km.
 
Unlike the bigger Giulietta, here’s no launch-control function in the 167bhp MiTo, and its 1.4-litre engine is down on power compared to the 179bhp Ford Fiesta ST, and 197bhp Peugeot 208 GTI and Renault Clio RS. The MiTo QV scampers from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds: brisk, sure, but we’re more used to hatchbacks dipping into the sixes by now, and the MiTo isn’t all that exciting when you push its alloy pedal into the carpet.

 
The new gearbox is part of the problem, not a solution. It simply doesn’t feel as if Alfa Romeo has managed to successfully calibrate its software to work with the little powerplant in the MiTo - it hesitates when maximum acceleration is asked from medium speeds in a high gear, such as leaving a town for an A-road, or pulling onto a motorway sliproad.
 
Dual-clutch gearboxes are supposed to deliver seamless torque to the wheels, but this one is not at all at home in the MiTo. Manual changes are better, but it’s still not as crisp as those found on the Clio RS when it's in Race mode, and we’d still take a decent manual shift, as on the Ford Fiesta ST and MINI Cooper S, all day long.
 
With no chassis revisions for this revised hot MiTo, the old car’s lack of handling polish is carried over, although fitted with 18-inch wheels, the MiTo majors on grip above playfulness.
 
At £20,120 as standard, the MiTo QV is eye-wateringly pricey, pitched well above class-leading Fiesta ST territory and heading towards well-specced MINI Cooper S and Clio RS country.

Unfortunately, all those rivals are both more fun and more refined than the disappointing Alfa.

Disqus - noscript

I could have predicted this review... from the off, its negative and predictable. Still at least you managed to refrain from stereotypes such as "concerns over reliability" for example.

Oliver Kew does have one of the better records amongst AE writers for saying things as they are rather than to "please the sponsors". Who knows in this case?
However one thing unsaid is that this vehicle could have been one of the best looking around were it not for the disastrous bit in front of the A pillar which FIAT have done nothing to rectify. Painting it elephant grey does nothing for it either!

This car is based on the Punto, as is the Corsa, so it always makes me laugh when Alfa fans think they're getting a bespoke car. Looks are subjective but I think the front of this is brutally ugly. The real problem is value for money. The Punto and Corsa may not be the best cars in the class but they are at least reasonable value, especially with generous dealer discounts. With the Alfa, customers are really getting screwed!

I love Alfa, I would always pick one over other "premium" brands, to read the roads tests on both the MiTo & Giulietta is just painful!! C'mon Fiat, get your act together with Alfa, or watch them go the way of Lancia. It's tough being an Italian car fan at the moment! We need something to rave about, we need it soon!

I understand being a fan, but to buy one of these would be rewarding Alfa for selling overpriced rubbish. It would simply encourage them to keep doing what they are doing. Car makers should only be rewarded for making good cars!

Having tried all the rivals recently we settled on the Sportiva 0.9 Mito. It stood out from the crowd and was more fun to drive than many of the super bland rivals. We've had it a few days and it puts a grin on your face like no other car can.

I had heard about Auto Express's dislike of all things Alfa and I can see that's true. 2 out of 5 stars? Really?

Key specs

  • Price: £20,120
  • Engine: 1.4-litre, turbo 4cyl
  • Power/torque: 168bhp/250Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed dual-clutch, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 7.3 seconds
  • Top speed: 136mph
  • Economy: 52.3mpg, 124g/km
  • On sale: July
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