Alfa Romeo MiTo QV vs Peugeot 208 GTi & SEAT Ibiza Cupra
Can Alfa's new MiTo QV hot hatch forge ahead of Ibiza and 208 models?
If you want a car that handles like a go-kart but looks good on the Kings Road, you can’t get better than an upmarket hot hatch. Punchy performance and stylish looks are essential if a car is going to shine in this class.
Alfa Romeo thinks it’s found the right formula with its new MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde. It looks as striking as ever, plus standard adaptive dampers offer the best mix of cruising comfort and sharp handling. However, there are some seriously tough rivals in this class, and our two opponents will give it a very hard time.
So does the MiTo QV have the performance, driving talent and desirability to make it worth the extra outlay?
Click the links above for individual reviews, and scroll down to find out which hot hatch comes out on top...
All three cars use turbo petrol engines, while the SEAT adds a supercharger. The 208 GTi is the most powerful with 197bhp and 275Nm of torque, compared to 168bhp/250Nm for the MiTo and 178bhp/250Nm for the Ibiza. Despite its extra power and manual box, the 208 accelerated slower than the SEAT – the Ibiza’s close-ratio DSG box and a broad powerband gave it an edge.
The MiTo features pricey options, including matt grey paint (£800), a sunroof (£750), Sabelt seats (£2,000) and a Bose stereo (£675). The sole option on the 208 GTi Prestige is metallic paint, while the Ibiza offers panoramic glass (£495), DAB radio (£175), parking sensors (from £220) and a Winter Pack (£345) that adds heated seats.
The Green Cloverleaf name is part of Alfa’s history, but Peugeot’s GTi badge arguably has more appeal in this sector, thanks to the company’s 30 years of hot hatch history. In contrast, SEAT’s Cupra badge is relatively new, first appearing in the nineties, when SEAT was involved in rallying.
1st place: Peugeot 208 GTi
The 208 GTi is proof that Peugeot still knows how to make a high-performance hatchback. The 1.6 THP engine is smooth and torquey, while the manual gearbox gives it a level of involvement its DSG-equipped rivals here can’t match. While the handling isn’t as lively as its illustrious predecessors, the GTi’s all-round ability means it takes a decisive victory here.
2nd place: SEAT Ibiza Cupra
Settle for the Ibiza Cupra, and you won’t be disappointed. The 1.4 TFSI engine punches above its weight, and the DSG gearbox is great in manual or full auto modes. The firm suspension delivers decent handling, but the Ibiza doesn’t have the 208 GTi’s breadth of ability. The quality of the interior is a letdown, although that’s countered by a lower list price than its rivals here.
3rd place: Alfa Romeo MiTo QV
We hoped that the MiTo QV would be a new dawn for Alfa, but it’s a disappointment. In isolation, the engine is reasonable, but the TCT gearbox reduces driving enjoyment, while the adaptive dampers deliver neither sporty handling nor a comfortable ride. Add in a high price tag and surprisingly poor fuel economy, and the MiTo lags well behind its rivals here.
|Peugeot 208 GTi Prestige||SEAT Ibiza SC Cupra||Alfa Romeo MiTo QV|
|On the road price/total as tested||£19,950/£20,245||£18,980/£19,990||£20,210/£25,020|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)||£9,097/45.6%||£8,067/42.5%||£7,053/34.9%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£791/£1,581||£752/£1,504||£685/£1,371|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£1,683/£2,805||£1,826/£3,043||£2,265/£3,775|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||33/£394/E/£130||27/£371/E/£130||27/£321/D/£110|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£16.99p/m (3yr/30k)||£19.99p/m (3yrs)||£214/£313/£214|
|Engine||4cyl in-line/1,598cc||4cyl in-line/1,390cc||4cyl in-line/1,368cc|
|Peak power/revs||197/5,800 bhp/rpm||178/6,200 bhp/rpm||168/5,500 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque/revs||275/1,700 Nm/rpm||250/2,000 Nm/rpm||250/2,500 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||6spd man/fwd||7spd DSG/fwd||6spd TCT/fwd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||50 litres/space saver||45 litres/space saver||45 litres/space saver|
|Boot capacity (seats up/down)||285/1,076 litres||236 litres/N/A||270/950 litres|
|Turning circle||11.4 metres||10.5 metres||11.3 metres|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (unlimited)/1yr||3yrs (60,000)/2yrs||3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||20k miles (1yr)/300||10k miles (1yr)/128||18k miles (1yr)/46|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos||14th/9th||24th/32nd||21st/18th|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||88/78/61/5 (2012)||82/77/59/5 (2011)||5/3/2 (2008)|
|0-60/30-70mph||6.8/6.0 secs||6.6/5.8 secs||7.6/6.6 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||3.1/4.1 secs||2.6/3.4 secs||3.0/4.3 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th||5.5/6.8 secs/N/A||4.8/6.3/7.8 secs||5.4/6.8 secs/N/A|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||143mph/2,500rpm||142mph/2,500rpm||136mph/3,000rpm|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||39.7/8.7/437||36.6/8.1/362 miles||29.5/6.5/292 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||164/139g/km/20%||178/139g/km/20%||221/124g/km/17%|
|Auto climate ctrl/leather/heated seats||Yes/part/yes||Yes/part/£345||£450/£1,050/£250|
|Met paint/xenon lights/sunroof||£495/no/yes||£490/yes/£495||£475/no/£750|