Unfortunately, the city portion of our test drive was heavily influenced by the MiTo's low ground clearance in the front. Considering we live in a city where an over-optimistic mayor has put insanely high road shoulders on almost every street, the MiTo's front bumper is very easily damageable. Our test car had already had a close encounter with a road side curb just before we took it for a spin, so if you live in a similar town/city, you should be as careful with the MiTo as you would be with your regular 500+ horsepower supercar.
Now let's see the car's other high and low points in the city. The "high ones" aren't as many as you'd imagine, especially for a car as small as the MiTo. First of all, our test car had no parking sensors. Obviously, they would usually be pretty futile on a sub-compact hatchback, since the car practically "ends" right behind the rear windshield. The problem with them missing is the fact that the rear windshield has a rather small area and the rear roof pillars are very thick and curved, hurting quite a lot of the rear visibility. On the good side, the exterior rear view mirrors are both nicely-shaped AND large enough to fulfill their main purpose.
The very low-slung front overhang is a real pain whenever tackling higher-than-usual speed bumps and/or roadside curbs. Apart from that, the very curvy front "corners" of the car also make it hard for you to perfectly judge the correct distance towards the car in front when parallel parking. Of course, everything goes well later on after practicing enough, but without any parking sensors to guide you it's still a bit harder than it should to park in overcrowded cities.
Other than that, the 1.6-liter four-banger under the hood makes a nice pair with the six-speed manual gearbox, making for quite a sporty behavior both in and outside the city. Plus, even if hardcore Alfisti will probably not like it as much for using the wrong kind of fuel, the performance figures are still very Alfa-like. Plus, those better-than-average performance figures from traffic light to traffic light also translate into a very good mileage.
During the course of our test drive we managed to average around 6.5-7 liters of fuel for every 100 kilometers (US 33.6 – 36.2 mpg) in highly crowded traffic, which is just a little more than the official figure of 5.9 liters (US 39.9 mpg). Continue reading
Hold on, Lou Cheeka would like to say something...
Having lived most of my youth in Europe, Alfa Romeos were a pretty common sight on those tight roads. Sure, some of them were most of the time parked in service centers since you couldn't drive one for more than two or three days until something broke. Being under the "Fix It Again Tony" umbrella for so many years sure took its toll.
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