Thankfully, the updated MiTo QV (Quadrifoglio Verde), while slightly more refined, is still a fun car that provides a uniquely stylish alternative to the plethora of two-door hatches on the market, even if it isn’t the most practical.
What I still like most about the MiTo is the DNA driving settings (Dynamic/Normal/All-weather), which you select with a switch on the centre console. As I remarked then, the D should stand for Diablo. It turns this little town car into a wicked hatch, capable of 0-100km/h in 7.5 seconds, with a high-revving gear ratio that gets plenty from the tiny but powerful 1.4l turbo engine.
You can feel the boost when you flick the switch, as well as the stiffer suspension and steering through the 18-inch wheels. This made for a very enjoyable driving experience and I pretty much kept it in D mode even when driving to the shops.
Back in normal mode, the MiTo shows its city street smarts, with light handling and fuel efficiency of about 6.6 litres per 100 kilometres, enhanced by the ‘Start&Stop’, a feature that you can select to automatically turn the engine off when you’re at a standstill. It’s pretty disconcerting at first, but because the engine starts when you take your foot off the brake, it’s ready to go when you accelerate.
Nothing has changed under the bonnet but the six-speed automatic gearbox seemed to be more responsive than last time. There was no more lag if you were too soft on the pedal nor a scream of protest when you lead-footed it.
The updated MiTo QV has new interior styling that makes it feel roomier though it still could do with more storage spaces and cup holders. The dashboard looks great with silver surrounds to the gauges and white graphics that glow red at night.
The back seat fits two adults comfortably, with good legroom for such a small car, though headroom is pretty tight, particularly if you have the sunroof installed – in a car like this you’d want the sunroof installed.
Under the hatch, the 270-litre cargo area will fit your shopping, but forget about fitting your golf bag or picking people up from the airport.
Infotainment is via a five-inch U-connect screen that connects easily to your phone/MP3 device via Bluetooth or USB and plays music through Bose speakers. Other features include dual-zone climate control and rain-sensing windscreen wipers. Sometimes upgrades take the soul out of cars like this, but the MiTo QV is still a fun and versatile car.