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Alfa Romeo unveils updated 2014 MiTo

by Ronan Glon

Alfa\'s MINI-fighter gains a Botoxed front end and more tech inside.

Fiat-owned Alfa Romeo has quietly lifted the veil off of the facelifted version of the MiTo hatchback, its entry-level model. Launched in 2009, the MiTo squares off against popular premium sub-compacts like the MINI Cooper and the Citroën DS3.

Visually, the MiTo gains redesigned headlight bezels and a new chrome grille that is heavily inspired by the one found on the five-door Giulietta. Additional exterior colors and new wheel designs round out the aesthetic modifications.

The bulk of the changes are found inside, where the MiTo features a five-inch touch screen that displays Chrysler's well-regarded UConnect infotainment system. Available for the first time in an Alfa Romeo, UConnect groups the MiTo's entertainment, navigation and connectivity functions into an easy-to-use bundle. Some of the system's highlights include Bluetooth connectivity, text-to-speech technology and audio streaming.

The MiTo's wide range of gasoline- and diesel-burning four-cylinder engines is complemented by an upgraded version of the acclaimed 0.9-liter TwinAir two-cylinder mill that debuted under the hood of the Fiat 500. Rated at 105 horsepower and 106 lb-ft. of torque, the twin propels the MiTo from zero to 62 mph in 11.4 seconds and returns up to 56 mpg in a mixed European cycle.

The facelifted MiTo will go on sale throughout Europe later this month. The car won't be part of Alfa's highly-anticipated return to the United States, but the next generation model might be shipped across the Atlantic if the firm manages to secure a foothold on this side of the pond over the coming years.

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