Click above for a hi-res gallery of the Alfa MiTo

It's that time of year, when various agencies far and wide begin handing out awards for the new crop of cars. The '09 model-year vehicles are all known by now and the press has had plenty of time to size up the competition. Recently, The Detroit Free Press appeared to have let the EuroCOTY cat out of the bag a bit early when it reported that Alfa Romeo had managed to snag the top honors with its new MiTo subcompact. Although we'd be hard-pressed to argue otherwise, it turns out that the rumor isn't true. The real European Car of the Year award will be announced on November 17.

The MiTo did win the Auto Europa award, though, which is granted by the Italian press. Second place went to Alfa's sister company Lancia for its homely-looking Delta and the Ford Fiesta grabbed the bronze. Thankfully, we'll be able to pick up a Fiesta in the U.S. for the 2010 model-year, and after driving one in Europe, we're looking forward to the sub-compact making the trek across the pond.

Related GalleryFirst Drive: Alfa MiTo

[Source: The Detroit Free Press via Motor Authority]