Alfa Romeo Giulietta Review
Alfa Romeo will be launching a three car range over the coming months, and whilst the 4C may take all of the headlines, the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta is the potential Ace in the pack. We head over to the windy (and largely speed limit free) roads of the Isle of Man to put it through its paces.
There is no denying that the design team at Alfa produce some very, dare I say it ‘Italian’ looking motors and I particularly enjoy the shape of the Giulietta, it has something about it that says I’m not like the competition, I have my own style and if you buy me maybe some of this style can rub off on you. It’s different and it is very much a statement of intent.
On the Road
Getting to drive around the wonderful open mountain sections of the TT course, is the perfect setting for the little Alfa, and whilst it does everything perfectly adequately it doesn’t really excite the driver in the way you might expect from the Italian brand. It accelerates well, the steering is light and responsive, whilst driving the 170BHP Multiair, the power is there if needed. But something seems to be slightly odd, the stereo-typical Italian driving position of ‘short legs, long arms’ certainly comes into play, and the position your left leg gets forced into feels both unnatural and frustrating.
Available in both automatic and manual transmission, the Auto lacks that little bit of bite, and the manual is by far the best option, and gives much more character to the car which isn’t quite there in the Auto. We just wish it had the smile and little fun factor of the smaller MiTO with it’s go-kart like handling.
The new Alfa range is now all fitted with the ability to change the driving characteristics with its catchily named DNA system (Dynamic, Natural and All-Weather), and the Dynamic setting is as the name suggests, and the most exciting mode to drive in, with more weight added to the steering for a direct feel, more torque available and a more sports orientated brake performance.
From the occasional angle the Giulietta can look a little generic, like many others in the hatch segment, however catch it at the right angle it, or just take a few steps back and there is no doubt it sets itself apart from the opposition. The way the curved lines sweep down to the front of the car, and the new grille is almost like a cheeky Italian señorita giving you an enticing smile. The only real downside is Alfa’s insistence on a side number plate which has always looked out of place and makes the car look a little lop-sided, a bit like the true Italian Stallion Rocky’s smile.
I’ll start off with the good points, the new infotainment system on-board is excellent, it has a crisp, easy to read font and looks the part, infact quite high end. The dials and displays on the driver’s side are retro and stylish which just add to the flair and excitement, as well as the gearstick in the manual, which feels very comforting every time you change gear. As you head to the passenger side though, and follow the dash, things head a little down hill. It loses its edge, becoming a little mundane, and with all that spare space dare we say cheap?
Alfa Romeo Giulietta Review Verdict
The Giulietta is certainly one of the most different and most visually pleasing hatches on the market, but a slight lack of Italian flair in the drive and a not quite finished interior means the Giulietta is held back slightly, becoming a good car, rather than a great one. Deep down you would always be thinking ‘why couldn’t I have the Italian exterior, with everything else made by the Germans?’
Car Details: Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.4 TB MultiAir 170hp TCT Sportiva Nav OTR £25,785 (Model Driven £29,055); 0-60mph 7.6 secs; Top Speed 135mph; Economy 55.4 mpg; CO2 119g/km, Engine 1368cc; Power 170BHP
Also Driven: Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0 JTDm-2 150bhp Exclusive OTR £23,470 (model Driven £27,400) 0-60mph 8.8 secs; Top Speed 130mph; Economy 67.3mpg; CO2 110g/km, Engine 1956cc 4 Inline Multijet Turbo; Power 150BHP