Alfa mail

But it’s still not a red-let­ter day for the cut-price Gi­uli­etta

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - CRAIG DUFF craig.duff@cars­guide.com.au

MOV­ING from mo­tor­ing mys­tique to mass-mar­ket player is go­ing to be a tough sell for Alfa Romeo. Carv­ing the price of the Gi­uli­etta hatch is a good start, given the five­door is the most main­stream model on sale in Aus­tralia now. In 1.7-litre turbo ‘‘ QuadVerde’’ guise, it is also main­tains the Alfa tradition of be­ing an en­gag­ing drive.

VALUE

A new start­ing price of $29,350 for the base Dis­tinc­tive model with a 1.4-litre turbo en­gine and six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion is $7640 less than it was a cou­ple of months ago. That fol­lows ne­go­ti­a­tions with head of­fice as the new fac­tory-backed Aus­tralian op­er­a­tion works to align the Ital­ian-built car with VW-badged ri­vals.

The QV dis­count is a more mod­est $2840 to put the range­top­ping Alfa at $39,150, just un­der the equiv­a­lent Golf GTI.

In­cluded are six-speaker Bose sound sys­tem, voice-op­er­ated Blue­tooth, rear park­ing sen­sors, sports sus­pen­sion and auto lights and wipers. The op­tional sat­nav adds a dash-mounted TomTom screen.

TECH­NOL­OGY

It’s only been a cou­ple of years since the Gi­uli­etta hit the world stage, so noth­ing be­yond the in­te­rior is show­ing signs of age. The en­gine has di­rect in­jec­tion to max­imise out­put and the re­sul­tant 340Nm pro­vides plenty of kick, with a 0-100km/ h time of just 6.8 sec­onds.

It is com­ple­mented by a DNA drive mode lever that ad­justs en­gine and throt­tle map­ping and the pa­ram­e­ters of the elec­tronic diff that de­ter­mines what the front wheels are do­ing. Switch­ing from Nor­mal to Dy­namic is im­me­di­ately felt through the feet and seat of the pants— and seen in the en­gine’s thirst — but is jus­ti­fied as soon as the road starts wind­ing. The all­weather fea­ture is only likely to

Suits you, sig­nor: Pan­els

curve, the cabin en­gages

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