SLEEK AND SEXY: ALFA GIULIETTA GETS MID-SEASON REVAMP
The Alfa Romeo Giulietta is one of the prettiest hatchbacks on the road today, but is it any good? We put it to the test to find out
Alfa Romeo have put the Giulietta under the knife, updating the hatch’s already rather pretty face in the process.
A new honeycomb grille features prominently on the car’s nose, while piano black bumper inserts and revised headlamps have also been introduced.
Under the hood, the Italian manufacturer’s 118bhp 1.6-litre JTDM-2 diesel engine can now be paired with its six-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission. However, while our test car featured this particular engine, we had to make do with the standard sixspeed manual gearbox — which is by no means a complaint.
LOOKS AND IMAGE
The Giulietta has always been quite the looker and Alfa’s most recent updates only serve to maintain this. The aforementioned new grille design and black inserts on the bumper have been introduced to emphasise the car’s close ties to its new Giulia saloon — which is arguably one of the best-looking cars to go on sale this year.
That attractive face hides an interior that borders on the dull side. However, the touchscreen Uconnect infotainment system, fitted as standard across the Giulietta range, is one of the cabin’s redeeming features.
While the Giulietta’s interior may be a bit of a let-down compared to the exterior, at the end of the day you will still be driving an Alfa Romeo. The Alfa badge has always adorned something that is a bit special, and on the Giulietta this is no exception.
SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
Even though the Giulietta might look like a three-door coupe thanks to hidden rear door handles, this is in-fact a five-door car.
That dramatic roofline does cut into rear headroom somewhat and legroom isn’t as abundant as you think it might be from a family hatch. As a result, adults might find the Giulietta a slightly uncomfortable car to sit in on longer journeys — although children should be more than catered for. Isofix mounting points also help to accommodate child booster seats.
When it comes to boot space, the Giulietta is rather middle-of-the-road. With 350 litres worth of capacity, the Alfa comes with more storage than a Ford Focus’ 316-litre boot can offer, but less than a Volkswagen Golf’s 380-litre. However, if you fold the rear seats down you will increase the Giulietta’s capacity to 1,045 litres.
BEHIND THE WHEEL
This is where the Alfa really starts to make sense. The 1.6-litre, 118bhp diesel engine on our test car felt like it had a fair bit more tug than its numbers suggested and through the corners the Alfa’s nicely weighted steering made the car fun to pilot.
It doesn’t roll too badly either and Alfa’s D.N.A. drive mode switch (which lets you choose between Dynamic, Natural and All-weather driving modes) is fun to play with, if just a little bit gimmicky.
Take the Giulietta away from twisting country roads and onto a motorway and you’ll find it copes well. The cabin is fairly insulated from wind and road noise and the car doesn’t feel too nervous or twitchy at higher speeds.
There are a couple of flies in the Alfa Romeo’s ointment. The pedals are really quite close together and the seats aren’t hugely comfortable — making for a slightly awkward driving position. The steering wheel is too big, too.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Opt for one of Alfa Romeo’s JTDM-2 turbodiesel engines and the Giulietta will be a fairly inexpensive car to run. Even the most powerful 2.0-litre, 173bhp diesel car still returns a claimed fuel consumption figure of 65.7mpg on the combined cycle.
The 118bhp, 1.6-litre diesel engine we had in our test car carries a claimed combined fuel economy figure of 74.2mpg and returns 99 grams of CO2 per kilometre, meaning that it is exempt from vehicle excise duty.
All Giuliettas come with a fairly good level of standard equipment, too, which helps justify the slightly expensive £18,700 price tag for the most basic car.
Standard kit on the entry-level Giulietta includes 16-inch alloys, an Uconnect infotainment system with a five-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity and LIVE services for Internet access. LIVE services are smartphone enabled and carry features such as music streaming from Deezer and Tunein, Facebook check-in and Twitter connectivity.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
Model: Alfa Romeo Giulietta Super 1.6 JTDM-2 120hp Engine: 1.6-litre diesel producing 118bhp Transmission: Six-speed manual gearbox Performance: 0-62mph in 10 seconds, top speed of 121mph Economy: 74.3mpg combined Emissions: 99g/km CO2 Price: £21,150