Alfa of­fer temp­ta­tion

Rutherglen Reformer - - Motors -

Alfa Romeo has opened the or­der book for its high­lyan­tic­i­pated new Gi­u­lia range, with prices start­ing from £29,180.

Buy­ers can choose between four en­gine vari­ants - two petrol and apair of diesels - which are all paired to a new eight-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion as stan­dard.

In the UK, the Gi­u­lia line-up fea­tures five trim lev­els – the Gi­u­lia, Su­per, Tec­nica, Spe­ciale and flag­ship Quadri­foglio. Or­der books for the Alfa Romeo Gi­u­lia Spe­ciale will open later this month.

Alfa Romeo’s UK chief Damien Dally said:“The all-new Alfa Romeo Gi­u­lia is a true driver’s car, of­fer­ing beau­ti­ful Ital­ian styling and stun­ning per­for­mance, and so we’re de­lighted to see strong early in­ter­est in the car. Pas­sion and prac­ti­cal­ity com­bine in the Gi­u­lia - there’s never been more temp­ta­tion to own an Alfa.”

The com­pact SUV market is the tough­est to crack at the mo­ment with every ma­jor man­u­fac­turer com­pet­ing for sales.

Volk­swa­gen were quick off the mark when they launched the pop­u­lar Tiguan back in 2007 and the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion model ar­rived back in June to make sure that the model con­tin­ues to rack-up sales.

Longer, lower and wider than its pre­de­ces­sor, the new Tiguan sits on the same MQB plat­form as the Golf and a host of other VW group of­fer­ings - that’s not a bad thing as it is one of the best in the busi­ness.

The old Tiguan was start­ing to look its age against more modern op­po­si­tion and the new model will have more ap­peal in a very style driven market.

The de­sign is much sharper than be­fore and takes a lot of fea­tures from the Golf.

There is a dis­tinc­tive grille, sleeker front bumper, a neat head­light de­sign with day­time run­ning lights and LED tail­lights.

At the top end of­froad mod­els get more un­der­body pro­tec­tion and big­ger ap­proach and de­par­ture an­gles, while R-Line cars get bi-xenon head­lights, larger al­loys, sportier bumpers and sports seats.

I sam­pled the SEL Off-Road 2.0-litre TDI ver­sion which fea­tures the 150PS diesel en­gine matched to a sev­en­speed DSG au­to­matic gear­box.

It is good for 62mph in 9.3 sec­onds and can go on to 124mph with­out any fuss. With emis­sions of 149g/km the claimed com­bined fuel econ­omy is 49.6mpg and I got very close to that fig­ure.

In town the Tiguan an ideal view of the road and other traf­fic and the light steer­ing makes it easy to park. Out on the open road it is even bet­ter with the sus­pen­sion deal­ing with all kinds of sur­faces and even when you push it hard there is very lit­tle body roll.

You can se­lect between four dif­fer­ent modes - Eco, Com­fort, Nor­mal and Sport - with the lat­ter set­ting lead­ing to quicker throt­tle and steer­ing re­sponses.

As you would ex­pect, the in­te­rior of­fers pre­mium qual­ity and a raft of equip­ment along with all the lat­est tech­nol­ogy. The con­trols and in­stru­ments are log­i­cally laid out and the cabin is a nice place to be.

The model tested cost £32,810 and fea­tured all the equip­ment you would need and with a few added op­tions the even­tual ask­ing price was £38,460.

For that money you get an up­graded sat­nav sys­tem, an elec­tric tail­gate, Vi­enna leather up­hol­stery, a win­ter pack which heats even the rear seats, a heated steer­ing wheel and a driver’s seat that can give you a de­cent mas­sage.

The Tiguan fea­tures all the lat­est safety equip­ment and is also very prac­ti­cal with a 615 litre boot and you can drop the rear seats eas­ily if you want to in­crease that to 1,655 litres.

Most Tiguans will prob­a­bly be sold as front-wheel-drive mod­els but the test car fea­tured VW’s clever 4MOTION sys­tem which gives it more off-road po­ten­tial and ex­tra se­cu­rity in poor weather con­di­tions.

The Tiguan is cer­tainly a more ex­pen­sive op­tion in this crowded market but it does of­fer bags of class and will con­tinue to be a big seller in the UK for VW be­hind the Polo and Golf.

Prices for the range start at £25,530.

Smart the classy Ti­gaun is a hand­some SUV

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