The Alfa Romeo Giulietta offers a unique Italian flavour in the hatchback market writes Hannah Gordon
What is it ? Alfa’s representation in the sporty hatchback market comes from this the Giulietta TCT QV. This little Italian seriously looks the part and has the charismatic Italian flare oozing out of every shut line, but can it really make a dent on a market dominated by Volkswagon, Ford and Vauxhall.
Who is it aimed at? This car is aimed at people who want a bit of pizzazz and flamboyancy in there life, someone who enjoys being different from the rest and likes to have a sporty hatch that isn’t related to the German region. The test car came in at a hefty £30k so you may also need deep pockets to even have the enjoyment of owning one.
Styling? Alfa Romeo have a knack of producing stunning looking cars, Italian flair almost comes as second nature and the Guilietta is carrying the trend on. The familiar triangular grill and the bug like expression make it a unique front end. The Guilietta QV comes with bundles of standard equipment for that sporty stance, these include 18” Turbine wheels, tinted windows, Red brake callipers, dark anthracite exterior finishing just to mention a few. The double exhaust pipes add to the aesthetic pleasure on the rear and the hidden rear door handles make it appear more like a 3 door.
Under the bonnet? The test car came with a 2.0 litre turbo diesel engine that is capable of a top speed of 136 mph, 0-62mph of 7.8 seconds and 175 bhp. Plenty of power to make decent headway and make overtaking an absolute breeze. The engine is fairly quiet until put under extreme load. The twin clutch semi automatic 6 speed gearbox paired well with the diesel engine, gear changes were extremely painless and smooth, although when put under extreme acceleration and in Dynamic mode it could become slightly thrashy but under normal driving it was very easy to live with and would be my preferred option.
What about inside? Upon opening the door I immediately fell in love with the interior, the test car came with a full tan leather interior, and although a few people hated it the vast majority loved it. The styling of the inside makes it a nice place to be, a lot of the switchgear is taken from Fiat but the dash is well laid out and everything is within reach. The dash does sit fairly high, being tall i found it ok to see over but anyone of a shorter disposition may find it hard to see the bonnet. The Uconnect touch screen media centre is easy to use and when added to the Bose sound system (£820 extra) kicks out some serious bass. Up front there is plenty of room, large adults would struggle in the rear and the boot space isn’t the largest in the sector. One major downfall is the lack of storage, there are a couple attempts at cup holders but they aren’t really deep enough to be used.
On the road? Having lived with this car for 7 days I could easily had it for longer. The engine and gearbox performed well in city driving and on motorways, the D.N.A switch which allows the driver to have Dynamic mode, this stiffens suspension, improves throttle response and changes the electronic settings, Natural mode for normal driving conditions and All weather for slippery surfaces. I found the Natural mode most suitable otherwise the ride can become a little firm. the steering is responsive and gives plenty of feedback on tight country roads. Slight downside is the road noise from the tyres but overall its a very likeable car to drive.
What about Safety?The Alfa Romeo Giulietta has an exemplary 5 star NCap safety record, and is one of the safest cars on the market, something to think about if you want to carry your precious offspring around. The Giulietta also comes with Brake assist and Hill holder as standard.
Options? The Giulietta is almost bursting at the seams with standard equipment which makes it a great buy. The options list is also comprehensive the Alfa Red paint coming in at £510, Heated front seats £260 and Bi xenons an extra £930. The extra I would have definitely included are the paddle shifts for the semi automatic gearbox, they would give the Alfa that extra sporty feel and only lighten your pocket by £260.
Will it break the bank? A combined cycle of 64.2 MPG puts it on par with other diesel hatchbacks in the market and a CO2 output of 116 g/km means that road tax is set at a very reasonable £30 a year. The depreciation values of Alfa Romeo’s aren’t the greatest so beware of this when purchasing.
Verdict? If like me you are fed up seeing the same old hatchbacks gracing our network of roads then the Alfa Romeo Giulietta could be the car for you, the individual and stylish looks both on the interior and exterior make it a certain contender of choice. Certainly the consensus from friends is all positive. It looks good, drives well especially with the auto gearbox and Alfa’s seem to be becoming more reliable. But space inside is limited so if you are incapable of travelling light or have tall friends this car could be too much of a squeeze. The price is also a stumbling block, the car tested was £30,510 with extras, this takes it into the Mercedes A class and BMW 1 series territory. Overall this is a truly enjoyable car that I didn’t want to return.
Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0 JTDM TCT QV
Max speed: 136 mph 0-62 mph: 7.8 seconds Emissions: 116 g/km
Model price range: from £27,380
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP : 5
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 64.2 mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up: 350 litres
Length: 4351 mm
Width: 1798 mm
Height: 1465 mm
Wheelbase: 1554 mm
2oth May, 2015