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Alfa Romeo Giulietta
- Vital Stats
$33,000 - $42,000
The Alfa Romeo Giulietta
As I was test-driving the Alfa Romeo’s Giulietta, it occurred to me that a large part of the demographic has known nothing but hatchback vehicles. I mean, ask any kid to draw a picture of a car and it would most likely resemble a hatch shape. In fact, much of the market sees no reason to drive any other car than a hatch.
The upper end of the hatch market is growing as people aspire to premium hatches rather than premium sedans and soft roaders. Better for the environment, easier to park, not so thirsty, or pricey, a sensible option.
So it seems Alfa Romeo has the answer. The Giulietta offering presents itself as an affordable European alternative, clearly targeted at the Premium market. With Fiat underpinnings, the rest is distinctly Alfa Romeo is still pretty sexy, with its stand out facial features and beautiful curvy lines. The bodywork is finished well with limited gaps and the door action both opening and closing were tight and quality. There's no denying the Giulletta is a good looking car.
The seating position takes some tuning, make sure you and the passenger takes time to get that sorted before venturing any further. The test model‘s striking tan leather seats and interior lining was unfortunately coupled with some grainy plastics on the dash leaving me puzzled as to why the maker was trying to cheapen the look?
The car is roomy, and being on the tall side, I was able to adjust the seat to make myself quite comfortable (not without imposing on the challenged leg room in the rear).
Once underway, I was pleased with the note of the 1.4 litre engine, the turbocharged petrol motor is smooth and has a subtle and most welcomed bite (0 - 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds). I was relieved going through the gears that the Alfa’s performance was living up to its looks.
The steering felt a little heavy on the initial part of the turn but the load lightens as the little hatch chases the corner. I was impressed with the ride of the car on both good and medium surfaces, a rough road may make a difference to your comfort level.
The car was tested mostly in the city and the taught suspension delivered a comfortable sporty ride, direct and smooth making corners comfortable and fun. I tested the manual model, the six speed shift is really manageable with the ratios spaced well and shifts easy to find. Coupled with an ergonomically sound gear lever and an easy clutch the whole ‘manual in the city’ story seems less of an ordeal.
The stop/start technology on the manual model worked a treat shutting down the car when out of gear -clutch out -brake on. As soon as you press the clutch the car re-starts and off you go.
Performance wise, there is no shortage of power and pace. Visibility is good for the shape and size of the vehicle with healthy side mirrors and an unrestricted rear window.
The instruments tacho, fuel gauge, speedo are all easy to read. The data screen between them with red writing is hard to see and a little confusing. I thought the function of the touch screen for telephone operation was easy to manage and of little distraction.
The cabin space between the seats seems limited for storing those everyday items such as the wallet, glasses telephone etc. The vanity mirror on the sun visor was too small and the air conditioning knobs are too big, a bit clunky for a small car.
Stereo is ample and the car has blue tooth connectivity although no capacity to stream.
Loved the look and the drive.
8.2 litres 7.6 litres / 100 km
I’m not sure what the allure of Alfa Romeo is exactly, but this historical brand continues to perform despite its history of questionable reliability and pricey parts. Hopefully this latest generation of Alfas can put that perception to bed once and for all.
The Giulietta has all the practical aspects of a hatch you want without compromising the car’s sporty soul which emanates with its peaky performance and straight forward Italian style.
A stylish and fun drive from a good looking car.
If this car was personified, who would it be?