Giulietta 2.0 JTDm 170bhp Lusso
sexy name and a sexy looking
car, the all-new Alfa Romeo Giulietta
goes on sale in the UK from 24 July.
This family-sized, five-door hatch-
back with its coupe side profile
replaces the 10-year-old 147 range...
BUT BEFORE THE OFFICIAL ON-SALE DATE, the Giulietta makes its public debut
at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Moving Motor Show running from 1-4 July
where the Alfa Romeo brand celebrates its 100th anniversary.
The Italian Alfa Romeo brand has been famous for its beautifully styled cars,
its motorsport pedigree but infamous for product quality, reliability and the
ownership experience. The sales success of the MiTo supermini in the last year
has done much to improve the brand's image and a revitalised and customer-focussed
dealer network now makes the ownership issue less of a gamble. In the past we
bought Alfas with our heart not with our head. Times have changed and
the new Giulietta looks equally as good as an ownership proposition as is the
In the past a new Alfa Romeo has traditionally been bought by an older motoring
enthusiast, mainly male, but MiTo changed that and the age of owners has come
down and there is now also a significant increase in sales to female buyers.
The Giulietta will build on that its target audience is young families
and, of course, the ever-important business user-choosers and fleet customers;
in the UK, Alfa Romeo see a 50:50 split for sales between retail and business
Giulietta prices start at £16,995 and run to £24,495; its targeted sales competitor
is the VW Golf range. Alfa says that predicted residual values for the Giulietta
more or less match those of the Golf.
In the 1950s the Alfa Giulietta caught the imagination of the driving public
with its sporty appeal, attractive looks and accessible pricing. Now, over 50
years later, the latest incarnation of the Giulietta has been designed to compete
with the best in the mid-size C segment the VW Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall
Astra. That's no easy task considering the excellence of the competition.
The Giulietta is an all-new car on a totally new platform which in turn will
be the basis for other new Alfa models. The power units are the latest generation
Euro V compliant engines and safety has been a high design priority.
customer can adapt the new car to their specific driving requirements thanks
to Alfa Romeo's DNA feature although DNA is just one of the electronic systems
that the new 'Compact' platform was designed to integrate and exploit. Others,
fitted as standard to every model in the range, include the Electronic Q2 differential
and the VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) system.
The most powerful
engine in the range is
Alfa Romeos new 1750
TBi petrol unit,
which offers the
performance of a 3.0-litre
but has the fuel
consumption of a 1.6...
A range of five new turbocharged engines three petrol and two diesel
gives the Giulietta further flexibility and, claim Alfa, makes it best-in-class
for emissions, acceleration and fuel consumption. Even the smallest capacity,
a 1.4-litre, has a lusty 120bhp. The new 1.4-litre TB MultiAir 170bhp offers
the lowest emissions and fuel consumption in its class for petrol engines of
this power rating.
The 105bhp JTDm-2 engine is a flexible and economical diesel that uses second-generation
MultiJet technology to combine extremely low fuel consumption with a responsive
drive. The 2.0-litre is another second-generation MultiJet diesel and has the
highest performance in its sector courtesy of a hearty 258lb ft of torque available
at just 1,750rpm. All these engines combine Start&Stop technology (excluding
the 1750 TBi Cloverleaf version) and a gearshift indicator to enable drivers
to achieve the best economy possible.
The most powerful engine in the range is Alfa Romeo's new 235bhp 1750 TBi petrol
unit, which offers the performance of a 3.0-litre but has the fuel consumption
of a 1.6-litre by employing revolutionary technology to ensure strong acceleration
at low engine speeds with minimal turbo lag.
But the Giulietta isn't just about being fun to drive. Each model, from the
entry-level Turismo specification to the range-topping Cloverleaf, has a very
high level of standard equipment. Electric windows all-round along with manual
air conditioning and electrically-heated and adjustable door mirrors are all
standard. Move up to the Lusso model and you get dual-zone automatic climate
control, fog lights, leather steering wheel with audio controls and the Blue&Me
hands-free infotainment system.
Both these versions come with the 'comfort' chassis specification. For a sportier
drive, the Veloce model features sports suspension, whilst the Cloverleaf sits
on suspension that's been lowered by 10mm for a more involving drive and a racier
appearance. The Veloce also gets darkened headlights, fog lights plus aluminium
kick plates and pedals. The Cloverleaf model gets all this as well as dark-tinted
windows, sporty red brake callipers, Visibility Pack and 18-inch spoke design
alloy wheels with a dark titanium finish.
the model, owners will get one of the safest cars on the road: the new Giulietta
was recently awarded a EuroNCAP five-star crash safety rating and an overall
score of 87/100 an impressive result that makes it the safest compact
car built to date, says Alfa.
Owners will get one
of the safest cars on the
road: the new Giulietta
was recently awarded a
crash safety rating an
impressive result that
makes it the safest
compact car built to date,
With a wide range of engines and four levels of specification, Alfa Romeo expect
75 per cent of UK sales to go to the mid-range Lusso and the sporty Veloce models
with the starter specification Turismo taking 15 per cent of sales and the top-of-the-range
high-performance Cloverleaf version taking 10 per cent. With a 50:50 split of
sales between retail and business / fleet customers, retail buyers are expected
to make the new 170bhp 1.4-litre TB MultiAir direct injection turbocharged petrol
unit their favourite while higher-mileage business and fleet users will go for
the 170bhp 2.0-litre JTDm-2 turbodiesel.
Having driven both this week, there is really little to choose between them
as far as performance goes: the 2.0-litre diesel unit being a little more responsive
mid-range with 258lb ft of torque from 1,500rpm against the 184lb ft from
2,250rpm of the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine. The petrol unit returned
a real-life 34.6mpg and the 2.0-litre turbodiesel returned 42.7mpg. Top speed
for both of them is 135mph and the 0-62mph acceleration times are more or less
the same at 7.8/8.0 seconds. For business users, the petrol engine incurs 15
per cent Benefit-in-Kind tax and the diesel 18 per cent.
In the handling department the Giulietta offers superb cornering grip, very
sharp, accurate and responsive steering and the ride is relatively comfortable
although poorer road surfaces can unsettle the car. I thought the 2.0-litre
diesel model (with different suspension settings to cope with the extra engine
weight) offered a more refined and comfortable ride. As for the specifications,
the Lusso versions look the best financial bet but if the buying patterns of
MiTo are replicated then customers will go for the sportier Veloce versions.
A few niggles: firm and unsettled ride at times, wide B- and C-pillars cause
visibility blindspots and it's not as roomy in the rear as a Golf or Focus.
That noted, there are many reasons to like the new Giulietta: distinctive styling,
seems well made, classy and sporty interior, first class cornering grip, balanced
handling, sharp steering, powerful and responsive yet fuel- and tax-efficient
engines, high levels of specification and a high safety rating. The heart and
the head have it! David Miles
Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0 JTDm 170bhp Lusso | £21,195
Maximum speed: 135mph | 0-62mph: 8 seconds | Overall test MPG: 42.7mpg
Power: 170bhp | Torque: 258lb ft | CO2 124g/km