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Motoring: Alfa Romeo Giulietta Preview

It’s been 10 years but Alfa Romeo has at last released a new family hatchback. The Giulietta may be a mouthful to say but it’s certainly a sight for sore eyes and brings a touch of Italian flare back to the market.

First thing anyone will notice is the looks. Unfortunately I believe Alfa have missed the mark a bit here. It is still a brilliant looking car, a more refined version of the Mito. But this is the manufacturer who bought us the 159 which, in my opinion, is one of the best looking saloons for a very long time. They have ditched the inset lights for more rounded ones which do give a slight cross eyed look to the front end but the signature Alfa front grill still gives it the unique touch. It has slightly more subtle lines than the 159 giving it a more ‘rounded’ appearance. The back end bares some resemblances to the Brera coupè except with a little less fat. Where the Brera seems to have some excess weight at the back with a sticking out bumper the Giulietta seems a little more slimed down, and it certainly works. In regards to its completion it certainly bares more in common with the latest Astra rather than the next Focus, Golf or Megane.

The interior is again fairly refined, yet remains stylish. Alfa have never been big on bold interiors and that can be seen with their past model so it isn’t breaking the trend. Not many buttons to be found in this interior, even the radio is very minimalistic but the important stuff is there. Two nice clear dials in front of you with plenty of shade from glare. This has always been the purpose of an Alfa, to take out the rubbish, and just leave you with what you need for a solid drivers experience.

The big news on this car is the engine. The Giulietta has followed in the Mito’s footsteps and features Alfa’s new multi-air technology. It is essentially a set of hydro-electric valves which control and limit airflow and combustion to what is needed for the engine. It surprisingly boosts both performance and economical performance of the engine. As a result of this the 1.4 multi-air will develop 170bhp and do a staggering 48mpg. Compare this with a similarly priced and spec Golf 1.4TSI which produces only 160bhp and can only do 44mpg. There will be more basic models available but this is by far the recommended engine based on performance and emissions. All models will come with a six speed, stop/start manual transmission. It will also feature Alfa’s DNA system which changes the driving mode from normal to dynamic. This sharpens suspension, steering and throttle response, yet more evidence that Alfa is focusing the Giulietta to be a driver’s car.

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta will start higher than its rivals. Whilst the Golf, Astra and Focus all start at around £14,000 the Alfa will start from around £17,000. That said there will be more equipment as standard and you will probably find that the price difference would be minimal if you were to spec the cars out to the same level. For example, a Golf 1.4 TSI would cost around £1000 more than the equivalent Giulietta. It is without a doubt a driver’s car with a pure focus on the engine and its performance. A simple interior enhances this purpose by keeping the driver focused on the link between the wheels and the road rather than the gadgets in the cockpit.

About James A Walker

James A. Walker is a student at Bournemouth University studying Multimedia Journalism. He lives near London in the tiny town of Farnborough, known exclusively for the Airshow it hosts once every two years!

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