Published on June 24th, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Alfa Giulietta test drive review
This sexy new 4-door hot hatchback comes with the new Alfa Romeo signature nose and light treatment. Under the hood is an all new turbocharged 1.4-litre MultiAir Petrol engine which has received awards in Europe. There is also a new self-shifting dual-clutch gearbox branded TCT (Twin Clutch Transmission). Unlike the DSG from Volkswagen, this dual clutch system works with the driver’s attitude behind the wheel.
From the moment you enter this hot hatch and kick the engine over with keyless start, you will fall in love with this Alfa. Perhaps it’s the slick 7-speed semi-automatic gearbox, perhaps it’s the engaging front seats, perhaps it’s the user friendly technology or it could just be the inspiring interior. Ultimately it’s a combination of all these things that make this car so likeable. The driver get a truly rewarding cabin with stylish dials, a retro driver theme and a comfortable drive position.
Rear passengers need to find the ‘hidden’ rear door handle which is a design theme that gives this Alfa Giulietta a coupe/hot-hatch look. Rear seating is tight for 3 adults but 2 will find good comfort.
At 4351mm long, 1798mm wide, 1465mm tall and with a 2634mm wheelbase, the Giulietta is 128mm longer, 69mm wider, 23mm taller and has an 88mm longer wheelbase than the 147. Curb weight is also up from 1200kg-1360kg of the 147 to 1290kg-1320kg for the Giulietta. Its luggage capacity is 350 litres which is close to most other hot hatches in its class.
Utilising a Turbo 4-cylinder in-line petrol engine good for 170bhp, it delivers that burst of adrenalin car junkies are so often looking for. This Giulietta is the definition of the term “pocket rocket”. It’s quick off the mark and reaches fast speeds in good time. 7.8 seconds from 0-100km/h.
The gear changes with the 7-speed automatic are quick, gentle and often barely noticeable, especially in ‘sports’ mode. Alfa claims that the 7-Speed semi-automatic dual clutch significantly reduces fuel consumption. That’s true, if you are in Eco-Mode and drive the car accordingly. There is no “S” or “sport” setting on the selector gate to provide a more aggressive shift pattern making more use of the lower gears for a driver who wants to press on. Instead, the TCT gearbox is integrated into and influenced by Alfa’s “DNA” system. DNA is controlled by a switch on the centre console and has three settings – Dynamic (or sporty), Normal and All-weather, which a driver selects according to drive situation or conditions.
The engine noise is limited throughout the cabin, yet an audible purr of power transcends through when you hit the higher notes. The audible noise of power is due to an impressive engine performance. This Alfa hatch is a gutsy little hatch overflowing with energy. With fuel conservation a vital selling point to new car buyers, Start/Stop technology is included in this Alfa and it can be activated or de-activated by a simple switch. Stopping at traffic lights and the engine will cut off to conserve fuel. Gently press the accelerator and the engine will ignite back in a gently way. If you are after a smooth trip on the open road, this function can be turned off and on easily. Keeping it switched on however and the Alfa Giulietta consumes a respectable 54.3mpg (Depending on the driver of course).
This Alfa Giulietta carries a 5 star European safety rating with its driver and front passenger, front and rear head, driver side and front passenger airbags fill out the cabin to offer extreme protection. On the test the Giulietta recorded an overall score of 87/100 (97 percent in the Adult Occupant test, 85 percent Child Occupant, 63 percent Pedestrian Protection, 86 percent Safety Assist) making it one of the safest cars in the world.
Plus there is Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including Antilock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assistant, Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC). Included is Bluetooth assistance for hands-free driving and mobile music connectivity.
A classy yet sporty is the best way to summarise this Alfa Giulietta is to say, you will never be ignored on the road and by the opposite sex when you drive it.
Alfa Giulietta Specification
Engine: 4-cylinder inline DOHC 16-valve MultiAir (Turbo)
Max power: 170hp @ 5500rpm
Max torque: 250Nm @ 2250rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch TCT
Top speed: 218km/h