Road Report
That’s amore.

That’s amore.

It is hard not to be seduced by the latest Alfa-Romeo Giulietta, because here is a Golf class car that offers style and panache but also excellent build quality, five-star safety as well as the much needed (in Europe particularly) emissions and economy.

Our Giulietta 1.4 Multi-air test vehicle was fitted with the optional leather upholstery rather than the stand Sport cloth which adds an even more premium feel to the cabin. The leather seats are detailed with red stitching across the base and the seat backs of all the seats with the Alfa-Romeo crest embroidered onto the head rest facings for the driver and front passenger. Small details which just make the car feel even more special and unique.

Other amenities include Climate air-conditioning, Bluetooth telephone integration, as well as the Blue & Me system (which amongst its other many features will read text messages aloud) cruise control and cup holders in an Italian car, finally.  

Ironically, in true Italian style the Giulietta also provides a cigarette lighter and cylindrical ash can which neatly sits in one of the cup-holder indents in the central console. There is also a flip-up arm rest for the driver which is neatly integrated into the side of the passenger seat.

While Giulietta 1.4 Multi-air engine will only be available initially with the slick shifting six-speed manual transmission for $46,990 a six-speed twin-clutch (TCT) version as used in the MiTo compact hatch will arrive mid –year which should boost Alfas sales in our predominantly two-pedal market.

Built on the Fiat Groups new compact platform the new Giulietta has six different suspension settings to suit the various markets that it will be sold in.

While the larger turbocharged 1750cc Giulietta QV receives a sports suspension package which almost rattles your fillings, the Giulietta 1.4 Multi-air has a softer set-up but it is no less sporting in character and maintains a firm grip on the road. Ride comfort is excellent even over the worst New Zealand road conditions. We feel the 1.4 Giulietta is the best compromise for those people wanting a sporty car without a bone shaking ride.  It still has that zippy, wheel-at-each corner, nimble handling so beloved of the brand. 
Like its smaller sibling the MiTo the Giulietta also receives the Alfa Romeo DNA system which also includes the Electronic Q2 differential and the VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) system.
The system automatically reverts back to Normal mode every time the engine is switched off, so it quickly became a habit to flick the switch to Dynamic mode every time we started up. The change of power delivery between Normal mode and Dynamic mode is quite startling, especially if you change the modes while accelerating. It’s almost like someone released an additional handbrake.
Alfa-Romeo claims the 1.4 Multiair engine provides a 0-100 km/h time of just 7.8 seconds, with a combined fuel figure of 5.8 l/100km and a  CO2 emission  figure of 134 gm per km.
Sadly we must have been enjoying the engine performance and handling far too much, as we could only manage an average fuel consumption of just under 10L/100km.  Oops.
In summary, while we loved the brio and fun-to-drive factor of this Giulietta, we know the buyers in this category prefer automatics. When the TCT version of the Multi-air arrives, Alfa-Romeo will have a true market competitor to the likes of the Golf and other premium segment hatches.

Specifications:

Body type Five-door hatch  
Drive Front-wheel-drive 
Engine Type Inline four-cylinder turbocharged  
Engine Capacity 1368cc
Max power 125kW @ 5500 rpm
Max torque 250Nm @ 2500 rpm
Fuel Consumption 5.8l/100km
C02 emission 134g/km
0 to 100kph 7.8 secs
Front suspension McPherson Strut
Rear suspension Independent Multilink
Roof Rack N/a

ABS Brakes Yes
Air Bags 6
ESP Yes
Air Conditioning Climate
Lap/diagonal belts 5
Satellite Navigation Optional
Electric seats No
Burglar Alarm Yes 
Panic Button No
Boot release Yes
Cargo Cover Yes
Boot Capacity 350L/
Wheel type 17-inch Alloy
Spare Tyre Space saver

Through Life Cost Report
36 Months
60000km
Price    $46,990
WOF    $90
Registration      $732
Servicing to 60k:     $1,556.19
Total Tyre cost:   $1,628.96
Residual (33%) $18,796.00
Indicative final figure $32,201.15

The Through Life Cost Model is used for illustrative and indicative purposes only. FleetWorks and Adrenalin Publishing Limited accept no responsibility or liability should any costs indicated in the Through Life Cost Model change from those published. All residual values are based on an average of values achieved through Turners Auctions Limited sales for the previous 3 months from issue date.

Related Articles
Skoda Kodiaq Ambition
The entry level Kodiaq shines particularly bright, opines Damien O’Carroll.
Large car shootout
With Commodore production ending, does it still deliver and who else is challenging the...
Grand Cherokee overland
Grand Cherokee overland
Jeep with a mighty V8 is a nice package, reports Cathy Parker.