Alfa Romeo Giulietta

2.0 JTDM-2 TCT

Exclusive

Alfa Romeo Giulietta, side
Alfa Romeo Giulietta, front
Alfa Romeo Giulietta, front
Alfa Romeo Giulietta, rear
Alfa Romeo Giulietta, rear
Alfa Romeo Giulietta, interior

SOME car marques are associated with romance and glamour and Alfa Romeo is certainly one of those.

The Italian manufacturer's names are legendary. Think of Stradale, Spider and Giulietta. They all evoke pictures of sleek, stylish thoroughbreds.

Fantastic to drive, if not always of the best build quality, Alfa nowadays has a modest stable of models, but the legendary Giulietta name lives on.The latest model is as stylish as anything on the road and offers something different - if not totally unfamiliar.

Up against some mighty opposition in the ultra-competitive C segment, it looks as good as you can get, sitting on smart alloys wheels with sleek, coupé styling, hidden rear handles, stylish lights and deep air scoops at the front. This range topper also features side skirts, dark tinted windows and headlights and satin effect wing mirors. Most eye-catching of all is the iconic Alfa shield, bisecting the grille.

Inside the car mirrors the sleek lines and curves, is well equipped and laid out with neat sports dials with white illumination, while smart aluminium trim to dials, pedals, steering wheel and gear selector add to the classy feel.

Extra luxury includes leather and microfibre seats with electric adjustment, sports steering wheel and darker roof headlining.

It is not all about style. It has hatchback practicality with good interior room and boot space that compares well with competitors and five people can fit inside.

The sloping nature of the design mean headroom is not great, and the consequently smaller glass areas means all round vision is compromised slightly.

The dash is dominated by a standard, five-inch infotainment screen which controls major functions like the standard sat nav, connectivity and sound system. It feels more substantial and solidly built than some earlier models.

It offers a choice of petrol and diesel engines and, with a nod to its sporty heritage, its own DNA systemThis gives three driving modes, dynamic, for a more sporty drive, normal for, as the name suggests, normal driving and all weather to provide more grip.Each changes the driving dynamics of the car by altering engine, steering, suspension and gearbox characteristics.

In truth I found normal mode suited best in nearly all conditions with the car providing plenty of grunt, decent handling and surprisingly good economy. Switch to dynamic mode and the already sporty suspension stiffens up for a bit of fun, but it can feel harsh on lesser roads.

The two-litre 175bhp diesel powering this model packed plenty of punch, mated to a slick shifting, tiptronic semi-automatic gearbox, it powered the car to 60mph from a standing start in just 7.8 seconds. Warm, bordering on hot performance, but still returning a claimed 64-odd mpg. Add to this respectable CO2 emissions of 116g/km and stop/start technology and you have a pretty economical car.

In practical terms, the 350 litres of boot space can be increased to 1,045 with the rear seats folded and there are other oddment holders and storage bin between driver and passenger for extras stowage.

Standard kit is impressive with electric windows and door mirrors, climate control, a decent sound system, plus dimming rear view mirror, rains sensors, cooled glovebox and host of other goodies you would expect for a car of this price.

FAST FACTS

Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0 JTDM-2 TCT Exclusive

Price: £25,630

Mechanical: 170bhp, 1,956cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 135mph

0-62mph: 7.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 64.1

Insurance Group: 25

C02 emissions: 116g/km

Bik rating: 21%

Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles

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