Alfa Romeo Giulietta

2.0 JTDM TCT QV Line

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

THERE'S nothing more likely to stir passions than a product from Italy.

Just about anything built, made or hailing from the ancient Roman empire is guaranteed to draw strong views and may even set the pulse racing.

Whether it's food, wine, or even politics, this is a country of contrasts, emotion and vivid colours.

Nowhere is this more clearly illustrated than with the nation's cars. From Ferrari to Fiat, they ooze character and personality. They may not appeal to everyone, but they demand attention, and frequently divide opinion.

Possibly the prettiest hatchback on sale today, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta has been around for five years now but received a mid-life facelift and de-wrinkle last year to clean up the exterior and improve the quality of cabin furnishings.

Racy LED lights, new style alloy wheels and extra paint options added a bit more sparkle.

One of the best all round models in the line-up is the 2.0-litre, 175bhp diesel which marries gutsy performance with low CO2 emissions of 116g/km and better than average economy at 64.2mpg.

The 2.0 JTDM TCT QV Line weighs in at £27,590 which, though hardly bargain basement, includes a fair bit of equipment such as leather/alcantara trim, side skirts, colour touchscreen with sat nav, front and rear parking sensors and climate control.

The TCT part of name refers to the twin clutch automatic six-speed gearbox which takes much of the hassle out of driving in heavy traffic. The change is slick and barely noticeable and mates well with the high torque diesel engine. Steering wheel paddles are available as an option.

Standard kit includes Alfa's own DNA control which offers - via a small centrally mounted lever - choice between, dynamic, natural or all-weather settings.

Dynamic adds a bit more weight to the steering and speeds up reactions, while natural mode is economy biased and all-weather slackens throttle response to maximise grip. In reality, it's a bit of a gimmick and few drivers would bother to continually switch between modes.

With acceleration to 62mph in under eight seconds, the Giulietta is no slouch and the automatic gearbox gauges changes well, but progress is noisier than many diesels, particularly as revs rise. The low profile tyres also add to cabin commotion over some surfaces.

The rear door handles are cleverly hidden, giving the car a coupe-like profile.

Space in the back is a bit tighter than either Focus or Golf rivals and the boot carries 350 litres of luggage which is a tad down on average. Space up front is ample, but you tend to find the driving position favours those with longish arms and quite short legs.

The driver's seat is adjustable for height as well as rake, although the knob to alter the rake is positioned awkwardly at the side of the seat where the safety belt crosses.

FAST FACTS

Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0 JTDM TCT QV Line

Price: £27,590

Mechanical:175bhp,1,956cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 136mph

0-62mph: 7.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 64.2

Insurance Group: 25

C02 emissions: 116g/km

Bik rating: 16%

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