Alfa Romeo Giulietta

- Used Car Review

Alfa Romeo Giulietta, side
Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Alfa Romeo Giulietta Business Edition, rear, action
Alfa Romeo Giulietta Business Edition, side, action
Alfa Romeo Giulietta, interior
Alfa Romeo Giulietta, DNA drive mode switch

THE Alfa Romeo Giulietta offers a great innovation with its turbocharged petrol engines - a DNA switch.

What on earth is that? I hear you ask.

Well it uses the engine's management computer to change the character of the sleek five door 1.4 petrol to improve response from both the engine and the steering, giving a much more enjoyable drive.

Having said that, it's not slow when the switch is in Normal mode, but there is a real kick in the back when it's switched to ‘Dynamic' and the response to the accelerator is much more immediate.

A third ‘All Weather' setting reduces power to give easier driving in snow and ice.

The 1.4 petrol comes with either 120 or 170bhp and there is also a barnstorming 1.75 with no less than 231bhp.

There are also three diesel options - a 1.6 with 105 or later 120bhp and a 2.0-litre with either 140, 150 or 170bhp.

The 120 and 170bhp petrols rev beautifully and sound marvellous, giving excellent acceleration whenever it's needed and the higher power model has better economy.

Obviously, the diesels are going to give better economy - much more important than performance to many of us - but even so they all perform pretty well, albeit with a fair amount of engine noise in some models.

However, the 170bhp 2.0-litre dispatches the 60 miles an hour sprint in just 7.7 seconds and pulls like a train in the gears too.

Fairly stiff suspension gives flat cornering with very good grip and sticky road holding but overall, it falls a little short of the best like the VW Golf.

And in ride comfort, it comes nowhere near the best, unsettled and knobbly over anything but the smoothest of surfaces.

The rear door handles, like those in the Honda Civic, are hidden to make it look more like a coupe and it really works, giving a sleek and to my eye at least, very pretty shape.

Equipment is a little lacking in the base models and there is a raft of special editions so check the one you want has all the kit you want.

Mid-range Lusso brings climate, traction control, parking sensors, cruise, audio remote and alloys.

Safety is excellent, with six airbags, stability control and hill-start assist.

Pay about £7,000 for a '14 14-reg 1.6 JTDM diesel Collezione, or £12,900 for a '16 16-reg Super auto.

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