In 2010, the engineers at Alfa Romeo designed the Giulietta as a replacement for the Alfa 147, which had been in production for 10 years and was starting to show its age. The replacement was to be bigger and faster, drawing for inspiration on the original Giulietta marque, a luxury car, which was produced between 1954 and 1965.
The compact luxury car that rolled into the show rooms in 2010 was only available as a five-door hatchback. The Giulietta used the Fiat C-Evo platform, which had previously been used on the Fiat Bravo, Fiat Stilo, and Lancia Delta.
The new replacement Guilietta seems to downplay the eccentricity, flair, and style that are traditionally associated with Alfa designs. While the car is not unattractive, it does not have those quirks – the something special Alfa would normally have produced. There are the typical Alfa touches like, bold front grille, iconic badge, moulded bonnet, and rear spoiler, but there is a lack in the usual crispness and hard styling that set Romeos apart from the rest.
The Giulietta is available with two engine sizes fitted, the diesel powered Giulietta JTDM-2, or the 1.4L turbo petrol engine. These can be matched with a 6-speed manual transmission or the 6-speed TCT gearbox and an array of safety features. The 2.0L turbo diesel runs at 125kW and 350Nm of torque; Alfa says this helps to produce a better ride. The innovative engine design also helps to lower fuel consumption and decreases CO2 emissions, while the car still tops out at 205km/h.
They have added extra stability to the car and smooth operating by including the Alfa TCT duel clutch system, which coordinates between the braking, steering, and engine management control. This enables the optimum level of traction to be delivered to the wheels at any one time, keeping the Alfa firmly planted on the road.
The DNA allows the car to adapt to the varying road conditions during the drive. DNA stands for Dynamic for performance driving, Normal for everyday use, and All-weather for those tricky conditions. The Giulietta is still a pretty spritely car even when in Normal mode, and the Dynamic setting is only really necessary when you intend on producing serious speed and acceleration.
The Giulietta is also fitted with a start/stop button that helps with fuel economy, giving a combined fuel usage of 5.7/100km and CO2 emissions of 134g/km. It is also a reasonably quiet drive, especially for a diesel, which comes as a surprise when you listen to the engine just ticking over.
There are two trim levels with Alfa’s Giulietta, the base entry-level 1.4L and the personalised QV level. You will feel perfectly at home in the comfortable seating with the wraparound dashboard. The standard components on all models are electric heated door mirrors, remote central locking, cruise control, electric rear windows, duel zone climate control, 60/40 rear seat split, touchscreen infotainment centre with trip computer, parking assist, Bluetooth, USB/iPod port, RDS radio, 8-speaker stereo, and dusk, rain, and temperature sensors.
The Giulietta comes well equipped for safety too, with 6 airbags, Alfa DNA, steering wheel controls, fog lights and an anti-glare windscreen. All this gadgetry in the car ensured that it would receive a five-star ANCAP rating, confirming it to be one of the best cars on the road for safety.
Alfa Romeo has over 100 years of car-building experience. Its rivals are also serious producers, and the compact family car class is a very competitive one. Competition includes Audi A3, Volvo A40, BMW 1-Series, the Mercedes Benz A-Class, Volkswagen Golf, and Ford Focus Titanium. The Giulietta sees itself playing with the exotics; there are less expensive models, such as the Holden Cruze, Renault Megane, and Opel Astra, that are cheaper but struggle for pace.
Alfa’s long history has been built on manufacturing stylish, memorable cars, and the Giulietta fits into the lineage nicely. However, if you can wait a few years, the depreciation values of Alfa cars are not great, and they will be a lot cheaper a couple of months down the line. One of the main concerns that is holding back sales on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is the lack of variety with only two models on sale.