Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Alfa Romeo Giulietta: Test Drive Review
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Alfa Romeo Giulietta: Test Drive Review

Date: 12 July 2010

Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £21,140
Key rival: Audi A3 Sportback

Earlier this year, Alfa Romeo's UK boss pinpointed the new Giulietta as the firm's big chance to get back into the business car market.

On sale in the UK later this month, the Giulietta replaces the Alfa 147, a model that never really found any love in the fleet arena at a time when the Audi A3 and BMW 1-series were making serious inroads into the dominance of the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and VW Golf in the lower medium segment. In fact, less than 100 147s were registered in fleet in 2009, compared with more than 17,000 A3s.

But the new Giulietta is supposed to change that, and boost Alfa's market share from the current levels described by the brand as "unsustainable".

On paper, the signs are good. It's competitively priced at a few hundred pounds below the equivalent A3, and also meets the Audi for emissions and economy with a CO2 figure of 124g/km and economy of 60.1mpg from the 170hp 2.0-litre diesel. Kwik Carcost puts the 2.0 diesel Giulietta's residuals lower than the A3, BMW 1-series, Seat Leon and VW Golf rivals, but the Italian car's cost per mile figure is still competitive at 48.7p, in front of the more expensive BMW 120d SE and VW Golf GTD, and close to rival A3 and Leon models.

On the road, the Giulietta avoids the major problem that befalls its Mito little brother, in that the new model rides well enough and doesn't suffer from a harsh set-up. The engine is also good enough, performing well and with a nice gear change, and although the Alfa isn't as sporty or fun to drive as some rivals such as the 1-series or even Ford Focus, it's no disappointment. The DNA system - standard on all models - that switches between, sporty, normal and all-weather settings, offers the most distinct change in character of any system on the market, with changes to the throttle, steering and brakes.

The cabin is designed as elegantly as can be expected from an Italian brand, although there is a surprising amount of harder plastic, and some of the switchgear feels cheaper to use than it looks at first glance. The 350-litre boot is good for the class, but there is a high boot lip that means lifting loads over the sill. Rear space is average, with easy access through the rear doors and plenty of legroom, but headroom is an issue thanks to the way the roofline curves.

The Giulietta is distinctive if not as outrageously pretty as some other Alfas, but as an all-round package of running costs, practicality, driving experience and car park appeal, it's the first Alfa Romeo in some time that's got the potential to bring the brand some success in the business car sector.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0 JTDm-2 170bhp Lusso
P11D price£21,140
Model price range£16,995-£24,495
Fuel consumption60.1mpg
CO2 (tax) 124g/km (18%)
BIK 20/40% per month£63/£127
Service interval21,000mls
Insurance (1-50)group 25
Warranty3yrs/unlimited mls
Boot space350 litres
Engine size/power1956cc/170hp
Top speed/0-62mph135mph/8.0secs
On sale 24 July 2010
VerdictThe best business car
Alfa Romeo has produced
for quite some time


The best business car Alfa Romeo has produced for quite some time