Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.6 JTDM-2 120 Super TCT review
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Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.6 JTDM-2 120 Super TCT review

Date: 31 October 2016   |   Author: Debbie Wood

Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £21,095
Key rival: Volkswagen Golf
On sale: April 2016

If you're considering a practical and efficient lower medium hatchback for the user-chooser list, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is probably not going to be your first, second or third thought.

That's not to say that it isn't a good car, but the Giulietta has always majored on design, and historically lost out to rivals in the costs battle.

Helping to further align the Giulietta with the competition, the firm's hatchback has been refreshed for 2016, and here we're testing the latest model with the fleet-favourite 1.6-litre diesel under the bonnet.

What's new?

As just mentioned, one of the Giulietta's standout qualities has been its stylish design. This new model introduces just subtle tweaks to bring the hatchback more in line with the new Giulia: the lights have been slightly reshaped, the front bumper now showcases a honeycomb-style grille, and there are some new black bumper inserts.

Inside sees a bigger change, with an uplift in interior quality and new materials around the cabin. There's a new trip computer display too, and more connectivity technology.

Sub 100g/km diesel

Fitted to the test car is the popular 1.6-litre diesel in combination with the firm's six-speed manual. New for 2016 is the availability of the TCT twin dry-clutch automatic transmission with this engine.

Unlike so many rivals, the addition of the automatic has no negative effect on CO2 emissions or fuel economy; it does, however, add around £1,800 to the P11D.

Headline figures are good, with this car emitting 99g/km of CO2 and offering an official combined fuel economy figure of 74.3mpg.


The engine's 120hp and 320Nm of torque enable the car to sprint from 0-62mph in 10.0 seconds, only a fraction slower than the manual version.

Alfa's D.N.A drive selector is also included as standard, and makes alterations to the steering, brakes and throttle response depending on which of three modes is chosen.

Out on the road the engine proves refined and relatively smooth, especially at cruising speeds, and the suspension, although a little on the firm side, proved comfortable enough over longer distances.


There's a decent amount of pull at lower speeds for overtaking manoeuvres and the car handles very well in the corners, even at high speeds.

Unlike so many rival systems, the D.N.A drive selector actually makes tangible differences to the car's set-up, with D mode noticeably increasing sportiness.

New trim line-up

Here in the UK there's a choice of five trims for 2016: Giulietta, Super, Tecnica, Speciale and Veloce. The mid-range Super spec comes with a whole host of kit as standard including dual-zone climate control, a five-inch touchscreen system, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, a front armrest, and upgraded seat upholstery.

Interior quality, despite the uplift, is still a mixed bag of good materials and cheap plastics, and some of the features feel quite dated too, including the new trip computer and the aircon controls.


On the practicality front the Giulietta scores well. There are plenty of cubbies, a reasonable-sized glovebox, and cupholders littered around the cabin, and at 350 litres the boot is big enough for the weekly shop.

Upfront there's plenty of head and legroom on offer. It's not quite the same story in the rear of the car, though - headroom will be especially difficult for anyone more than 5ft 5in tall.

The competition

Arguably one of the most stylish cars in the segment, the Giulietta's eye-catching design makes more of a statement than some of its blander rivals like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. Running costs are decent too and the car drives very well - almost as good as the BMW 1-series.

Despite its competitive P11D price, the sums don't quite stack up for the Giulietta on the whole-life costs front, largely because of the car's poor residual value of 28.6%, significantly below the comparable 1-series' 40.1% and VW Golf's 34.3%.  The Giulietta will cost 47.7p per mile to run - that's at least a couple of pence more expensive than its main rivals, which is a shame.

Model price range: £18,450-£28,480

Residual value: 28.6%
Depreciation: £6,025
Fuel: £4,160
Service, maintenance and repair: £1,859
Vehicle Excise Duty: £0
National insurance: £1,834
Cost per mile: 47.7p
Fuel consumption: 74.3mpg
CO2 (BIK band): 99g/km (19%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £67/£134
Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles
Boot space: 350 litres
Engine size/power: 1598cc/120hp


A great-looking alternative to the hatchback norm, but whole-life costs significantly let the Giulietta down.
  • Stylish looks
  • Handles well
  • Competitive running costs
  • Poor residual values
  • Not as practical as rivals