Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.4 TB 170 HP full road test car review – BBC Top Gear – BBC Top Gear

8 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.4 TB 170 HP full road test car review – BBC Top Gear – BBC Top Gear
Alfa Romeo Giulietta

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The Alfa Romeo Giulietta is a far car than the 147. That may be no revelation – the 147 has been around for a full decade and has long been usurped by lither rivals – so a bigger one: the Giulietta just be the best car that has built in its 100 years of existence.

But it a better Alfa.

Sounds Stick with us. While the does all the proper, grown-up car – build quality, economical engines – than just about any of its it comes at the expense of Alfa’s Alfaness. Character.

Passion. desirability. The Giulietta is an easy car to and like,

but not one that grabs you by the man-parts.

It must be conceded we don’t have the ideal in which to fall helplessly in with the Giulietta on our early drive. As we arrive at Alfa’s test facility, just off the road in northern Italy reads the sign pointing to the rain is falling with a and ferocity that suggests done something massive to Him/Her/Them Upstairs.

A Golf a Golf no matter what the but an Alfa somehow requires big skies and shimmering warmth. perhaps, but hey, it’s an Shallowness is somewhere near the top of the CV.

Through the rain, our white car looks every inch the big to the Mito. Normally we’d clear of discussing aesthetics at any length, because (a) you have and (b) someone keeps casting Dunst in films, so clearly must be subjective. But Alfa has relied on visual oomph to cars, so forgive us a few demi-objective

First, the Giulietta is massively

Those sharp creases the bonnet simply become in darker shades, making the end look too tall and shapeless. though you’ll have the resemblance to the new Megane and Astra the rear-end profile, the Giulietta’s is a far subtle backside, the cutaway lines taking a lot of the bulk out of could look like a fat The jewellery is gorgeous, the LED rear tracing a lazy, unwinding towards the central badge, the rear door as elegant as

But, for our ha’pence worth, big upright grille lacks the elegance of the Brera and 159’s front end. OK, the Giulietta a lot more distinctive than the A3, its most obvious rival, but is it beautiful? For us, not quite.

Not yet.

Same story in the Nice, but not irresistible. There are of loveliness in here. The row of ‘horseshoe’ below the central control are soft-touch and beautifully damped, the on the centre console slimline and and the leather looks like it taste of finest Argentinian if you licked it.

Just a few more of originality would have the Giuletta’s interior to proper one now’ levels, but too much of it is the steering wheel switches are off a Fiat Punto, the plasticky door seems to have nicked from a Doblo Of course, all premium manufacturers in a degree of parts snatching their cheaper cousins, but it all on where you hide ’em: the borrowed bits remain too

Right. Enough navel-gazing. the rain now reaching such that it can’t be long the ground bursts open a split balloon, or simply off into the Mediterranean, a sodden lump of Italy bobbing North Africa, we sweep out of and in search of sunshine, lakes and a road.

We find the latter. and the fizz. It might not be genuflectingly but it doesn’t half drive The Giulietta sits on an all-new platform that will a whole bunch of future and Fiats, and gets aluminium rear suspension.

Alfa admits the 147 sacrificed too comfort in the pursuit of sportiness, and this set-up strikes a balance.

And, by jove, cracked it. With the ‘DNA’ – the button that you to adjust dampers, differential and throttle response on the fly – set to ‘dynamic’ mode (an action also causes a nice G-meter to pop up on the satnav screen, us very happy indeed), sublime, deliciously supple and As far as it’s possible to tell on roads, it clings on nicely, but can be coaxed into cheeky, wet-roundabout slides.

There’s an organic quality to the Giulietta’s that makes your A3 lifeless, your 1-Series over-brittle. On a good road, everything an Alfa should be.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Unfortunately, such dynamic does draw attention to the surprisingly soulless engine. driving the 167bhp version of 1.4-litre four-pot petrol which features Fiat’s new ‘MultiAir’ variable-valve tech. the 235bhp Cloverleaf edition up later in the summer, this is the powerful Giulietta available.

a detuned version of the same available, too, packing – essentially the same we’ve driven, and admired, in the new Punto – and a pair of

Objectively, grown-uppedly, the top-spec is excellent. It’ll do 0-62mph in eight seconds, which is quicker than a good-sized with a 1.4-litre engine has any to be. Equipped with stop-start, manage 49mpg and just of CO2: impressive figures.

things are a bit … below but it hardly feels like a petrol engine with a fat attached: power delivery is and progressive, the boost barely

So what’s the problem? In noise and it’s soulless: a modern turbo four-pot, all gentle whirr overlaid with a drone at high revs. It fizz round the rev gauge intent. In the A3 or Golf, we would this as a fine engine.

But in an – a brand that sweat, bleed and occasionally petrol – it doesn’t fit. It wouldn’t take to inject a bit of soul, a hint of crackle would do it, but for now you’d be off with the bigger diesel.

And the problem. By … road-testy the Giulietta is a fine car. passenger space – a gripe in the 147 – is now on a par with the Golf, and the boot is of a decent with a nice flat At speed, it’s very as quiet and refined as the A3. Great, but it leaves us just a bit cold.

Would you sell your pets to the local kebab to pay for one? Meh.

You could quite fairly, that trying to both have and eat our here. We spend years about the unreliability and flimsiness of and then as soon as they a solid, refined car, we that it’s characterless.

The is now a genuine Golf and A3 rival, though prices are yet to be confirmed Alfa has announced only the Giulietta will start at £17,000 – it should be But if you want something that’s a Golf, we’d guess still buy a Golf. Alfas always catered to the more market, but this one doesn’t.

Not

Alternatively you could argue, quite fairly, that our have got it all wrong: that the is the most desirable car you’ve seen. Maurice certainly Maurice is possibly the most elderly man in Europe.

At the end of our test drive, we park up the in a sodden town square on the of Lake Maggiore, its waters and foaming as if Godzilla is soon to in apocalyptic rage. Maurice literally skipping from his grocery store, clapping and a Giulietta brochure as he splashes the rain.

Bella, bella, he chants hypnotically, stroking the car and like he’s just a … smoothie. In a conversation could generously be described as and more accurately as ‘pointing and shouting’, we establish that he has the purchasement of a Giulietta that its arrival upon the second of the May-month.

Bought a Giulietta 1.4-litre, 118bhp petrol in – without having it or even seen it in the metal, a couple of photos on the internet. That’s commitment.

For us, right the Alfa Romeo Giulietta hasn’t reached that of desirability. The Cloverleaf – will arrive in the summer, meatier visuals and, any luck, a more engaging – should help Until then, we’re but not in love.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Alfa Romeo Giulietta

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