Drive Test – Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV | Drive Magazine

22 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Drive Test – Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV | Drive Magazine

Alfa is back! For real.

the new Giulietta, Alfa are playing a game…

The thing about up your classic names the past to help drive of a new model only (if at all) related to the iconic nameplate, is you risk tarnishing both current and historical images if the new is really a lemon dressed-up in more than some heritage.

That said of Alfas tend to be judged on different criteria to more run of the marques. So powerful is it’s past that glaring and oversights can be overlooked if the car feels like an Alfa.

So, the new Giulietta QV we here needs to be good for the of Alfa present and past – see how it does then.

First the disappointment

Firstly, I have to I was a huge fan of the new Giulietta, until I saw one in the metal at the local unveiling at Melrose Arch. The problem so much with the new car, but the that the company had surrounded the new with historical models so steeped in heritage and epic not to mention more jaw-dropping than a professor in Pythagoras shake a stick at.

All this had the of the intended effect for me. Rather dressing the new Giulietta up in the glories of the the amazing assortment ended up the new model look, well, plain. I commented at the time it looked like no more a MiTo with five

Fortunately that isn’t the case. Standing on its own in our Kempton car park, the new Giulietta looks The faint traces of 8C in front well into sharply flanks and a cheeky hatchback while the extra jewellery the vertical LED side strip in the units and the horizontal row of LEDs at the fit well with the shape of the on the whole, and it’s a decidedly styling effort all round.

Particularly when you look at the it’s focussed squarely on, the hatch”. Even though of the cars in this segment are 2-door hatches, the Giulietta to make them look a uninventive by comparison, without going so far as to resort to Lamborghini-esque ie bright green paint.

same understated classiness is within. It begins with the tactile, ergonomically-shaped and surprisingly steering wheel. Despite festooned with the normal of satellite controls for the stereo the wheel looks like been made with its focus being the steering of the which is a good thing.

The console is surrounded by an artful look swathe which the length of the dash, which if it does reveal itself as under the touch of your looks superb. Sitting this stripe is a cool system which integrated with the flow of the fascia as a and beneath this a wonderful row of switches (again, plastic) for the fogs on and off and disabling the active illumination trick of the headlights. that is a fairly conventional-looking control arrangement.

The seats particularly supportive but they and feel very good, and still be comfy places to your rear end even hours on the road. There’s not a lot of in the rear, no, but it’s also not cramped so it’s all good.

and lies

So far then, the new Giulietta is a proposition, with eye-catching and an inviting interior, but like I at the beginning of the article these the qualities Alfisti are particularly in. It’s driving that in an Alfa, and it was here that the although an adequate and cute car didn’t quite live up to the logo.

First impressions are mixed. The turbocharged four cylinder easily but then settles to a clattery idle, faintly (devilish even?) in its note and There’s a chunky metal atop the six-speed manual which feel great to but then the conventional handbrake to have been fitted everything else, and just the green light despite the that it doesn’t actually go properly snagging on some bit of plastic in the centre console no “Does it disengage the handbrake?” you can hear some Alfa asking an engineer… “Yes of but….” “Then we’re roll it out!”

So you press the DNA forward to engage Dynamic, off the TC… hang on. There doesn’t to be a way to disengage these systems in the which is a bit worrying in a so-called Alfa.

Getting off the line is slightly trickier in Dynamic than left in Normal, as the is so sensitive that once defeated the typical sluggish response of a high compression-ratio engine the revs zing up into the meat of the tachometer on a millimetre of actual pedal So it’s keen to be revved is it?

Full-bore in first unleashes a but civilised wave of power and which feels only slightly less than the 173kW, before the engine-nannying rev cuts in at a mere 5800 This is something which have annoyed me with in the and it’s just inexplicable why reared its ugly head in the Giulietta when this motor should be quite to go all the way to its red line.

In fact, the claimed 6.8s time to 100km/h from has to have been achieved in a with this electronic substantially relaxed, or even completely. With the limiter to its correct 6500rpm cut off point, you hit 100km/h at the top of second, but as it is you have to into third just shy of speed slowing down the sprint time. It’s certainly a quick car the Giulietta QV, but quite feel sub 7-second

This could partially be to the smooth nature of the power Not that there isn’t the torque “hole” of a classic car low down, in fact there’s not much happening at all in the engine bay 3500rpm despite the claim of all being available at 1900rpm. It isn’t, and it isn’t even the MPS where it might be except for limiting the twist in the lower to safeguard driveshafts.

Even in gears out on the highway, the turbo to be lit for the torque to be there, and you can hear that happening at about

But then even when charging hard in the upper of the rev range, the power delivery smooth and quite unfussed. The wheels aren’t thrown off by steer unless you’re the torrent in the middle of a bumpily-surfaced for example, it’s all very tied down and contained.

The doesn’t even start to to let you know you’re trying although there is a nice growl from the twin pipes under full followed by a noise very like that of an Italian maker frothing up the milk to be in your imminent Cappuccino you lift off. The sounds really intrude if you don’t let but they definitely make for a passionate audible signature the slightly anodyne thrum you get in the competition, the Golf GTI. chatter, interestingly, isn’t evident on lift-off, but can be heard the turbo spools up at the 3500rpm

If there’s anything the soundtrack reminds me of, it’s a street-spec Integrale from the late 90s. In fact, the whole delivery has echoes of that resurfacing in my mind, the same all-or-nothing turbo deliver, unstressed and bassy engine and the AWD Lancia only had slightly torque-steer on the whole.

If it sounded I was questioning the quoted rpm of the peak output earlier (I was), I to be clear and absolutely rubbish the consumption figures, some in the “urban cycle” and 7.6 for the “combined”. it is, maybe if you disconnect the turbo. In the world, driven hard on stop-start suburban favourites car is indecently thirsty for a 1.75-litre you’ll easily have it up 14l/100km in no time!

And finally, the passion

But here’s the rub. power output which to be being artificially limited and a appetite for the increasingly dear liquid, the new Giulietta QV is an awesome hot There really is more enough go to match the established but in the corners it’s sensational.

It wouldn’t carry more (or even quite as much) the corners than an XDS-equipped but it’s the intimate way in which it to you all the time that will you trading-in your emotionally-detached alternative in no time if tactility is to you.

The Alfa tells you in minute detail, exactly it’s doing and what’s to happen. Settle into the and then increase the amount you need to turn and you can feel how much of the increased lateral is being absorbed by the suspension and itself, how much is going compressing the rubber at each and what you still have in reserve should it be needed. is safe and stable overall, the rear is quite mobile braking, and trailing the brakes with a very direct and front-end can make for some handling.

And it does this all the time, when straight, despite which controls movements but is also amazingly supple and of craters. So supple in fact the Volvo S60 which I relinquish the for later in the week actually quite hard and crashy. suspension would certainly this car up their challenging the best of the premium hatches on a but for the real world the setup it with as standard is a perfect

This bond between and machine is highlighted well by the In most modern cars, is such an issue that basically applying braking just by covering the middle The Alfa at first feels a tad by comparison, but once you’re to the fact that you actually to apply pressure before pressure from pad to disc in you discover brakes which are of progression and require proper from the driver to extract the from, not some electronically-translated pressure. It involves you, the driver the most important of the performance equation, and for that it has to be

There are a couple of other quality foibles in addition to the handbrake positioning. For instance, the trims on the doors doesn’t meet at the shutlines, the front standing proud from the by an easily-noticeable margin. The front can also at maximum … a little shaky like the Pug 308 GTi we last month.

But, and this time not because of the Alfa badge on the but in fact on merit alone, you can overlook the shortfalls in the new Giulietta. it’s a car you buy with your and not your head – if it was your you were using the VW would be in your garage instead. a car which oozes character and and ingratiates itself with you moment of your experience it.

It was a car I really did not want to give and that doesn’t happen as as you think despite us motoring changing wheels like a truck driver does Most of the time they move on and the new one replaces them, the however is a difficult machine to replace.

And the shocking surprise at the

Perhaps most amazing of all however is a practical consideration, if you buying this car with own money. It’s aggressively with CO2 taxes pushing the just north of R330K, but an immense 35 000 km service and even better 6-year/105 000km plan supplementing the 5-year/150 warranty. Now that’s great and that’s something I never I’d be saying about the brand driving the hideously overpriced of just a few years ago.


Liked: Wonderful, handling.

Artful architecture inside and out.

Properly quick.

Comprehensive service

Disliked: Lies lies about fuel consumption. a drinker.

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