The new Giulietta is Alfa’s answer to VW’s Golf. Whether the Italian company can build a true rival to the GTI you can discover just to the right. Here, though, we have the slightly more affordable 1.4 MultiAir, and it’s a thoroughly appealing package.
An efficient yet gutsy turbo petrol engine is mated to a chassis that boasts a supple ride and sharp handling. The result is a driving experience close to that of a Golf TSI; very impressive and capable, if lacking some of the visceral thrills you associate with Alfas past.
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The 168bhp turbocharged engine is more joyous than VW’s comparable ‘twin-charger’ 1.4 unit. It encourages you to hang on to gears longer and use the whole rev- range rather than just surfing the low-down torque, and while it never sounds fantastic, it’s certainly involving. It’s a better choice than the 2-litre JTDm diesel we also tried, which offers identical power and an extra 74lb ft of torque but feels quite staid.
Another note: Alfa offers two chassis set‑ups, Standard and Sport. The former rides on 16in wheels and is the suppler, more compliant choice. The latter is a tad firmer on 17s but makes the car look significantly better. Your call…
|Engine||In-line 4-cyl, 1368cc, turbo|
|Max power||168bhp @ 5500rpm|
|Max torque||184lb ft @ 2500rpm|
|Top speed||135mph (claimed)|