Alfa turns up the heat with the latest model
Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.4 TB MultiAir 170bhp TCT Veloce. Price as driven: £26,555.
Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.4 TB MultiAir 170bhp TCT Veloce. Price as driven: £26,555
- Sporty looks, performance to match. Great drive, full of Italian pizzazz.
- The model I drove was fitted with a sixspeed, semi-automatic ‘dual clutch’ transmission for smoother and more responsive gear changes. It has two transmissions in parallel: one for the odd gears and the other for the evens — each with its own clutch — giving a fast and seamless switch-over.
- You can drive it as an automatic and let the car do the thinking. Or use the chunky electronic gear lever. Alternatively, the F1-style paddles on the steering wheel allow you to flick through the gears.
- A Switch lets you tweak the performance of the sprightly 1.4 litre 170bhp petrol engine by chosing one of three settings: ‘D’ is dynamic or sporty driving; ‘N’ is normal; and ‘A’ is all-weather. ‘D’ MODE is a revelation. I’d been tootling along happily in ‘N’, then switched. Wow! The Alfa flexed its muscles and became a different animal.
- Push down hard on the accelerator and the kick-down really roars.
- Scintillating acceleration from rest to 62mph in 7.7sec and a top speed of 135mph. Good fuel economy, with an average of 54.2mpg. Cruising will get you 65.7mpg while it manages 42.2mpg around town.
- Stylish interior with an emphasis on sport: black trim with red stitching and aluminium switches, pedals and inlays, leather steering wheel, smooth dials, demonic red interior lighting. Flick-down switches for locking doors or putting on the fog lights are reassuringly retro.
- Decent boot space.
- Legroom is a touch tight in the back.
- The ‘plipper’ remote locking device is problematic. You can’t see the markings because they are the same colour as the background plastic, so it’s difficult to tell if you are locking or unlocking the doors.
- Extras will empty your wallet. The base price of the car I drove was £23,155, but £3,000-plus of additional kit bumped it up. This included bi-xenon headlights (£930), Bose hi-fi (£820), 18 in alloy wheels (£620), parking sensors (£260), F1-style gear paddles (£260), ‘Alfa Red’ paint (£490) and a refrigerated glove box (£20).