At first glance, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta looks like a coupe but is in fact a 5-door hatch.
At first glance, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta looks like a coupe but is in fact a 5-door hatch. The black B-pillar and window frames give this impression, as does the apparent absence of rear door handles, which are hidden in the rear edge of the window frame. The broad shoulder-lines and design creases, therefore, are only disturbed by the front door handles, as they flow towards the unusual taillight clusters.
Like the headlights these employ LED illumination, which is brighter and doesn't use as mush power as conventional bulbs. But that is hardly unusual. No, it is the distinctive, curly-cue design that makes the Alfa Romeo Giulietta stand out. Either side, a string of LED lights loop around in the rounded main section of the housing and then point to the rear logo and Giulietta badge in the middle of the tailgate.
There is a gentle 'V' shape at the base of the rear windscreen, which provides a focal point for the subtly integrated boot spoiler. Below this, the bulging rear wheelarches form the start of swooping, angular rear bumper.
Moving inside the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the business end of the cabin looks decidedly busy from some angles but when viewed straight on, the fascia takes on a chic simplicity. This can be seen in the broad swathe of brushed chrome that stretches from the passenger's air vents, to the instrument binnacle, almost uninterrupted. This panel broadens in the centre and separates the upper fascia from the climate controls and lower storage. The whole dashboard is set quite high and is somewhat imposing but neatly packaged.
In most cases there is an armrest between the front seats, which are generally cloth covered. They are very comfortable and subtly supportive although not overly bolstered. In one of the versions I drove, the upholstery was in a soft red leather (sport leather), which is rather fitting for an Alfa Romeo. This was an optional extra adding £1,350 to the bill and is only available on the Lusso, Veloce and Cloverleaf trims.
Alfa Romeo has tried to make every one of the trim levels that little bit different from the other models over and above the standard specification. One of the ways that it has achieved this is by using a different steering wheel in each model and they get sportier as the range progresses towards the Cloverleaf.
Although the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is a fairly large car, there is still not a great deal of legroom for the rear passengers. That said, the driver can sit tall in the knowledge that he or she has the best in class headroom. The rear seats have the usual 60:40 split and fold function to increase the boot capacity from 350-litres but we are not told by how much. Suffice to say that there is enough room in the luggage compartment for shopping and the normal stuff that we tend to carry around with us, without having to put the seats down.
Alfa Romeo Giulietta Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.4 TB MultiAir Lusso|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||7.8 Seconds|
|Top Speed||135 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||61.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 years / Unlimited miles|
|Price (when tested on the 09/07/10)||£19,495|