Our cars: Alfa Romeo Giulietta - April 2012

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Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0 JTDM-2 140 Lusso

Week ending April 27
Mileage 10,547
Driven this week: 147 miles

Alfa Romeo Giulietta review

The droughts plaguing the south east have been abating recently, nicely timed to coincide with a series of motorway runs in our long-term Giulietta.

With the severity of the rain varying between a light spattering and torrential, and speeds fluctuating from urban crawling and 70mph cruising, the intensity of water hitting windscreen was far from consistent.

Not a problem, I thought, because the Alfa has automatic windscreen wipers that will determine the level of water on the glass and wipe as often as needed.

Sadly, this turned out not to be the case. The sensors took an age to register that there was any rain on the screen, and left far too long between wipes to make the ‘Auto’ function any good in anything other than heavy rain.

Instead, putting the lever to intermittent wipe, or simply flicking them on as and when needed, was the best option.


Tom's Alfa Romeo on video

Week ending April 20
Mileage 10,400
Driven this week: 250 miles

Alfa Romeo Giulietta review

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta is more than a sensible hatchback that is aiming to rival the likes of the Volkswagen Golf, it also has a long heritage to take into account. Classic and Sports Car Editor in Chief Mick Walsh knows all about this, and took the chance to jump in our car for a weekend recently…

As a serial Alfa owner, the chance to try the Giulietta was much awaited, and it made fascinating transport to a gathering of classic Giulias.

Early impressions disappointed because it didn’t feel lively enough. The intrusive diesel engine dominated its character on urban trips where the stop-start system niggled along congested routes, and the steering lacked feel until up to higher speeds.

Vision out the side, particularly when reversing, is compromised by the wide door pillars, and the fussy dashboard – particularly the anodized mauve panel – lacked Italian style.

On the motorway, the car’s character completely changed. Cruising in sixth, the low revving torque provides impressive refinement and response. My sons didn’t rate the rear seating and one complained of backache after a long run, but the ride and handling really impressed up front. At the end of the weekend I didn’t want to give it back and now really miss that torquey, economical power.


Tom's Alfa Romeo on video

Week ending April 13
Mileage 10,158
Driven this week: 208 miles

An early morning passenger recently jumped into the Alfa clutching a thermos mug of tea. Said mug was about the same width and height as the largest you tend to get from the high-street coffee chains, so we were a little surprised to find the cupholders between the two front seats were not up to the job of holding it securely.

We managed to jam the thermos about halfway in to the holder, but not far enough to feel satisfied it wasn’t going to get knocked out half way around a corner or midway through a gearchange.

A flexible or adjustable cupholder would be preferable and allow us to use the two holes for something other than storing pens, batteries and loose change. Or perhaps Alfa has designed the Giulietta with espresso-drinking Italian drivers in mind...

Tom Webster

Week ending April 6
Mileage 9950
Driven this week: 350 miles

As an avid follower of the England cricket team’s (irritatingly mixed) fortunes on their Asian tours this winter, I’ve been increasingly grateful that I chose to add the aftermarket Pure DAB radio system to the Alfa Romeo’s cabin.

While the Long Wave signal switches to more serious broadcasts on my morning commute such as Yesterday in Parliament, the tiny unit means I can continue to listen to the latest batting collapse/bowling heroics uninterrupted.

The system is subtle enough that one passenger even thought it was part of the Giulietta’s standard kit. Its styling might not be as sleek as the rest of the Alfa’s interior, but it is tucked away enough that it doesn’t detract from the looks.

Tom Webster

Our cars: Alfa Romeo Giulietta - March 2012


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