Our cars: Alfa Romeo Giulietta - December
Week ending December 23
Driven this week: 46 miles
I haven't spent a lot of time in the Giulietta this week, but Martin Port, art editor of fellow Haymarket publication Classic & Sports Car, has. Here are his thoughts:
'I have to own up and say that I’ve not driven a modern Alfa before – only classic stuff - so this was new territory for me.
Initial impressions were not that favourable. I found the ergonomics very odd – the pedals seemed to be very low-set, but the worst thing was the switchgear and controls. Some cars you can just get in and immediately have a good guess at what does what and which way to turn it, but the Alfa seems extremely counter-intuitive.
The engine promised much and pulled away with some guts, but as soon as I threw it into second, the power seemed to disappear. This did seem to get better as the car warmed up, however.
I also thought the Giulietta felt peculiarly light at the back, giving the impression that it skipped around when cornering on a couple of occasions, although I’m not convinced this wasn’t due to the very light power steering, which I'm not used to'.
Week ending December 2
Driven this week: 82 miles
It's been said before, but the Giulietta's cramped pedal area - and the absence of a footrest for your left foot - is one of its most annoying features.
The accelerator pedal is off-set to the right and very close to the brake pedal, which makes it all too easy to hit the wrong one. Once I'd got the hang of it the Giulietta proved surprisingly comfortable, but I needed to adjust my feet on another trip, this time wearing much chunkier shoes.
Funnily enough, my uncle - a big Alfa fan - says he has the same problem with his lovingly restored 1980s Alfa 33. It may well be something to do with the conversion from left- to right-hand drive, but it's something that Alfa should have sorted out by now, I think.