Our cars: Alfa Romeo Giulietta - June
Week ending Jun 29
Driven this week: 142
Alfa Romeo Giulietta
I swapped my CR-Z for the Giulietta this week, but I was all too happy when the time came to swap back.
It’s not that the Giulietta is a bad car; in many ways it’s very good. However, the weighting of the major controls ruin it for me.
The steering is rather vague, and becomes unnaturally heavy when you put the car in Dynamic mode. What’s more, the pedals offer hardly any feel and the gearshift can be obstructive.
Week ending June 22
Driven this week 400 miles
If I mention to friends that I'm running an Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the reaction has been almost entirely positive – and this favourable opinion seems to be translating into sales, too.
While the Giulietta isn't bothering rivals at Ford, Vauxhall or Volkswagen, there are more cropping up all the time. There have been 11,500 sold in the UK since the car was launched in 2010.
One has even arrived here in the office car park to keep our long-termer company. Not only that, but one of the What Car? bosses has borrowed my Giulietta's keys to see if he fancies running one as his company car.
Tom's Alfa Romeo on video
Week ending June 15
Driven this week: 120 miles
This week brought an email about the Giulietta from reader and fellow Alfa owner Richard Sign, who points out that I have missed something as far as my car’s windscreen wipers are concerned.
He rightly says that my complaint that the windscreen wipers don’t have different speeds on the auto setting is incorrect.
In fact, you can set the sensitivity to four different levels via the dashboard menu, controlled by the buttons set to the right of the rev counter.
While this sped things up, it was not capable of judging the correct level of rain and merely wiped intermittently during rain that really needed a constant swipe.
strong>Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0 JTDm-2 140 Lusso
Week ending June 8
Driven this week: 80 miles
The Alfa Romeo's indicator set-up offers further evidence that it's not so much of an urbanite after all, despite its sharp styling.
While most automatic indicators flash three times when the stalk is pressed lightly, the Giulietta's repeat five times.
I reckon this is too much for a quick lane change or left turn in town, where three is often sufficient.
However, it is perfect for changing lanes on the motorway. One flash catches fellow motorists' attention, the second confirms you are moving, and the other three last until you've safely swapped lanes. Three blinks never seem enough at 70mph, so I'm happy with my five-time flasher.
Week ending June 1
A while back I grumbled about the Alfa's stop-start system not working. The engine was up to temperature and I could see no reason for it not to work, so planned a trip to the dealer to get it looked at.
The Giulietta obviously felt threatened by this suggestion, because the next time I drove it, the engine duly cut out at the lights after a short drive.
Now that the weather is distinctly more respectable for the time of year, it seems to be working on a more regular basis, but is still liable to take a while before it kicks in. Rather than being faulty, it seems the system is just a little stubborn and refuses to work unless the conditions are to its liking.