Alfa Romeo Junior reader test team

The Alfa Romeo Junior is the Italian brand's smallest SUV and its first electric model. We've asked a panel of readers to check it out and give us their verdict on it...

Alfa Romeo Junior reader test team readers looking at car

The Alfa Romeo Junior has a lot to prove as the brand's first pure electric model. Slotting into the range below the Tonale, it will rival similarly premium small SUVs, such as the Audi Q2 and Lexus LBX (our 2024 Car of the Year).

The entry-level electric version, called the Junior Elettrica, will be powered by a 154bhp single electric motor and 51kWh (usable capacity) battery. Performance and range are strong: 0-62mph will take around 9.0sec, and the official range is rated at 255 miles. 

However, if you want a bit more zip, there’s the Elettrica Veloce, which shares its mechanical parts with the Abarth 600e. It will do the 0-62mph dash in around 6.0sec and will have a range of around 200 miles. 

Both versions have a maximum charging rate of 100kW, so a 10-80% charge at a public charging station will take around 30 minutes. 

There will also be a hybrid version of the Junior, called the Ibrida, powered by a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, a small electric motor and a battery. However, it’s the pure electric version we asked our readers to evaluate. Read on to find out their verdicts on it. 

Mark Finch

Alfa Romeo Junior reader test team

Age 56

Job Solicitor 

Drives BMW X7

“I have always had a soft spot for Alfa Romeos, and owned a couple of 159s some years ago. I’m considering downsizing from my X7 and the Junior could be a good alternative. 

It’s certainly an attractive looking car, and it looks well made. 

“The designers have done a good job of giving the Junior distinctive exterior styling. I like the traditional Alfa front grille and slim headlights. Aside from that, it’s not instantly recognisable as an Alfa, but it’s still a very pretty car. 

“The interior mostly looks classy and the seats are trimmed in high quality materials. Only a few harder plastics on the top of the dashboard. I like the styling of the driver controls, though. Unlike most new electric models, which have a mostly blank space and a big touchscreen, the Junior has more physical controls and switches, which I prefer. 

“I’ve been told the boot is the roomiest in its class, and it does look a respectable size. I was also impressed with the space for rear seat passengers. I had plenty of head and legroom when I sat in the back. 

“I’m still sceptical about pure electric cars, so I’ll have to wait to see if Alfa decides to bring the hybrid version of the Junior to the UK. I’m looking forward to having a drive in one, though.”

Rating 4 stars

 Trevor Lee

Alfa Romeo Junior reader test team

Age: 62

Job Graphic designer

Drives Skoda Enyaq

“I previously owned six Alfa Romeo models, but had to move to something more practical to cater for dogs and children. 

“I was concerned about how Alfa would deal with the transition to electric models and incorporate modern design cues alongside maintaining the heritage styling. The designers have done a great job, though, adding little nods to Alfa tradition inside and outside the car. Details such as the serpents on the front grille and rear quarter panels, and the old-fashioned looking air vents set it apart from other small SUVs. It’s also great that the centre console is angled towards the driver, giving the impression it’s a driver focussed car. 

“The seats are comfortable, but the quality of the interior trim isn’t all top notch, which is a shame. I was expecting it to be classier inside than my Enyaq, but it’s only on a par with it in places. 

“It’s also not as good as the Skoda for range. I can get up to 300 miles between charges in the Enyaq, but it doesn’t sound like I’d get more than 200 miles from the Junior. 

“That said, if it drives as well as it looks, I think it’s a winner.”

Rating 5 stars

Ricky Tang 

Alfa Romeo Junior reader test team

Age 56

Job Driving instructor 

Drives Alfa Romeo Mito and Vauxhall Mokka E

“I am a big Alfa Romeo fan and I wanted to know how well the brand’s first electric model would fit with its DNA. I’m pleased to see that the designers have managed to retain the signature Alfa styling by adding lots of little touches around the car. The overall shape of it is appealing, too, because it’s more flowing and not as boxy as alternatives like the Smart #1 and Volvo EX30.  

“It will be a good learner driver car because it’s pretty compact and all the controls are well positioned and easy to navigate. It’s also useful that it has a large boot, so I can store all my kit in it instead of inside the car. 

“It’s been great having the Mito as a learner driver car because many of my learner drivers are more mature people from Hong Kong, and they prefer to learn to drive in a more stylish car. They’re also interested in Alfa Romeo’s heritage, especially its racing history because it makes the whole learning experience more interesting. So I’m planning on replacing the Mokka E with a Junior when it goes on sale.

“The only thing I can find to fault it with is that it doesn’t have any cup holders for the rear seat passengers, but that is a trivial thing.”

Rating 5 stars

Keanu Lee 

Alfa Romeo Junior reader test team

Age 42

Job Driving instructor

Drives Volkswagen T-Cross

“I’m looking for a small SUV with some wow factor to replace my T-Cross. Although I don’t think the Junior looks like a traditional Alfa Romeo from the front, the exterior styling is still attractive, especially the front end. The rear end of the car is also very distinctive and I like the full length rear light bar. I also like the Alfa logos that are dotted around the car. 

“The interior controls are a good combination of physical and touchscreen, with a useful row of buttons below the screen. 

“Comfort and practicality aren’t as good as my T-Cross, though. Although there are enough storage cubbies up front, the cup holders and door pockets are small. My children are aged nine and 11, and although the rear seats would be roomy enough for them, it’s a shame there are no door pockets or cup holders back there. At least the boot is a good size, though. The range of up to 255 miles would be enough for my needs, too. 

“Overall, the Junior doesn’t quite have the wow factor I’m looking for, but the exterior styling is great and the interior is mostly well designed, it’s just that back seat area that lets it down.”  

Rating 4 stars

Clive Higgins

Alfa Romeo Junior reader test team

Age 62

Job Mortgage broker

Drives Renault Clio E-Tech

“I’ve gone from petrol to hybrid with the Clio, and I’m interested in going fully electric with my next car. 

“I realise that the Alfa Junior is based on the same platform as the Jeep Avenger and Fiat 600e, so it’s good to see that the starting price for the Alfa undercuts these two rivals by £1100 and £3100 respectively. 

“In spite of that, it certainly looks very smart on the outside, and the version we’re looking at appears to be well equipped. I like the fact that you sit higher up in the Junior than I do in my Clio, and the car feels a bit bigger giving it more road presence. 

“The Junior’s 250-mile range is suitable for me as most of my driving is short, local journeys. I’d have been concerned if it was below 200 miles. 

“I don’t usually have more than one or two passengers, so the fact that the rear seats might be a bit cramped for two or three adults doesn’t worry me. I like the wide opening doors and tall door frames, though, because they make it easy to get in and out of the car. Once you’re in, the driver’s seat feels rather cosseting with all the controls well placed. 

“With so many car showrooms closing down these days, it’s handy for me that I have an Alfa dealer very close to my home, and that would also sway me to the brand."

Rating 4 stars

Neville Stimpson

Alfa Romeo Junior reader test team

Age 60

Job Network engineer

Drives Alfa Brera Prodrive S 

"I’ve been an Alfa enthusiast for many years, my first model was an Alfetta GTV, which I bought in 1991. 

"The Junior is bigger than I was expecting it to be, so I assume that it will sit above the Mito and Giulietta in the brand’s line-up. I’d read that the rear legroom in the Junior wasn’t very good, but that’s not the case: I’m 6ft tall and I had enough head and legroom sitting in the back. 

"Looking at pictures of the Junior I was unsure about the styling of the front end because it looked too busy compared with the Giulia and Tonale, but it looks better in the flesh. In fact, for a car that’s trying to stand out in the busy small SUV sector, it’s great because it does just that. The exterior design is distinctive and gives the car a lot of presence on the road just like other Alfa models. Details like having the Alfa Romeo script on the bootlid are important touches, too, that are in keeping with the older Alfa models.  

"One criticism is that the rear light bar is large and protrudes quite a bit so it may be prone to being damaged. 

"Overall, the Junior’s design team has succeeded in incorporating the Alfa Romeo characteristics well into a small electric  model. If it’s as much fun to drive as other Alfas it should be a great success."

Rating 4 stars

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