Alfa Romeo Junior: Milano small SUV renamed in shock rebrand

The Alfa Romeo Junior – previously known as the Milano – was revealed last week with hybrid and fully electric power options...

Alfa Romeo Milano red, front

On sale October 2024 | Price from £30,000 (est)

The Alfa Romeo Milano will now be called the Alfa Romeo Junior, following a declaration from the Italian government saying the name Milano is illegal to use.

The reason for the name change relates to the new model being built in Tychy, Poland, and Italian legislation forbidding “Italian sounding” products from being produced outside of the country, according to Adolfo Urso, Minister of Economic Development.

Despite the shock rebrand, production of the Junior – Alfa Romeo's smallest SUV to date – will still go ahead as planned. It will slot below the Tonale in the firm's line-up and rival similarly premium small SUVs, such as the Audi Q2 and Lexus LBX (our 2024 Car of the Year).

Alfa Romeo Milano side static

Along with those rivals, the Junior will have some family members to contend with as well, because it shares its underpinnings with the Fiat 600e, Jeep Avenger and Peugeot 2008. This is possible because these brands, including Alfa Romeo, form part of the Stellantis group, which means they share key components such as engines, electric motors and batteries.

Like its relatives, a fully electric version of the Junior will be offered alongside a hybrid model. But significantly, this means the Junior will be Alfa Romeo’s first electric car

The entry-level electric version, called the Junior Elettrica, will be powered by the same 154bhp single electric motor and 51kWh (usable capacity) battery that you get with its Stellantis siblings. Performance and range will also be very similar to those cars; 0-62mph will take around 9.0sec, and the official range is rated at 255 miles. That’s slightly less than the Smart #1 Pro+ (260 miles), but slightly more than the Avenger (248 miles) thanks to some aerodynamic improvements.

Alfa Romeo Milano red, rear

If you want a bit more zip, an Elettrica Veloce will be available. This version shares its mechanicals with the Abarth 600e, which means it produces 237bhp from a single, front-mounted electric motor (making it front-wheel drive), with 0-62mph expected to take around 6.0sec. Unfortunately, the extra performance means the official range will drop to around 200 miles. 

Along with the boost in power, Alfa Romeo has added a mechanical differential (which improves cornering) to the Veloce version, and tweaked the steering, suspension and brake set-up to sharpen the car’s driving dynamics.

Charging speeds are reasonably competitive, with both electric versions offering a maximum charging rate of 100kW. This means a 10-80% top-up should take around 30 minutes with a suitably powerful public charger, which is similar to the Avenger and #1.

Alfa Romeo Milano hybrid, blue, front

The hybrid version of the Junior, called the Ibrida, will sit below the electric versions in the range as a more affordable alternative. It uses a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, a small electric motor and a battery to produce 134bhp, and will be offered in front-wheel drive only in the UK. All hybrid versions use a six-speed automatic gearbox.

To distinguish between the electric and hybrid versions of the Junior, the electric model has a new interpretation of the Alfa Romeo grille, which includes enlarged detailing of the cross and serpent as seen on the brand’s badge. The hybrid version, meanwhile, has a more traditional mesh grille.

Inside, the majority of the Junior’s interior functions are controlled via a 10.25in infotainment screen and a 10.25in digital driver’s display, the former of which is angled towards the driver. There’s also a bank of physical climate controls below the screen, which should be easier to operate than the touchscreen set-up in the #1.

We’ve had the chance to sit inside the Junior, and can confirm material quality is mostly good, with higher trim levels offering plush Alcantara finishes throughout the interior. There are some scratchy materials on the dashboard and door tops, though.

Alfa Romeo Milano dashboard

Space up front is very good, with plenty of adjustment in the driver’s seat and steering wheel. In the back seats, space is pretty tight – especially if you’re over six-feet tall. But on the plus side, the sports seats on the Veloce models have heavily carved-out seat backs, which does help with knee room.

With 400 litres of boot space, the Junior has a larger cargo area than the Avenger and #1, and is similar in size to the LBX. This means there should be plenty of room for a weekly shop or several carry-on suitcases.

Full UK specifications are yet to be confirmed, but it’s likely the hybrid version will start from around £30,000, with the electric version starting from around £34,000. That’s slightly more than the hybrid-powered LBX (£29,985) and fully electric #1 (£31,950).

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read more: Best small SUVs >>

Also consider