The sun is finally starting to appear and the weather is getting better and better by the day. That’s the thing about the sun – it makes everyone seems much happier.
I was in a well known farm park in the Cotswolds the other day and even the animals seemed happier when the sun was out. The Tigers were all there taking a siesta and even the Monkeys were having a good time hanging about in the sun. We of course as humans do much the same – well some of us do!
This weekend was no exception either – I thought to myself ‘let’s have a BBQ’. The kids will enjoy it and it will unchain my wife from her default position in front of ‘her cooker’ not the family cooker – just her cooker. Joking aside – why is it that as a male, we automatically take control of ‘the mower’ I tell my wife all the time that it is not mine – and that it’s the family lawn mower – so, why am I the only one who uses it? Of course this means I must take a certain amount of responsibility when maintaining it. Not that I do though – because the last time it had new oil and a new sparkplug was when it was new out of the factory.
Back to the BBQ – I was left with the task of getting the charcoal, chicken, sausages and burgers at my local store – but there was a problem – it was ‘baron’ It was like the whole of the world had visited my local store and bought every single thing you will need for a BBQ in your garden. I mean – even the pickle jar isle was empty. I did manage to buy a few things at another store that I don’t usually use unless my last name ends in ‘Rothschild’ but, needs must and I ended up with most of what I needed plus some raw chicken.
Of course I know what you are thinking – raw chicken on a BBQ. I am not stupid you know – I know it has to be pre-cooked or as a family we would be spending most of the night hung over the bathroom sink. Well the good news is we are all fit and well but are much heavier than we were the day before.
Let’s get to the review – there is much to like about the Alfa Romeo Giulietta – it is a pretty car that makes most of us wonder why we went out and bought that Vauxhall instead. Not many of you will know this – but I used to own an Alfa Romeo Alfasud. Yes, it was terrible and made by people who did not seem to care that every morning I had to push it down the hill where I lived to force it into life and that any sharp left hand corners I took used to make the driveshaft fall out.
Things have now changed at Alfa and this is not the case with the Giulietta because it is a fantastic car. It looks great and for moments when you are driving it – it makes you feel like a million dollars. What other car can you think of that makes you feel like this? This also reminds me when I first got a glimpse of the Alfa Romeo GTV V6 back in 1995. This was a stunning car and I will always admire it for its looks.
Power and Efficiency:
My test car was fitted with a 1.4 TB MultiAir engine with 150bhp. Top speed is around 130mph and 0-62 is up in around 8.2 sec. Of course this is not the fastest model in the range – that would be the 240hp version and that will easily break 150mph.
Fuel economy for the 1.4 is around 49.6mpg (combined) with CO2 emissions of 127 g/km. I like this range of engines – they are very refined and sip fuel. They also happen to be quite advanced in regards to some engines on the market. They rev well and always feel like they are ready to give you a thrilling drive.
On the road:
This is an Alfa – it was meant to ride well and the Giulietta feels very good on all road surfaces – but I do think the suspension is a little hard sometimes – but that is dependent on the car setting you decide to choose. There are no dramas into the corners and the steering feels light when you need it and well balanced when you are giving it the beans around a tight corner. To sum up – You can tell the Alfa DNA is there in bucket loads.
Design and Interior:
Look around inside the Giulietta and you can see the setting has been well thought out with the driver in mind. I like the way the centre console swoops down around you giving you easy access to all the controls you will need. The interior is made of a decent quality material that should wear well for many years. The seats are well supported and leg room is good for all occupants. I also like the way the dials are set out to be in front of the driver and not to the side like some cars I would care to mention. Like I said earlier – the Alfa is a driver’s car – they are for people who like to drive a car and not just use it as a work horse or a family run about.
The ‘Sprint’ model is well kitted out – with additions such as; Alfa DNA (Vehicles Driving Mode Selector) DAB radio, LED daytime running light, ABS + ASR + EBD as standard, Uconnect 5” colour touchscreen, tyre pressure monitoring system, front & rear electric windows and a rear spoiler – This is just the tip of what you get. The options list is also very good and if you dial in a few of the options you will end up with a very high spec car indeed.
Safety is good – with 6 air bags plus Isofix attachments for child seat protection. Euro NCAP awarded the Giulietta 5 Stars with an adult occupant rating of 97% and a child occupant rating of 85%.
To sum up: The Giulietta is a great car to drive – it feels well built and has that all important Alfa DNA installed at its heart.
Price: (from) £20,570 OTR not including fitted options
Top speed: 130mph
Economy: 49.6mpg (combined) emissions g/km (127)
Engine: 1.4 TB MultiAir
Torque: 250Nm at 2500rpm
Gearbox: 6 speed
Review kindly provided to MotorMartin by Tony, a motoring journalist of some standing who is currently writing for three publications. See more of his great writing at http://xinterceptor.weebly.com or follow @XInterceptor for insights.
Where will you go?