ALFA ROMEO GIULIETTA 1750TBi QUADRIFOGLIO VERDE
“ Jeremy Clarkson once said that you cannot call yourself a Petrolhead until you have owned an Alfa”
I owned one a long time ago, so it’s great to get the opportunity to test one of their latest offerings.
The Giulietta has been around for a few years with a recent facelift and fits squarely into the C segment hatchback category. Of course, the first thing that makes an Alfa special is the engine. In the top of the range QV version, they fulfil this criteria by using the engine straight out of the stunning 4C sports.
In this car, the turbo 4 cylinder puts out 177kW and 340Nm of torque putting it very squarely in the “hot hatch” category of the C segment. The only transmission option is a 6 speed automatic with the requisite “flappy paddles” that can be used very effectively when you want to push on, especially through some twisties.
The car displays typical Alfa sporty, but slightly firm, suspension that contribute to ride and excellent roadholding. The QV proved to be among the best handling cars in its class, both on my favourite bad road section to Hartebeespoort as well as through a long downhill sweep near home.
Another feature of modern Alfas is the “DNA” switch, being their interpretation of a multi-mode transmission. With the “A” setting essentially reserved for European type winter conditions, the choice remains between ‘Normal” and “Dynamic”. Leaving the car in N for the first part of the test period, it seemed as though there was a hesitation on pull-away. As the old saying goes……..read the manual first!!!!!!!! The QV has a standard launch control system, so there is a momentary hesitation before the front wheel drive grips and then pulls off like a terrier being unleashed.
Taking a look at life inside the car, being the top of the range means that you are left wanting for (almost) nothing. At this price point, the centre infotainment screen and system are a generation behind with the lack of navigation being a glaring omission. The standard, high-backed sports seats were extremely comfortable BUT are not very kind to passengers in the rear. Between the sharp, sporty styling and the seats, it means that the rear accommodation is very claustrophobic. Legroom is adequate, but headroom is also compromised by the “coupe-esque” shape.
This also creates issues with blind-spots and needs care in this regard. A blind-spot warning system would be of great assistance in this car.
Various tests have produced fuel economy figures of around 7.2l per 100km for the Giulietta QV and I’m sure this can be achieved if driven with care. However, any Alfa, and especially this car, does not encourage slow and careful driving. This is a car made to be driven and enjoyed. With the car in “Dynamic” mode there is power in abundance with the transmission holding onto gears if left in self-shifting mode. After a full week of mixed motoring including freeways as well as commuting, I achieved just under 10l per 100km.
There is no doubt that the Giulietta QV is flawed but I believe that it would be totally spoiled by any attempt at compromise to make it more like the norm.
1.4TBi Distinctive R 365 900
1.4TBi Exclusive R 398 990
1750TBi Quadrifoglio Verde R448 990 AS TESTED
All models include a 3 Year/ 100 000km Maintenance Plan as standard
ALAN ROSENMEYER – MARCH 2016