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Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2015 review

EXPERT RATING
7
Chris Riley road tests and reviews the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Alfa Romeo's new hot hatch is a bit of a mouthful and more than a handful.

The Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde, or QV for short, is a rough diamond. It looks fantastic and is great fun to drive, but it's not without its coarse edges.

The car is distinguished from the garden variety Giuliettas by its lower stance, twin exhausts, red brake calipers and signature clover leaf decals either side at the front.

The new model looks pretty similar to the model we drove back in 2011 and the engine outputs for the manual version are identical to the previous model.

But the 1750cc engine is the same turbocharged four that powers the 4C supercar. Likewise, the trick TCT transmission with launch control is the same twin-clutch six-speeder as the 4C, though in a slightly different state of tune.

Matched to the auto, the all-aluminium turbo delivers 177kW/340Nm, with 80 per cent of torque available from a low 1800rpm.

The QV is well-equipped for sporty driving

The difference between the cars is weight: the 4C is a whopping 274kg lighter, helping it to sprint to 100km/h in just 4.5 seconds, while the QV does it in a more leisurely 6.0.

The big difference is the price - the 4C costs twice as much. The QV is well-equipped for sporty driving, with an electronic diff and drive control that allows the driver to choose between Dynamic, Natural and all-weather modes, each varying the way the throttle, transmission and steering responds.

Four-piston Brembo brakes round out the package and it sits on gorgeous black 18-inch clover leaf alloys, with a space-saver spare.

All that extra gear comes at a cost. The standard Giulietta starts from $29,000 while the Giulietta QV with a manual is $39,000 and the twin-clutch version is $42,000.

There's also a $45,000 launch special with extra kit.

Standard equipment includes suede leather and climate control aircon, 6.5-inch multimedia touchscreen that includes satnav with voice activation. Bluetooth phone and audio streaming are also standard, also with voice operation, and the Bose audio has nine speakers including a subwoofer.

On the road

Is it as good as Volkswagen's GTI?

Nope. Simple as that. The Alfa is similar in price and power and pulls strongly through the gears but just can't match the Golf's composure through the twisty bits.

But life is not a racetrack and the QV has plenty to appeal, with eye-catching styling and a better exhaust note than the Golf.

Alfa's engineers have also improved the way the car soaks up the bumps, making it a more comfortable companion for the city commute.

Most importantly, Alfa has infused the car with some excitement

Fit and finish are a step up from the previous model, although there's room for improvement - tacky looking plastic abounds, for example.

Most importantly, Alfa has infused the car with some excitement, including a delicious engine note that complements the rock-star looks.

Stick the boot in and the car bucks as the tyres scrabble to find purchase, before the trick diff kicks in and gets the power down.

Acceleration is strong, and in dynamic mode the transmission anticipates down changes. However, at times the twin-clutch can be annoyingly slow to respond.

If you're going to drive it flat-out, expect to pay at the bowser

Switch to manual mode and use the paddles to change gears and you'll get a more satisfying result.

The launch control feature is activated by pressing the brake and accelerator pedals flat to the board, squeezing the downshift and lifting off the brakes.

If you're going to drive it flat-out, expect to pay at the bowser. The QV takes premium unleaded and although the official fuel label claims 7.0-7.6L/100km, our testing showed a vastly different 10.3L/100km after 455km.

The QV gets five stars for safety but misses out on a rear-view camera, which is available on some cars half the price.

Concealed rear doorhandles make it look like a two-door and there is a good-sized boot.

In the cabin, the dash has been redesigned and so too has the wheel. The suede and leather combo sports seats are both supportive and comfortable - there are three in the back.

But there's no digital speedo and rear legroom verges on tight. The seat back is upright, too, so it's not great for those travelling aft.

Verdict

There's a lot to like about this car but we can't give it more than 3.5 stars, not with the laggy twin-clutch transmission - maybe the manual?

Pricing guides

$19,488
Based on 29 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$14,988
Highest Price
$22,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
1.4 1.4L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $10,560 – 14,410 2015 Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2015 1.4 Pricing and Specs
Distinctive 1.4L, PULP, 6 SP DUAL-CLUTCH AUTO $13,950 – 19,990 2015 Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2015 Distinctive Pricing and Specs
Distinctive JTD-M 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP DUAL-CLUTCH AUTO $14,190 – 18,700 2015 Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2015 Distinctive JTD-M Pricing and Specs
Progression 1.4L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $10,120 – 13,860 2015 Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2015 Progression Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7