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Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2012 Review

We thought the 1.4-litre Giulietta was going to be a bit of a doddle after the fire-breathing 173kW QV.

How wrong we were. This car is outstanding, easily the best Alfa we've driven in a long time.

VALUE

The Alfa Romeo Giuletta 1.4 TB MultiAir is priced from $36,990 before on road costs.

DESIGN

The Giulietta is a replacement for the beaked 147 model and continues a return to names instead of numbers to differentiate models.

It's actually a bigger car than its predecessor and this is reflected in an increase in luggage space. At 350 litres it has 16 per cent more capacity than the 147.  It's also 21 per cent wider.

TECHNOLOGY

The MultiAir engine which made its debut in the smaller Mito is unique, with cutting edge technology that will do for petrol engines what high pressure, common rail injection has done for the diesel.

With no throttle valve and cylinder-by-cylinder, stroke-by-stroke direct air intake control, the technology cuts fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10 per cent while producing 10 per cent more power and 15 per cent more torque than conventional engines.

The unique 1.4-litre TB MultiAir engine produces 125kW of power and up to 250Nm of torque in dynamic mode, yet uses only 5.8 litres of petrol per 100km. The dash from 0-100km/h takes 7.8 seconds, just one second slower than the more powerful QV.

DRIVE

We clocked up almost 700km in the 1.4-litre turbocharged tyro this week and came away impressed by its styling, performance as well as the ride and handling, the ride is quite unexpectedly supple, nothing like the jarring encounters we've had with other Alfa’s in the past.

From the driver's eat the MultiAir engine feels strong and smooth, especially with the DNA system switched to dynamic mode which boosts torque from 230 to 250Nm at 2500 revs. The DNA system features Normal, Dynamic and All Weather modes and is standard across the range.

The change from Normal to Dynamic is perceptible. It acts on the engine, brakes, steering, suspension and gearbox to allow drivers to hone the car's responses to the conditions.

Couple with a six-speed manual, the drive experience is sharp and sporty with plenty of electronic aids thrown in to keep you firmly planted on the road. At the end of our test program the trip computer on our car was showing 7.3 litres/100km.

VERDICT

Now, if the car can stand up to the rigours of our harsh Australian climate the Italians could well be on to something with this one.

ALFA ROMEO GIULIETTA 1.4 MULTIAIR

Price: from $36,990
Engine: 1.4-litre TB MultiAir
Economy: 5.8 litres/100km.
Outputs: 125kW / 250Nm
Transmission: Six-speed Manual

Pricing guides

$12,470
Based on 19 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$8,750
Highest Price
$14,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
1.4 1.4L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $5,720 – 8,030 2012 Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2012 1.4 Pricing and Specs
2.0 JTD-M 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP DUAL-CLUTCH AUTO $9,680 – 13,200 2012 Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2012 2.0 JTD-M Pricing and Specs
Distinctive 1.4L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $8,653 – 14,990 2012 Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2012 Distinctive Pricing and Specs
Distinctive JTD-M 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP DUAL-CLUTCH AUTO $7,920 – 11,110 2012 Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2012 Distinctive JTD-M Pricing and Specs