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Alfa Romeo Junior 2025 review

  • DrivetrainElectric
  • Battery capacity54kWh
  • Battery typeLithium-ion
  • Range410km; 334km (Veloce) WLTP
  • Plug TypeType 2 CCS
  • DC charge rate11kW
  • AC charge rateN/A
  • Motor output115kW/260Nm; 207kW/345Nm (Veloce)
  • Efficiency15kWh/100km
Complete Guide to Alfa Romeo Junior

It feels like every few years Alfa Romeo has a rebirth. The famed Italian brand had something of a relaunch recently with the BMW X1-rivalling Tonale small SUV, but that was just the entrée. The next course is Alfa’s first battery electric vehicle - the Junior.

This crucial new model is a sub-compact SUV with hybrid and electric powertrains and it is tasked with spearheading Alfa’s EV future. Under parent company Stellantis, Alfa will become an EV-only brand from 2027. 

The model was originally dubbed Milano, but soon after Alfa Romeo revealed the car, the Italian government said it could not use an Italian place name for a model that isn’t built in Italy - the Junior is built in Poland alongside its Jeep Avenger cousin. 

Junior is a name from Alfa’s back catalogue and just happens to be an apt one for a tiny crossover.

We went to Alfa’s famous Balocco proving ground between Milan and Turin to sample the flagship Junior Elettrica Veloce 280, which is the performance variant of the range. 

These were un-homologated, pre-production examples of the Junior, hence only being allowed to drive them at a private test facility. But it gave us a very good taste of Alfa Romeo’s next big (yet tiny) thing.

Price and features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with? 7/10

The Junior will land in Australia at some point in 2025, with precise timing yet to be locked in. The only grade confirmed for now is the entry electric model, or Elettrica. But CarsGuide understands the hybrid, dubbed Ibrida, and the spicy Elettrica Veloce will also end up in Australia.

Alfa has not revealed Australian pricing and spec yet but expect the EV to kick off somewhere between $58,000 and $68,000.

Full international spec details have not been confirmed and it’s not clear what grades we will get Down Under.

  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured

Expect features like 18-inch alloy wheels, vinyl and fabric interior, leather steering wheel, power-operated driver’s seat with massage function, a fully digital 10.25-inch driver display and a 10.25-inch multimedia touchscreen oriented towards the driver. 

Some Juniors come with 'Alfa Connected Services' with over-the-air updates and access to the 'My Alfa Connect' smartphone app that allows you to remotely open and close doors, manage charging and preheat or cool the interior.

The Junior is pitched at the growing number of sub-compact hybrid and electric SUVs that have launched recently, including the Lexus LBX, the Volvo EX30 and the related Peugeot E-2008. It will also face competition from the related Jeep Avenger when it lands before the end of 2024.

Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 interior pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 interior pictured

Design – Is there anything interesting about its design? 9/10

When Alfa Romeo revealed the Junior (nee Milano) a few months back, the response to the exterior design was mixed. Images revealed a bold, busy front end with separated headlights and air intakes. 

The most controversial element, however, was the grille. The central shield grille element features an enlarged black cut-out version of the Alfa logo, depicting the Milan cross and a man being eaten by a snake.

It is an interesting design element, especially combined with the new take on Alfa’s ‘3+3’ headlight signature seen on all of its current models, and the various air intakes.

  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured

This bold look was no accident. Alfa hopes the Junior will attract younger new buyers as well as more women.

But the good news is - as is often the case - the press pictures do not do the Junior justice. I was quite taken with the design in the metal.

Yes, it’s bold, but it’s arresting and unique.

  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured

The silhouette is dynamic and the sharply designed high-set tailgate is the cherry on the cake with its striking modern LED tail-light signature. Short overhangs and big wheel arches add to the look.

Inside there are elements that are familiar from the Jeep Avenger with which the Junior shares its Stellantis 'e-CMP' platform. 

Those shared elements include the line of buttons on the dash, and most, but not all of the centre console design.

  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 interior pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 interior pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 interior pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 interior pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 interior pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 interior pictured

There are some neat touches referencing Alfa’s history, like the traditional driver-focussed ‘telescope’ instrument panel, and the ‘quadrifoglio’ four-leaf clover-inspired air vents.

There’s a pair of 10.25-inch displays for multimedia and instrumentation, and a tiny compact steering wheel.

The upright, levelled dash looks cool and the materials, in the Veloce at least, give premium European vibes.

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside? 7/10

The Junior is a sub-compact SUV so overall dimensions - 4173mm long, 1981mm wide and 1505mm tall in Veloce 280 guise - means interior space is limited. A family hauler this is not. You’ve got Tonale and Stelvio if you need more room. But Alfa has used the space cleverly.

The driver-focused instruments and high-set console with a performance car gear shift button layout highlight Alfa Romeo’s driving focus. Just because it’s a tiny SUV doesn’t mean it can’t feel like a driver’s car.

Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 interior pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 interior pictured

The seats in the Elettrica Veloce 280 are serious performance car seats - body-hugging Sabelt items with synthetic suede trim. And while they look good and the material is spot on, they are firm. Seats on regular grades will likely be comfier.

The sizeable console storage spaces include a big wireless device pad area with a pair of USB-C ports, multiple adjustable cupholders, and bigger storage bins. Large bottles will only just fit in the door cavities. Storage and amenities up front are generous. It’s a different story in the rear.

The second row lacks any air vents or door storage pockets so nowhere to store a drink, there’s no central fold-down armrest and only one USB port back there.

Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 boot pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 boot pictured

Rear legroom, however, is better than expected. The front seatbacks are scalloped out for more knee room. It’s no Stelvio back there, but better than expected. Still, it’s best for two adults or kids at most.

Alfa claims to have the biggest boot volume in the sub-compact electric SUV segment. It can take 400 litres of space, and there is underfloor storage. Cleverly, Alfa has included a storage space above the mechanical bits under the bonnet that houses a charging cable, freeing up space in the boot. The Ibrida hybrid swallows 415L.

Under the bonnet – What are the key stats for its motor? 8/10

From launch the Junior will be offered as a hybrid and as a BEV. And the Elettrica comes in two states of tune. 

The regular or entry-level Elettrica delivers 115kW of power and 260Nm of torque.

The performance-focussed Elettrica Veloce 280 we drove gets 207kW and 345Nm, allowing for a zero to 100km/h dash time of 5.9 seconds.

Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured

The ‘plugless’ hybrid version combines a 1.2-litre three-cylinder 48-volt assisted turbo-petrol engine with a 21kW electric motor housing a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, producing a combined output of 100kW and 230Nm.

All grades are front-wheel drive for now but Alfa’s 'Q4' all-wheel-drive system will be rolled out eventually.

The Veloce adopts a sports suspension system, with MacPherson set-up up front and torsion beam at the rear. The sporty grade also gets a mechanical self-locking differential as well as front and rear anti roll bars plus sportier brakes.

Efficiency – What is its driving range? What is its charging time? 8/10

All electric Juniors come with a 54kWh lithium-ion battery offering a driving range on the WLTP cycle of up to 410km for the Elettrica and up to 334km for the Elettrica Veloce 280.

Using a 100kW DC fast charger, Alfa says it takes less than 30 minutes to charge the batteries from 10 to 80 per cent. Energy consumption is around 15kWh/100km for the Elettrica. Consumption figures for the Veloce are yet to be confirmed.

The hybrid sips between 4.9 to 5.2 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle.

Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 interior pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 interior pictured

Driving – What's it like to drive? 8/10

As mentioned, we only drove the Junior on circuits at Alfa’s Balocco proving ground near Milan. The time in the car was limited and we drove a pre-production version of the top-spec Elettrica Veloce 280.

The great thing about Balocco is that it has a variety of road surfaces and loops with a mix of road surface conditions. Alfa has used it for decades to test all of their models and even some Formula 1 cars.

Alfa assured us one of the circuits - Langhe - has never been used by media before. Over 20km it reproduces the mixed hilly routes from Italy’s Piedmont region and the company opened it up to journalists for this event.

Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 interior pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 interior pictured

Anyway, these drive impressions are high level and we will tell you more when we drive it in Australia next year.

But first impressions are strong.

The usual electric vehicle responsiveness is there in spades. Smooth, brisk acceleration from a standing start or at speed is smile-inducing, without being (unnecessarily) neck-snappingly quick.

  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured

One of the first things I notice pulling onto the Balocco track is the steering. Alfa Romeo is known for ultra-sharp, lightweight, yet connected steering and they have engineered it into the Junior. It’s an absolute hoot to steer.

The grippy Junior Veloce holds the road well, with no hint of understeer and very little body roll. Stellantis engineers have done a bang up job on the chassis and suspension because the Veloce eats up tight bends.

The Junior Veloce 280 weighs in at just 1590kg, which is light for an electric car. And it feels it on the undulating parts of the circuit.

  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured

It also manages to avoid the dreaded bottom-heavy floatiness you find in so many EVs. A quick succession of dips and rises could not disturb the Alfa’s progress.

Ride quality is also impressive, and Balocco has some nasty surfaces to contend with. Let’s see how it goes on Australia’s poor quality roads, but so far, so good.

There are so many EVs on the market that lack personality and feel exactly the same to drive as their rivals. But the Junior has loads of charisma and, importantly, it drives and feels like an Alfa.

  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured
  • Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating? 8/10

Given the Junior is only just launching in Europe in the coming months, it hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP or ANCAP for crash safety.

Full safety specification is yet to be detailed, but Alfa has fitted the Junior with a raft of advanced driver assist features like ‘Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control’ and lane centering systems, a front camera, traffic sign recognition and a speed control system all combining for Level 2 semi- autonomous driving.

Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured Alfa-Romeo Junior Elettrica Veloce 280 pictured

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs? 7/10

  • DrivetrainElectric
  • Battery capacity54kWh
  • Battery typeLithium-ion
  • Range410km; 334km (Veloce) WLTP
  • Plug TypeType 2 CCS
  • DC charge rate11kW
  • AC charge rateN/A
  • Motor output115kW/260Nm; 207kW/345Nm (Veloce)
  • Efficiency15kWh/100km
Complete Guide to Alfa Romeo Junior

Alfa Romeo’s many comebacks have had mixed success over the years. And there’s a lot riding on the Junior. But entering a popular segment with electrification across the board should help it grab some attention. The eye-catching exterior design should give it a boost, too. The good news is, at least in Elettrica Veloce 280 guise, the Junior feels like a true Alfa Romeo. The Italian brand has worked wonders on a shared group platform to produce surprising results. Let’s hope the other electric and hybrid models are just as good.

Note: CarsGuide attended this event as a guest of the manufacturer, with travel, accommodation and meals provided.

Score

3.9/5
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