Alfa Romeo Giulietta hatchback
Price £18,450 - £28,330
- Great MultiAir petrol engines
- Stylish exterior
- Smart cabin
- Pricier than some rivals
- Limited rear passenger space
- Driving position is uncomfortable
"The Alfa Romeo Giulietta is one of the most stylish cars in its class and it’s good to drive, but rival family hatchbacks are better all-rounders."
The Giulietta is Alfa Romeo's family hatchback – it competes with the likes of the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf. Alfa Romeo has a history of building good-looking cars that are fun to drive and that's where the Giulietta focuses its efforts.
It's sportier and a lot more entertaining than your average family car and a good deal more eye-catching. The downsides are poor practicality and an interior that doesn’t feel as well built as the competition's.
The Giulietta was updated in 2014, getting mildly reworked styling and interior updates, along with new engines and trim levels. Alfa improved the soundproofing too, so the cabin is now a little quieter than it was before.
The latest model also has a new version of Alfa's 2.0-litre JTDM diesel engine, which has cut CO2 emissions and also makes the car faster than before. At the top of the range is the high-performance Quadrifoglio Verde model, which has a 238bhp 1.7-litre petrol engine that gets it from 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds.
There's also a pair of 1.4-litre petrol engines, each of which has strong performance and reasonable economy, while a 1.6-litre diesel is good for 74.3mpg.
There are five trim levels to choose from, starting with Progression and rising through Sprint, Distinctive, Business Edition, Exclusive and QV Line. Standard equipment is good even on the basic model, as it includes DAB digital radio, air-conditioning, alloy wheels and Bluetooth phone connectivity.
The Distinctive model adds more comfort-orientated equipment such as cruise control, dual-zone climate control and rear parking sensors. We think it's the best all-round trim level in terms of price and equipment.
A full five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating, along with a decent amount of standard safety equipment, make the Giulietta a reassuringly safe car. It put in a respectable performance in our 2015 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, too, although build quality was still cited as its poorest area by owners.
Prices start at around £18,500 for the basic Progression model with a petrol engine, while diesels begin at just over £19,000. That makes the Giulietta look rather expensive when you consider that rival family hatchbacks are much cheaper to begin with. What's more, the top-of-the-range Quadrifoglio Verde model costs over £28,000 and is likely to depreciate heavily, so as appealing as it may be, it isn’t a solid investment.
The Alfa Romeo Giulietta offers a good mix of performance and economy
The more powerful Alfa Romeo Giulietta petrol and diesel engines are the best
The Alfa Romeo Giulietta is quiet inside and has a lot of kit, but it can feel cheap in places
The Alfa Romeo Giulietta offers an average-sized boot and not much storage space
The Alfa Romeo Giulietta is very safe and becoming more reliable