• The Giulietta competes in the biggest segment in Europe - rivals include the VW Golf and Ford Focus
  • Alfa retains its liking for the jaunty offset numberplate
  • Rear door handles are integrated into the window frame
  • Red LEDs in tail-lamps form a pleasingly distinctive shape
  • A quartet of LED daytime running lights are vertically arranged within the front clusters
  • Dashboard's sizeable metallic grey insert makes a refreshing decorative change
  • Annoyingly, the rear seat cushion doesn't lift to provide a totally flat load bay
  • Trio of heating and ventilation controls are easy to use and clearly laid out
  • Speedometer can be hard to read for some drivers, but the revcounter is a model of clarity
  • Gearknob looks aluminium, but it's plastic. Seating position could be better
  • Four will find cabin comfortable, although there's no centre armrest in the rear
  • Performance is effortless over roads of all kinds, providing the kind of zest you'd expect from an Alfa
  • The Giulietta has excellent roadholding, and maintains good balance right to the limit
  • Progressive brakes complete a dynamic package that's Alfa's best in years
  • Ride is right up there with Golf and Focus in terms of compliance
  • On fast curves it proves satisfyingly easy to adjust the Giulietta's line with the throttle
  • The Giulietta doesn't turn in with quite the zeal of the Ford Focus
  • Glamorous design and great dynamics will help Alfa sell the Giulietta

No question, the Giulietta is a better class of Alfa, and vastly more convincing than the Mito. Its competitiveness stems from the excellence of a platform that delivers on chassis dynamics, packaging, safety and also refinement (road noise apart).

Unusually by the standards of recent Alfas, the Giulietta rides well. Even the hottest Cloverleaf version (we use the term hottest loosely – it’s not exactly scorching in terms of performance or handling) rides comfortably.

Matt Prior

Road test editor
The Alfa Romeo Giulietta has some flaws, but it also has a dynamic verve that few rivals can match

Handling is entertaining, if not class leading. This is an Alfa that rewards the average driver, but won’t thrill enthusiasts. Let’s just call it a good all-rounder – not a bad place to be if Alfa was aiming at the Volkswagen Golf. The Alfa’s engines are decent too, delivering strong performance and good economy. You’ll have plenty of fun and still smile when you see the fuel gauge.

Prices are competitive and equipment levels in the mid-spec Lusso models are pretty good. You’ll also be impressed by the quality of fixtures and fittings inside the car.

Flaws include a lack of room in the driver’s footwell and a compromised driving position, a back seat that isn’t the most inviting in the class, plus road noise that can be wearing and a number of other irritations you simply won’t find in most rivals.

However, these issues aren’t enough to eliminate the Giulietta, especially when they’re countered by dynamic verve that few competitors can muster.

Factor in style, exclusivity and glamour and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta becomes the company’s most competitive model for years.

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