The refreshed Alfa Romeo Giulietta hatchback has been revealed, and benefits from a light facelift, new trim classifications and the addition of the TCT dual-clutch gearbox as an option for the fuel-sipping 1.6 JTDm engine.
Cosmetic changes on the outside are focused on the nose, where there’s a new honeycomb grille, black bumper inserts and very subtle changes to the headlamp and fog light surrounds - all of which bring the Giulietta closer to the styling of the long-awaited Giulia saloon that’s expected towards the end of the year. Inside, updates include new seats and a matte black dash insert.
There are seven trim levels available on the Giulietta at present: Progression, Distinctive, Exclusive, Sprint, Business, QV Line and Quadrifoglio Verde. All are replaced in the new range, which references Alfa nameplates of days gone by. The entry-level model is now simply called Giulietta, with Super, Tecnica, Speciale and Veloce above it.
All benefit from the newly upgraded Uconnect infotainment system that now includes smartphone integration for online services such as music streaming, news, social media and traffic updates for cars equipped with sat-nav. A leather steering wheel becomes standard, while 16in alloys, Bluetooth, air-con and the Q2 brake-based front differential are carried over from the existing basic kit list.
Super trim adds dual-zone climate control, cruise control, front fog lights and upgraded seats, and an optional Lusso pack adds leather upholstery, aluminium kick plates and a larger infotainment screen (up from 5.0in to 6.5in) with sat-nav.
The old Business Edition trim is replaced by Tecnica to include practical touches such as sat-nav and front and rear parking sensors, while sporty Speciale brings stiffer suspension, Brembo brakes, aggressive exterior styling touches, 18in alloys, sat-nav and interior embellishments such as leather and Alcantara seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.
The quickest model, powered by the 237bhp 1750 TB engine from the 4C coupé, becomes the Veloce (Italian for ‘fast’), shedding the Quadrifoglio Verde name that will be reserved for ultra-high-performance models in the Alfa Romeo line-up, such as the 503bhp Giulia super-saloon. The Giulietta Veloce’s kit list is similar to Speciale specification.
While the TCT dual-clutch gearbox will become an option on the 118bhp 1.6 JTDm diesel (it’s already optional on the 168bhp 1.4 MultiAir and standard on the 173bhp 2.0 JTDm and 1750 TB), the drivetrain line-up otherwise remains unaltered. This means there are three diesel engines and four petrols in the range - the other units being the 148bhp 2.0 JTDm and 118bhp and 148bhp MultiAir versions of the 1.4.
The 1.6 JTDm is the Giulietta’s most popular engine choice in the UK. Paired with the existing manual gearbox, it achieves 74.3mpg combined and emits just 99g/km of CO2. The new dual-clutch version matches these figures, but is 0.2sec slower to 62mph at 10.2sec. Steering wheel-mounted paddles are supplied as standard with the TCT gearbox.
The facelifted Giulietta goes on sale on 1 April, with the entry price remaining unchanged at £18,450 for the 118bhp 1.4 petrol in basic Giulietta trim. Pricing for other models is yet to be confirmed, but indications are that adding the TCT gearbox to the 1.6 diesel will cost around £1500, reflecting the premium currently commanded by that transmission.
The refreshed Giulietta is on display at this week's Geneva motor show.