New hatch must be easy to live with as well as good to drive, says project engineer
12 March 2010

Alfa's new Giulietta will offer much greater practicality than the car it replaces, the 147, according to project engineer Matteo Benedetto.

Rectifying the 147's drawbacks while retaining its verve and style were major goals of the Giulietta's development process. Only a tiny section of floor and a suspension nut have been carried over from the old car, said Benedetto.

But the aim is to please more than the Alfisti, with extended accommodation and a boot that's now as big as you’ll find in a Golf or Focus. "This has got to be a family car," said Benedetto.

See our Alfa Giulietta gallery

Improving ride quality and refinement were priorities, and the Alfa's crash test performance is expected to be class-leading.

A new rack-mounted electric power steering motor is said to sharpen steering feel, while improved body rigidity has helped to contain this Alfa's weight. Although it's heavier than the 147, it is more than 100kg lighter than the new Astra. A magnesium crossbeam behind the dash improves stiffness and cuts the kilos.

The all-new suspension consists of struts up front and a multi-link set-up at the rear, while the 1.4 Multiair engine is among the most impressive in the line-up; it offers 168bhp, but emits 134g/km of CO2.

Inside, the Giulietta offers an appealingly Latin flavour with its elegant seats and faintly retro instruments. But the slightly fussy dash and plasticky door casings look set to fall short of best-in-class standards.

Richard Bremner

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Alfa Romeo Giulietta

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta has its flaws, but its dynamic capabilities and stylish looks are enough to keep it in contention

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Comments
58

10 March 2010

What sarcastic heading Autocar!!!! When it comes to Alfa, what happens to you guys ?? The whole article sounds like, the new Giulietta promises to be all show and would be no go eventually.... Its always like Alfa says this..Alfa says that.... and a few negatives lines to sum the article up??? Guys open any BMW or VW article.....and the whole language is different...positive in short.... thats biased I would say... Anyway, this is the most beautiful car in its class and stunning design.... I am sure it would be great to drive and better than so called Golf, Focus and 1 series.... Best of luck Alfa.. We luv u.... PS: Fiat, please pay Autocar some money like Ford, BMW and VW does..... ))

10 March 2010

Couldn't agree more abou the general rubbishing that Alfa gets from the UK press. Are Audis any more reilable than Alfas? The 1 series also has a teeny tiny boot and cramped interior but has "impractical" ever been thrown in its direction?

10 March 2010

Absolutely agree with above posters.

Autocar hasn't even driven it yet and they already talk about Guiletta not being among best in class, plasticky door casings and "fussy" dash. Have you ever touched the plastics in the new BMW M3? Especially in lower parts? Were you impressed? I was not.

And what exactly does a fussy dash mean and how does it exclude Gulietta from the best-in-class company?

Anyway, I'm off to Geneva today and I will have a good close look at the beautiful Guiletta.

10 March 2010

I agree with all of the comments above, Autocar is so obviously bias towards Ford and the Germans.

The Focus and Golf have huge slabs of boring grey plastic all over the interior and those extra chrome bits on the dash of the Focus are more than fussy, they are annoying!

We all know that when Autocar do drive the Gulietta it will be a nit picking exercise, picking fault with every tiny thing and blowing it out of proportion.

We already know the results of the group tests. So its pointless buying the magazine, so no wonder circulation falls.

Its about time Autocar regained some credibility by doing a proper usbias road test

10 March 2010

If Autocar are sounding a little sceptical, that may be fair enough. Having poked around the car at some length in Geneva last week I agree that some of the dash detailing is not quite there. For instance, there's a big 'metal' strip that runs across the dash which, is plastic....very disappointing. Yeah I know it's probably for crash-testing etc..but the amount of flex it has in such a key area is not good enough. Also, it's pretty tight inside. However, it looked stunning, so am awaiting with keen interest a proper road-test from Autocar.

10 March 2010

I seem to have read this differently to the comments above. Some of the comments regarding bias are probably valid but Richard Bremner is an Alfa owner and has written at least one book about Alfas that I know of so I would hope for at least a balanced view.

It looked to me like another bit of meaningless PR from Alfa, no actual news or anything specific about the new car, just another little bit of media activity from Alfa to keep the new car in the news until it actually arrives in the UK. On that basis given that there is actually no real content to the news from Alfa because we all know there was nothing wrong with the praticality of the 147, they are just emphasising that the new car is more roomy than the old, (something which has been covered previously at length) then it seems to be job done by Alfa's marketing dept, i.e. an article out of nothing on the Autocar website which has sparked a debate about the Giullietta.

Anonymous

10 March 2010

So if the Guilietta is a good car to drive (and we have cause to think that it will be) and we report that, will that demonstrate bias towards Alfa? Or just that it has made a good car. Fact is for all of Alfa's huge emotional appeal the Germans have had the upper hand for two decades. We've reported as such. Let's hope Fiat can redress the balance.

10 March 2010

Saw the Giulietta at the Geneva show last week.Nice looks but very small inside and that is a disappointment when you are 190 cm long.

R.Jeroen

10 March 2010

I absolutely agree with ambs123, comment8, italiano, richard8.

About the interior: have you ever been aboard a dull BMW 3? Or a megasad Focus?

And please Mr Hallett you know very well that your article has a bias against Alfa not for what you wrote but for HOW you wrote, starting, for example, with practicol in inverted commas.

10 March 2010

What a load of guff! Any car that can transport 5 people, load up baby seats, transport luggage etc. is practical. In this age of mini-MPVs, people carriers and crossover 4x4s, is the humble hatchback obsolete? When did the ordinary motorist need all this space? We managed before Renault et al told us we needed more nick-nack space than Accessorize? Didn't we all manage to get into a humble Ford Escort once upon a time? As far as Alfas being practical - I guide you back in time to the 145. Shaped like a breadvan, went like a GTi. I had one for 7 years, and used it to move house at least 3 times. I drove from the Midlands to Newcastle regularly in it, with the back full of luggage, transported a bed home from Ikea. On one occassion I had to leave my partner at Ikea whilst I took a loaned Ford Focus home, so that I could come back in the Alfa, because the table we'd bought wouldn't fit in the Focus! Please Autocar, stop branding anything that has a little style, impractical. Save the expression for supercars and Lotuses.

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