There’s a lot to recommend this particular Giulietta for; gearchanges are slick, smooth and fade into the background

What is it?

This is the stylish Alfa Romeo Giulietta hatchback, equipped with the firm’s dual-clutch transmission. The TCT, as Alfa calls it, was first seen in the Mito last autumn but has already been revised for slicker shifts and an improved stop-start function ahead of this application to the Giulietta.

The six-speed ‘box gets a pair of dry clutches, and works alongside the stop-start system to boast some impressive economy and CO2 figures, which are also helped by its reduced weight.

At 81kg, the gearbox weighs 10kg less than a conventional auto’, and, in this 168bhp 2.0-litre diesel model, offers economy of 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 119g/km. Small, but notable improvements over the 60.1mpg and 124g/km offered by six-speed manual-equipped versions of the same engine, then.

What’s it like?

Not bad at all. We only had the chance to assess the gearbox around Alfa’s Balocco test track in Italy, and when resisting the urge to attack the corners, the gearchanges were slick, smooth and fade into the background. Just as a good auto’ should.

Like all Giuliettas, the TCT-equipped diesel has the selectable DNA driving mode system. When travelling at 70mph in N (Normal mode), 2000rpm was indicated, which should make the twin-clutch Giulietta well suited to long motorway cruises.

Opt for D (Dynamic) mode and the gears are held onto for longer, and the diesel’s full 258lb ft of torque, the maximum the gearbox can handle, is released on the overboost function. It’s certainly no slouch; 0-62mph takes just 7.9sec, 0.1sec quicker than the manual car.

But the catch comes courtesy of the stop-start system. Alfa claims this is much improved over the Mito, which was slow to cut the engine off and even slower to start it again. Both problems still plague this Giulietta, however. We’d leave the stop-start switched off.

We also tried the TCT gearbox mated to a 168bhp 1.4-litre MultiAir petrol engine. Despite carrying less weight over the front end, the MultiAir feels slower than the diesel in real-world conditions, but running costs are still impressive with a CO2 rating of 121g/km and a claimed 54.3mpg on the combined cycle.

Should I buy one?

There's a lot to recommend this particular Giulietta, particularly as the clunky stop-start system can be turned off. The rest of the TCT model has the same supple ride and handling, fine looks and a well-crafted interior as the rest of the desirable Giulietta range.

Whether it’s worth the extra outlay is down to how badly you want an auto’ in your Giulietta – the TCT is a £1350 option over its six-speed manual equivalents, and an extra £260 has to be shelled out for the optional steering wheel mounted paddles that the enthusiast driver will demand.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0 JTDM TCT Lusso

Price: £23,550 (£23,810 with paddles); Top speed: 135mph; 0-62mph: 7.9sec; Economy: 62.8mpg; CO2: 119g/km; Kerb weight: 1340kg; Engine: 4cyl in-line, 1956cc, turbodiesel; Power: 168bhp at 4000rpm; Torque: 236lb ft at 1500rpm (258lb ft at 1750rpm with overboost); Gearbox: 6spd dual-clutch auto

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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Zimmerit 7 February 2012

Re: Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0 JTDM TCT

Alfa's are quite capable of surviving Russian winters and even commuting from the UK to Moscow and that's with a variant a lot more fragile (allegedly) than the Giulietta. The Cloverleaf is far from the best of the range my choice would be the MA170, strange I can't think of any comparable cars in it's class that are, well, remotely comparable.

RadeB 5 February 2012

Re: Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0 JTDM TCT

petrolheadinrussia wrote:
Not that I think it will manage the winters well

Alfa, as all other manufacturers , went through extensive winter testing in Sweden in the Arjeplog region 60 kilometers (38 miles) south of the Arctic Circle .

Lee23404 2 February 2012

Re: Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0 JTDM TCT

Olilowe wrote:
scoch wrote:

What part are you not convinced about?

Its all pretty straight forward!

Not convinced its the case, i understood the point that was made. I don't believe these cars were given away to lease companies nor do i believe the monthly payments have ever been miles away from their true competition. Namely the "premium" B segment cars. Its not exactly meant to compete with Fiesta and Corsa

When the Giulietta first came out the lease costs were very expensive, it was possible to lease a Merc C63 for the same cost as a top of the range, diesel Giulietta.

A couple of months later the lease costs dropped dramatically, suggesting that they were being heavily subsidised by Alfa. The problem with that is it can't be done forever.

The same thing happened when I leased my Citroen C5 in 2008. The lease costs were very cheap (£250 a month over 2 years at 25k miles a year) which is why I see loads of 58 and 09 plate C5's on the roads. After a couple of years the lease costs went up by around £100-£150 a month which probably explains why I've seen so few C5's from 10 plate onwards.

I don't know what the current lease costs of the Giulietta are but if they've gone back up I would suggest that sales would fall accordingly.