From £17,019
There’s a lot to recommend this particular Giulietta for; gearchanges are slick, smooth and fade into the background

Our Verdict

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

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

Mark Tisshaw
31 January 2012

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

Join the debate

Comments
60

31 January 2012

A great, great engine. I wonder if Alfa will use Saab's 190bhp version of it in this. That would be good.

I'm still not sold on the TCT 'box having read other reviews about it on the MiTo.

31 January 2012

I know you can turn the stop start function off on this car but does it defalt back once the engine is turned off?

Don't think most people would be bothered with the ball ache of turning it off every time they start up?

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

31 January 2012

Why are Alfa Romeo having problems getting a stop-start system to work properly? Its not exactly new technology now, and I can't remember reading of any systems from other manufacturers having this problem with starting up again quickly. I've been using the system on my MINI for over 4 years now without any such problems.

31 January 2012

I have no problems with the stop/start on my Giulietta, works fine everytime!

31 January 2012

The more I read about the Giulietta the better it sounds and this caps it all to read that the TCT gearbox does it's stuff OK. I think this is now top of my shortlist to change to in the not too distant future.


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

31 January 2012

[quote ordinary bloke]The more I read about the Giulietta the better it sounds and this caps it all to read that the TCT gearbox does it's stuff OK. I think this is now top of my shortlist to change to in the not too distant future.[/quote]

I've driven the Cloverleaf version, and it was pretty good. I would have preferred a V6, but I know that's not going to happen any more! But still, it drove nicely, looked gorgeous, and had plenty of space in the front, back and the boot.

31 January 2012

I presume it is this box or a version of it that will swop cogs in the 4C, bodes very well indeed. Although it works (99% of the time) I have grown rather tired of the stop/start in the wife's smart MHD. As Teg pointed out its rather a pain to have to turn it off every time you start the car and I also object on principle that the whole system works of the footbrake meaning you have to dazzle poor souls behind you if you wish to save the planet. Seems to make absolutely no difference to the smart's fuel consumption despite being used almost exclusively in town. Still risible.

31 January 2012

[quote TegTypeR]

I know you can turn the stop start function off on this car but does it defalt back once the engine is turned off?

Don't think most people would be bothered with the ball ache of turning it off every time they start up?

[/quote]

I do on the BMW.

Where does lightly pressing one single button twice a day become a ball ache? It's not as if you have to scrabble about under the bonnet.

31 January 2012

[quote Submariner Redux]

[quote TegTypeR]

I know you can turn the stop start function off on this car but does it defalt back once the engine is turned off?

Don't think most people would be bothered with the ball ache of turning it off every time they start up?

[/quote]

I do on the BMW.

Where does lightly pressing one single button twice a day become a ball ache? It's not as if you have to scrabble about under the bonnet.

[/quote]

But wouldn't it just be better if they made the system work properly, so that you didn't feel you had to?

31 January 2012

One of the best looking hatch backs on sale today! i love the Guilietta it deserves to do well

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