Last week's Chevrolet Corvette C4 ZR-1, despite its record-breaking heritage and exotic powerplant, was left for dead in the water by the majority of you.

It might have packed the right kind of punch, but its dated looks and perceived non-European fit and finish meant that most would still rather opt for the slower and more costly Porsche alternatives.

After all, the way that a car looks and feels is arguably just as important as the way it performs. You'd be justified in saying that the Corvette's 180mph-plus performance was irrelevant too, as you'd rarely find yourself the opportunity to exercise it to anywhere near its fullest.

This week's Alfa Romeo GTV, then, strikes much more of a sensible middle ground. It benefits from stylish Pininfarina-penned looks, a comfortable and well-appointed interior and an eager 148bhp twin-cam 2.0-litre engine

It's not the quickest car on the road - Alfa Romeo claims 0-62mph in 8.5sec and a top speed of 137mph - but that's besides the point. You'll be able to extend the twin-cam engine to the redline without fear of losing your license instantly, for one thing.

The Alfa's reputedly precise handling should prove a treat across country too; its front-drive nature and moderate power output means you can push on and revel in the GTV's engaging nature without having to worry about unexpectedly wrapping it around a tree.