2015 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Distinctive road test review
IT'S a joy when somebody falls in love with a car so completely.
We motoring writers sometimes over-analyse vehicles to the nth degree, getting bogged down in every fine detail and endlessly comparing and contrasting it to other options out there.
But Alfa Romeos can make people behave differently - passionately at times - something that won't have been lost on you if you've seen a recent Alfa Romeo commercial on TV.
The Alfa bug bit hard for my dear wife this week.
"I don't care how it goes, I don't care if it's comfortable, all I know is that's my sort of car," she said.
Added to the Giulietta's edgy and distinctive body styling, this car was indeed a serious style statement. And if we're honest about the majority of the "play it safe" styling seen on many modern cars, it was refreshing to have keys to a car that seemed to exist simply to look good.
As standard the Giulietta receives a 12.7cm centre mounted screen, but this car had the Radio Nav option complete with 16.5cm screen ($1500), to complete what is an uncluttered and easy-to-navigate dash.
The leather seats were supportive and if anything a tad too hard, and if there is any fault with the Giulietta the driving position is somewhat awkward. My left leg was crammed alongside the centre console, and there was no way of getting my right arm to rest on the door's arm rest comfortably.
The Giulietta has a planted ride, and having Alfa's DNA system is an appreciated way of altering the car's personality.
The driver can select an All Weather setting for poor conditions, Natural as a more sedate setting for eco motorway driving, and Dynamic (the fun one) for play.
In Dynamic the Alfa has the playful feel to match its sporty looks, and it really is a grippy little thing to throw around, and, above all, good fun.
The engine in this model - the Distinctive - offers 125kW and 250Nm from its turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder, and a 0-100kmh time of 7.6 seconds is just enough to give satisfying shove without ever being brutal, although there is noticeable turbo lag especially when you ask the engine to come to life quickly while cruising.
With decent economy of 6.6 litres/100km, sumptuous roomy interior and boot space combined with all that style, it's hard not to love the Giulietta.
Model: Alfa Romeo Giulietta Distinctive with QV Line pack.
Details: Front-wheel drive five-door hatchback.
Engine: 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder generating 125kW @ 5500rpm and 250Nm @ 2500rpm.
Transmission: Six-speed twin-clutch automatic.
Consumption: 5.1 litres/100km (combined average).
Bottom line: $45,325 drive-away (as tested including QV Line pack and sat nav option), model starts at $39,825 drive-away.