Alfa Romeo Giulietta review
Small external changes mask big things under the bonnet of the new Giulietta.
Dave Humphreys
Dave Humphreys

Published on October 30, 2013

Overall rating: 3/5

The Italian manufacturer has never quite been able to be a genuine rival to some of its established competitors, but with a new more economical diesel engine, Alfa hopes to take a bigger bite from the cherry.

In the metal 4/5

Alfa Romeo are either very happy with the existing look of the Giulietta or don't wish to upset existing owners, either way the exterior styling of the Italian firm's main act has been updated in only minor ways. That instantly recognisable grille has been updated while the lower front bumper section containing the fog lamps has been given a chrome-plated frame - both changes though are hard to notice. Adding to the new look are a range of new alloy wheels across the 16 to 18-inch range offered across the car's different trim levels. A choice of three new colours has been added to the available palette - Moonlight Pearl, Anodizzato Blue and Bronze. The Moonlight Peal is reminiscent of the pearl-effect paint once offered on the Alfa 156.

In higher trim levels the Giulietta is a very good looking car that has a sporting stance to it, though it remains a car that is somewhat spec-sensitive. The interior has also had a small makeover, the most noticeable change being the instalment of a 6.5-inch touchscreen which serves as the infotainment system and, should you specify it, satellite navigation. Alfa's designers have been keen to add more style to the interior and so have opted for new colour options while new seats add some additional side support. Despite the new colour and fabric options there is still a lot of hard black plastic featured throughout the cabin.

Driving it 3/5

Despite the minor cosmetic detail changes, no significant changes have been made under the skin on the Giulietta. The big news, as far as the Irish market is concerned, is the new 2.0-litre 150hp diesel engine which is one of the best engines to come from Alfa in recent times. Thanks to a new injection process, the engine manages to deliver better performance and fuel economy than before, and is noticeably better to drive. It pulls well from low in the rev range and doesn't need to be revved highly to extract the majority of its potential.

The car may not quite offer the quietest of drives but overall it performs adequately on a variety of surfaces and should work well on Irish roads. Alfa Romeo claims to have improved overall noise insulation through re-designs in the areas that offend most such as the front wheel-arches and boot. The Giulietta's suspension is well setup to suit the needs of most and even when driven spiritedly on twisty Italian roads it demonstrated a setup that was neither too firm nor too soft.

Those that take an interest in their driving beyond simply commuting will like the Giulietta's well weighted steering while the level of feedback offered is greater than that of some of its rivals. In town driving that newer diesel engine is a touch on the noisy side, but the performance it offers does compensate somewhat for it.

What you get for your money 3/5

Alfa's updated Giulietta does offer more on the inside thanks mainly to its newly-incorporated infotainment screen and improved interior design. What you won't find on-board is much in the form of driver-aid technology such as adaptive cruise control - something Alfa Romeo says its drivers don't seem to desire, preferring more 'pure cars'. What you do get though is a car that is quite good fun to drive and manages to offer some good fuel efficiency in return when going for the new diesel engine.

Worth Noting

At the current time no official pricing has been confirmed for this newer Giulietta but Alfa sources have said that an expected price increase of 'around three per cent' is expected to kick in by the time the cars arrive in Ireland which is expected to be in early 2014.


The Alfa Romeo isn't the cheapest car in its segment, but for those looking for a genuine alternative to the usual suspects will more than likely appreciate the Giulietta. It doesn't offer the levels of refinement as some of its rivals but by no means is it a bad car, and with its new diesel engine it may well looking like a more appealing proposition to buyers



Tech Specs

Model testedAlfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0 JTDM
PricingNew Irish prices to be confirmed.
Engine2.0-litre turbocharged diesel
Transmissionfront-wheel drive, six-speed manual
Body stylefive-door hatchback
RivalsFord Focus, Kia Cee'd, SEAT Leon, Volkswagen Golf
CO2 emissions110g/km (Band A3, €190 per annum)
Combined economy67.2mpg (4.2 litres/100km)
Top speed210km/h
0-100km/h8.8 seconds
Power150hp at 3,750rpm
Torque380Nm at 1,750 rpm