As per my last testimonial, I recently helped a client buy a family hatchback. He wanted something a little different from the norm – i.e. not a Focus or Golf or Astra – something with a little style and flair or, in his words, “a car that will be fun to own, drive and look at, rather than just a tool to cart the family about”.

I suggested we go to Car Giant for two reasons – he needed to buy a car urgently and the deal could in all probability be done in one day and because, with 5000 cars from different marques on the site, my client would be able to have a good look round for something that little bit different.

The third car we looked at was the Alfa Romeo. I was initially sceptical that it might look better than it drives and might be a reliability risk and therefore not the right car to advise a client to buy.

But he loved the look of it inside and out and the price was at about the right level both for him and when considered against industry ‘book’ prices.

So, I quickly researched the car. It ticked a lot of my client’s boxes. He needed petrol due to his lowish mileage. This car has a peppy 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol engine, a combination that has proved so successful in the VW / Audi stable amongst others. It has 170 bhp, 184 lb ft of torque and can cover 0-62 miles per hour in 7.8 seconds (which is almost hot hatchback pace). Despite this it can return a combined (urban and extra urban) mpg of 48.7.  It has a top speed, where permitted, of 135 mph.  All these are in part due to its relatively light weight at 1290 kg.

The motoring press like it too, Honest John (, for example, gives it a four out of five rating.

A test drive sealed the deal. My client is very happy with his new purchase.

A few further observations having had another look at the car yesterday:

The interior is really nicely styled too, and provides something a little different to the German offerings. The seats are part-leather and sporty looking, gripping you in the right places. The three-way toggle switch for the different driving modes is a nice touch (D – dynamic, N – normal, A – all weather) and apes aircraft controls. The other switches above the centre console are also toggle-style.

Below these, the aircon and heater controls are three smart chrome-effect dials. The rest of the interior is a mix of black plastic of decent quality and chrome-effect. It has a really positive and sporting overall look and, as I have said more than once, helps lift the car from the norm. Just google Alfa Giulietta images and you’ll see what I mean.

Many cars now have different driving modes as an optional extra, but the DNA system is standard in the Giulietta. ‘Dynamic’ firms up the steering and improves the engine response through altering the torque curve.

‘All-Weather’ accentuates the effect of the traction control to make driving on slippery surfaces safer.  Normal mode sits between the other two and is self-explanatory.

In summary, a really interesting and different smallish family hatchback for someone who wants to add a little style and sportiness to their everyday motoring.


Alfa Romeo Giulietta MultiAir Veloce 5dr 2012