Alfa Romeo Giulietta (2014-present)

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta is stylish and fun to drive but it’s a little cramped, and fit and finish is questionable

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Stylish design
Sporty handling
Good standard equipment level

Weaknesses 

Cramped interior
Poor driving position
Poor fit and finish
Best New Discount

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Hatchback 1.75 tbi 240 veloce 5dr tct

Total RRP £30,190

Your quote £23,591

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Alfa Romeo Giulietta prices from £8,000   Finance from £154 per month

The Giulietta is Alfa’s answer to cars such as the VW Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra. Mention of those models is a reminder of just how much the sector needs a car with genuine class and style, and to a great extent this five-door Alfa provides it.

It’s certainly a pretty car, even if it was launched back in 2010, and in Sport trim makes rivals looks quite plain. Here, we’re considering the revised version launched in 2014 and facelifted in 2016. In fact, it was further revised in 2018 when new emissions regulations caused the engine line-up to be slashed to just two power units: the 1.4 TB 120 petrol and 1.6 JTDM 120 diesel.

The first obstacle anyone must cross when considering an Alfa is its quality and reliability. Unfortunately, the Giulietta has its fair share of problems, most of them relating to interior fit and finish. To reassure buyers, in 2018, Alfa Romeo boosted its standard three-year warranty to five years  on new cars sold to private customers not using personal contract hire.

Pretty to look at and fun to drive, even the basic Giulietta goes like a well-resolved hatchback thanks to a comfortable ride, reasonably strong performance and engaging handling. The car remains relatively flat and stable in corners. It’s only spoiled by a gimmicky feature on all versions called Alfa DNA, found on a dial just underneath the dashboard. It offers a choice of three driving modes, which change the throttle response and steering weight. None of them are ideal, and they only result in an unsatisfactory compromise.  

The 1.4 petrol engine struggles a little to haul the heavy Giuliieta, but it is eager to rev. The 1.6 JTDM diesel feels punchier and with the TCT automatic grearbox has steering wheel paddles for fingertip gear selection that’s quite fun. Neither will see off a hot hatch, though.

The 2016 facelift included a makeover for the interior but its quality lags some way behind the VW Golf or Ford Focus. That said, it blends style with function very well and manages to feel quite special. The media system’s screen is small at 5-inches (other cars tend to use 8 or 10-inch screens) but it is easy to use and packed with useful features.

The Giulietta’s stylish looks come at the expense of space and practicality. The driving position is cramped while even the front seat passenger will feel hemmed in. In the back, occupants will struggle for headroom.

The boot fares better at 341 litres  – more than the Ford Focus, but 40 litres less than the VW Golf.

In short, it’s an attractive car from a brand that still inspires affection and excitement. It isn't as rounded as its best rivals, but that's the price you have to pay for the car's individuality.

Last Updated 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 13:15

Key facts 

Warranty: 
5 years/75,000 miles (retail only and not PCH customers, otherwise three years/100k miles)
Boot size: 
350 litres/1045 litres
Width: 
1798mm
Length: 
4350mm
Height: 
1465mm
Tax: 
£165 to £515 in the first year and the standard rate after that

Best Alfa Romeo Giulietta for... 

Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.6 JTDM 120 Sport
With an economy figure that’s 35% better than the petrol engine, the 1.6 JTDM is the clear economy champ in the Giulietta range. At the same time, its emissions are lower meaning that, for business users, it falls into a lower tax band.
Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.6 JTDM 120 Super
Powered by the economical diesel engine, this more comfort-oriented version is the clear choice for families. Dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors and the Giulietta’s standard-fit Uconnect media system are a bonus.
Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.4 TB 120 Sport
With a 0-62mph time of 9.4 seconds, the 1.4 TB petrol is the fastest Giulietta. It’s a lively engine that thrives on revs to help it haul the Giulietta’s considerable bulk but it’s entertaining nevertheless.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta History 

  • 2014 Revised range announced including new 2.0 JTDM 150 diesel engine, and 140 and 170 versions of the 1.4 TB petrol. Models gain new LED daytime lights. New Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde also launched
  • 2015 New 1.6 JTDM diesel engine goes on sale with 99g/km CO2 emissions and rise in power from 105 to 120hp. All engines now compliant with Euro 6.
  • 2016 Facelifted Giulietta launched with new nose, alloy wheels and exhaust tail pipes. Also gets new Uconnect infotainment system with smartphone-enabled LIVE services. New TCT auto version of JTDM 120 diesel joins the line-up. Can be operated as an auto or a manual using paddleshifters. Also now comes in five trim levels from Giulietta to Tecnica.
  • 2018 five-year warranty introduced on retail cars only (PCH deals excluded). Uprated Giulietta Nero Edizione introduced with choice of 1.4 petrol or 1.6 diesel engines. 
  • 2018 October: range slashed in wake of WLTP emissions tests to just two engines (1.4 TB 120 petrol and 1.6JTDM 120 diesel, while trims now number just three: Giulietta, Sport and Super.

Understanding Alfa Romeo Giulietta car names 

  • Giulietta
  • Trim
    Super
  • Engine
    1.6 JTDM
  • Gearbox
    TCT
  • Trim
    The Giulietta’s trim names signify the equipment level. They include, confusingly, Giulietta trim which is the most basic one and pass through Sport to Super.
  • Engine
    The first number refers to the size of the engine in litres while the letters following it define which engine it is – JTDM for diesel and TB for petrol. The final three numbers are the power of the engine in horsepower.
  • Gearbox
    The standard gearbox is a six-speed manual but the 1.6 JTDM 120 engine is also available with a six-speed semi-automatic called TCT (it stands for twin clutch transmission).

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Engines 

1.4TB 120, 1.6 JTDM 120

Following the introduction of tougher WLTP emissions regulations in 2018, the Giulietta range was, as of October 2018, reduced to two engines: the 1.4 TB 120 petrol and 1.6 JTDM 120 diesel.

Prior to this date the range was much wider and featured 1.4 TB engines in 150 and 170hp power outputs as well as a powerful 1.8 1750TB with 240hp. Turning to diesels there were also 2.0 JTDM engines producing 150 and 170hp.

The new line-up means that regardless of engine type, the only power you can have is 120hp, resulting in a less-than-sporty 0-62mph time of around 10 seconds across the board.

Economy figures are less uniform with the 1.4 TB turning in 39.2mpg but the 1.6 JTDM, 60.1mpg. This engine also produces far lower CO2 emissions: 123g/km CO2 compared with the petrol engine’s 164g/km CO2. This equates to a BIK tax rate of 29% for the diesel but 33% for the petrol.

The diesel is available with the TCT semi-auto gearbox. It imposes no extra penalty at the pumps over the manual but is slightly slower and emits 2g/km CO2 more.

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration

Top speed

1.4 TB

PetrolPetrol

39.2mpg

118bhp

0-62mph: 9.4s

121mph

1.6 JTDM

PetrolDiesel

60.1mpg

118bhp

0-62mph: 10.0 - 10.2s

121mph

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Trims 

Giulietta, Sport, Super

Prior to October 2018 when the Giulietta range was revised, there were many more trims. You’ll find these on used cars and they range from the basic Giulietta to the top-spec Tecnica. Going farther back to before 2016, the trims were different still with Distinctive being the base trim and higher ones being called Exclusive, Distinctive and Collezione.

Today, there are just three trims, survivors of the pre-2018 line-up. They are basic Giulietta, Sport and more comfort-oriented Super.

All versions have alloys wheels, split-fold rear seats, climate control, electric windows, engine stop-start and Uconnect infotainment featuring a digital radio and smartphone connectivity.

For around £1,250 Sport adds larger 17in alloys, rear parking sensors and sporty details including side skirts, a rear spoiler and an enlarged exhaust tailpipe finisher.
Super costs no more than Sport but dispenses with the sporty add-ons in favour of a more chilled-out ambience thanks to dual-zone automatic climate control, special upholstery and smaller 16in wheels for a more comfortable ride.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Reliability and warranty 

Alfa Romeo ranked a 23rd out of 32 car makers in the 2016 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, and finished fourth from bottom on reliability alone. Meanwhile, the Giulietta ranked 94th out of the 150 cars surveyed with owners criticising its poor fit and finish. So, it looks as though Alfa’s reputation for middling quality is well founded.

On the other hand, there has only been one safety recall associated with the car. It concerns the possibility of failure of the 2.0 JTMD’s automatic transmission and affects cars built from 2010 to 2015.

The Giulietta has an industry-standard three-year warranty but in 2018, Alfa extended it to five years on cars sold to private customers and not financed on personal contract hire.

Used Alfa Romeo Giulietta 

New car discounts are a reliable guide to the future value of a car. Generally, speaking, the larger they are, the steeper the car’s depreciation.

There are currently 43 Alfa Romeo Giuliettas available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £8,000 to £28,989 for 2018 models.

Monthly finance payments start from £154 per month.

Meanwhile, the cars themselves are very well equipped and from 2015, all diesel models became Euro 6 compliant, meaning they will be exempt from any future inner-city diesel surcharges.

VW Golf GTE: used car prices1 year old2 years old3 years old

Best for economy Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.6 JTDM

£12,390£9,492£9,000

Best for performance Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.4 TB

N/A£10,995£10,995