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The Alfa Romeo Giulietta is a top premium small car with a few flaws

9 Nov 2012

THERE is no doubt that the Giulietta is the most complete and competent Alfa Romeo sold in Australia for decades, narrowing the gap between the Italian way of doing things and the German/Japanese hegemony that seem to apply to all others.

In dual-clutch diesel guise, the latest version could even be all things to all buyers, mixing emotion with smart eco engineering.

However, the Giulietta also suffers from a number of flaws – types that Volkswagen or Ford would never allow to happen. But virtually none of these flaws, as it turns out, have to do with Alfa or Italian-car stereotypes.

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Model release date: 1 January 2012 to 1 December 2014

Previous model

147 JTD

Released: January 2006
Ended: January 2009
Family Tree: Giulietta

THE original 147 was a breath of fresh air and thrust Alfa Romeo right up against the popular Audi A3 and VW Golf in the burgeoning posh end of the small-car market, beating the BMW 1 Series by several years.

The Series II facelift in 2005 brought a sharper nose and some detailed mechanical improvements including steps to make the ride more supple and quiet, while a raft of refinement upgrades were also introduced – and all at a lower price than before.

And it was at this time that the JTD common-rail turbo-diesel model arrived, in 110kW/305Nm 1.9-litre four-cylinder, five-door hatch guise. A rorty and economical model, the Alfa’s biggest drawback was the lack of an automatic option, since a six-speed manual was the only gearbox on offer.

Slow sales saw the withdrawal of the JTD in early 2009.

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