Taking its name from the original 1954 Bertone design, and quite where Fiat and Alfa got the R and D money for their new creation, I have no idea, but… As you’d expect from an Alfa, the Gilulietta makes a Golf or an Astra look like they’re made from cement bags. The Giulietta, just like the 50’s original; is an effeminately elegant, discreet, finely proportioned work of art that gains the moderately budgeted consumer access to a very sophisticated car.

Building on a heritage such as the Giulietta means juicy detailing can be found all over. Front LED running lights packaged with Alfa’s floating front grille means it’s nicely proportioned. The spiral, rear LED taillights give saucy visual punch to the restrained rear end and the retro, toggle switches on the inside are something you’ll never tire of.

The Giulietta is brand new architecture from the ground up. It’s the first car from Fiat / Alfa to be using a new compact platform; it has a new McPherson strut front suspension, a new multi-link rear suspension and a new steering column. Speculation is, and that’s all Alfa Romeo say it is, VW want to buy Alfa, but judging by the quality, I suspect they may have already done. I really can’t see where the German accountants could’ve improved it. That’s why it’s the safest hatchback the EuroNCAP people have ever tested. If it could award 7 stars, it would have.

It appears this new Giulietta is moving Alfa into un-chartered territories then, brilliant, but if I listen to the new Metallica album, I still want to do some head banging. And if I drive an Alfa Romeo I still want the butterfly valves in my heart to be all a flutter. This one is a bit of a mixed bag however.

The figures suggest white knuckle punch. The top of the line Quadrifoglio Verde with another all new engine, a 1.75-litre turbo charged offering, shunts out an awesome 173kW, nearly 20kW more than a competitor 2.0-litre Golf GTI, but the performance and power feels less so. The driving position takes a bit of getting used to first of all. You sit like a doctor having surgical gloves put on by a nurse, all arms and elbows up and out in front of you. And then when you’re on the move there is a sense of detachment. 0-100kph in 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 240kph, isn’t slow by any means, but why isn’t it more explosive, faster? A quick squizz through the press info reveals a big omission. Nowhere on it does it say “Hothatch.” Fair enough, this Alfa is clearly leaving its promiscuous, plunging neckline ways behind.

The Giulietta is also offered in cheaper spec with 1.4-litre engines that come with or without a turbo charger. The turbo multi-air engine still offers enough power to get a good lick on. It does take a little getting used to by; for instance, needing a good rev to get off the line and plenty of snappy shifts to not bog down. I know its un-pc to say so, because these engines are brilliantly engineered but I do miss the bigger displacement, pumping hearts from Alfa’s of old.

But the world has changed for all the manufacturers and overall, you have to say, the Italians have got all the boxes ticked. Exciting technology, brand heritage, stellar looks, eco consciousness, practicality and safety all at competitive pricing. To say you’d be chuffed to park one in your driveway would be a cataclysmic understatement.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Pricing:

Progression                  – 1.4-litre (88kW) – R 243, 000

Distinctive                     – 1.4-litre multi-air (125kW) – R279, 900

Quadrifoglio Verde       – 1.75-litre turbo (173kW) – R330, 275

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