While the previous version was offered in four trim levels including the budget-focused model known simply as Giulietta, Alfa Romeo's local arm has dropped that model and managed to bring down the price of the existing mid-spec Progression. The flagship variant - for the time being - is the Distinctive, which gets a price increase, while the sporty Quadrifoglio Verde (QV) hot-hatch will arrive in the first quarter of 2015.
The Italian brand claims there have been some big changes inside the cabin of each of the Giulietta models, with revised seats and materials (cloth in the Progression, leather in the Distinctive) and a new steering wheel, while the top-end variant gets electric seat adjustment and front seat heating. Alfa Romeo also claims it has upgraded the cabin insulation of the car to improve comfort levels in the cockpit.
The media systems have also been updated to a 5.0-inch Uconnect touchscreen in both models, while the fiddly Blue&Me voice-controlled Bluetooth system makes way for the more intuitive unit that is also found in Jeep and Chrysler models. That system can read text messages to the driver, and also offers audio streaming which was previously unavailable, and Distinctive models can be upgraded to a 6.5-inch screen for $1500.
Under the bonnet, the Progression retains its 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol with 88kW and 215Nm, matched to a six-speed manual gearbox only and claiming a 0-100km/h time of 9.2 seconds. Fuel use is rated at 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres.
The upper-spec Distinctive is powered by a gruntier 1.4-litre turbo four-cylinder producing 125kW and 250Nm, assisting it in claiming a sprint time from zero to triple figures in 7.6sec. Fuel use for this model is rated at 5.7L/100km, no matter whether you choose the standard six-speed manual or six-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission (which adds $2000 to the price).
As for exterior styling tweaks, there's a new Alfa V grille, chrome exterior highlights, black headlamp inlays, and new mirror caps on the top-spec. The Distinctive also gets a new alloy wheel design. Three new exterior colours are available: Moon White, Anodized Blue (pictured) and Bronze.
See a full breakdown of the standard equipment on offer for the 2015 Alfa Romeo Giulietta below.
2015 Alfa Romeo Giulietta specifications by model:
- 5.0-inch touchscreen with Uconnect infotainment system with steering wheel controls and Bluetooth connectivity
- 16-inch alloy wheels
- Tyre-pressure monitoring
- New steering wheel design that incorporates Alfa ‘Shield’, new seats including revised trims
- Rear-parking sensors
- Five-star crash rating
- LED daytime running lights
- LED tail-lights
- Automatic headlights
- Automatic wipers
Distinctive (in addition to Progression):
- 16-inch wheels with turbine design
- Chrome-effect mirrors, with electric folding function
- 5.0-inch touchscreen (can be optioned with 6.5-inch Nav system with 3D mapping)
- Front parking sensors
- New leather seats with heating, memory function and electric adjustment
- Alfa Romeo DNA driving selector
- Dual-zone automatic climate control with rear ducts
- Added rear arm rest
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
- Chrome-rimmed fog-lights
- Chrome side window surround
2015 Alfa Romeo Giulietta pricing, plus on-road costs (with change in brackets):
Progression - $29,000 (-$450)
Distinctive - $33,000 (+1650)