This review of my 2014 Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.4T Progression (manual) is one that will hopefully convince you that I was somewhat logical for making my purchase.
My role involves a reasonably long commute and it was one that I may as well have been asleep for prior to my conversion to Alfa ownership. I wanted a car that was fun, had a bit of a kick, was affordable and was something a bit different. After some extensive review of the classifieds and punching the numbers, all signs were leading towards a Giulietta QV hatch. However I decided to go for the more modest, yet still rather enjoyable Progression variant, boasting 125kW and 250Nm of torque. This package is one that is well-rounded and delivers joy whilst still being cost efficient to run on a daily basis.
The first thing many of my friends or relatives told me was, ‘don’t buy an Alfa!’ or, ‘they’re unreliable!’ Whilst it’s important to listen to feedback, it’s also important to listen to your heart. That’s exactly what I did. Whilst my more mature and reasonable Dad really championed its Japanese counterpart, this suggestion simply did not resonate with me as a young car enthusiast. Being a first-time Alfa owner there may be doubts or concerns, but each and every day of running this strikingly stylish runabout has tuned these out.
No car is perfect but very few cars can make you laugh and embrace its flaws. The use-ability of its media system was behind the competition at that time. The dash does utilise some cheaper plastics, and you better look where you’re going because there aren’t any beeps to warn you! The car does almost have a ‘Golf’ like solidity when you close the door but on a couple of occasions I have had to pop trim back into place. A prime example being when washing my pride and joy I have witnessed door handles shift as I apply light pressure with my micro-fibre mitt. The Giulietta does however defeat all of its rivals in one department that can’t be replicated… character.
The drive is engaging, enjoyable and always anticipated. The ‘DNA’ system is one that really allows you to change the car's characteristics with the flick of a switch. ‘Dynamic’ mode really brings out the Italian Stallions from within and gets the heart pumping in an instant. Acceleration is spirited with high revs, and cornering can be dramatic but entertaining as you feel involved from start to finish. When driving in ‘N’-mode for Natural, the car has enough power to perform its standard duties but power availability is left to be desired for in the lower rev-range. I’m not entirely certain what 'A'-mode (for All-Weather) actually does but I like to think its more composed in wet weather conditions. Regardless of the journey, there will always be a smile on your face to finish as you stop to turn around in admiration.
Interior features such as the red leather seats offer impressive levels of comfort, and the perfectly-rounded gear knob gives the car a sporty feel. In summary, the Giulietta is a car that makes the person in the driving seat feel truly special. Whilst this car was purchased with the heart, after running for six months it is a decision that the head and wallet agree with too. This car is iconically stylish, practical, reliable and a bundle of fun. If anyone were to ask me the question, I can confirm my answer will be, ‘Yes! Go buy an Alfa!’