Flair and style from Alfa

The stylish Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sportiva hatch has had a bit of a nip and a tuck for 2014, says Dave Humphreys in AutoExpress, sporting new trim levels and an improved cabin. The changes are subtle but well-executed, and gives the hot hatch a new lease of life.

Better still, it has an impressive new engine: Alfa’s 2.0-litre diesel has gained 10bhp and “develops its peak torque of 380Nm at only 1,750rpm, which makes it feel punchy low down in the rev range.

It’s not too noisy, either, sounding rattly only as you approach the red line.” The car is up against some tough competition, not least the Volkswagen Golf. That once made it “solely for Alfa fans”. With these updates, “its appeal is much broadened”.

Inside, the changes are more substantial than the styling tweaks on the outside, says Ed Callow in What Car. There are new leather seats, new trim finishes and a redesigned steering wheel. The dashboard has also been redesigned, with a Uconnect touch-screen infotainment system now standard across the range.

On the downside, handling, comfort, interior space and reliability are no match for rivals. It’s only for those who value style over substance. The new engine has raised Alfa’s game, says Stuart Milne in Autocar, but can it compete with the likes of the Golf or the Ford Focus?

In the end, whether the car will appeal is largely a matter of whether you value sporting edge and design flair over “safer bets”.

Price: £25,220
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel
Power: 148bhp
0-62mph: 8.8 seconds
Top speed: 130mph
Economy: 67.3mpg
Carbon dioxide: 110g/km

Merryn

Claim 12 issues of MoneyWeek (plus much more) for just £12!

Let MoneyWeek show you how to profit, whatever the outcome of the upcoming general election.

Start your no-obligation trial today and get up to speed on:

  • The latest shifts in the economy…
  • The ongoing Brexit negotiations…
  • The new tax rules…
  • Trump’s protectionist policies…

Plus lots more.

We’ll show you what it all means for your money.

Plus, the moment you begin your trial, we’ll rush you over THREE free investment reports:

‘How to escape the most hated tax in Britain’: Inheritance tax hits many unsuspecting families. Our report tells how to pass on up to £2m of your money to your family without the taxman getting a look in.

‘How to profit from a Trump presidency’: The election of Donald Trump was a watershed moment for the US economy. This report details the sectors our analysts think will boom from Trump’s premiership, and gives specific investments you can buy to profit.

‘Best shares to watch in 2017’: Includes the transcript from our roundtable panel of investment professionals – and 12 tips they’re currently tipping. The report also analyses key assets, including property, oil and the countries whose stock markets currently offer the most value.