Alfa Romeo Giulietta (2010) Review

Alfa Romeo Giulietta (2010) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Giulietta is now a seriously dated car that should only be on your radar if you can get an exceptionally good deal.

+More likely to turn heads than a Vauxhall Astra. Eager petrol and diesel engines.

-Cramped interior with lots of harsh materials. Exceptionally firm ride on models fitted with sports suspension. Feels very dated compared to more modern alternatives like the Ford Focus and Mazda 3.

New prices start from £19,975
Insurance Groups are between 15–33
On average it achieves 75% of the official MPG figure

Launched in 2010, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is a stylish alternative to the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf - as well as upmarket alternatives like the BMW 1 Series, Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Audi A3.

It’s available with a variety of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, combined with six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes. The range consists of the standard Alfa Romeo Giulietta, as well as Super, Speciale and Veloce models. While the Giulietta might turn heads thanks to its rarity and sporty looks, it was criticised for its cramped interior and poor interior plastics when it was new - something which is even more difficult to ignore as rivals have received numerous updates during the time the Giulietta has been on sale.

You’re making a bold statement buying an Alfa Romeo Giulietta. While it might be prettier than cars like the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra, its interior is seriously below-par, with cheap materials and a cramped cabin compared to alternatives. Indeed, adults in the back will be very uncomfortable - and even up front, the driving position feels awkward.

Various updates over the years have done little to bring the Giulietta up to date. Bear in mind that new versions of all of the Giulietta’s rivals have been introduced since Alfa Romeo launched its family hatchback in 2010.

The biggest change came in 2014 when a new Uconnect colour touchscreen infotainment system was introduced. This is now standard in 5.0-inch guise on standard Alfa Giulietta and Super models, while the Speciale and Veloce come with a 6.5-inch system. It’s laggy to operate and, with no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, is well past its sell-by date.

A further light refresh followed in 2016 with various cosmetic updates intended to mimic the (new at the time) Alfa Romeo Giulia.

The Giulietta’s engine line-up is pretty good, with the 1.4-litre TB petrol being the strong seller. This is available in a variety of flavours - 120, 150 or 170PS - while diesel drivers are catered for with the 2.0-litre JTDM-2 engines (available with 150 or 175PS).

The top version is the performance Veloce model - Alfa's take on the GTI and previously badged the Cloverleaf. It’s available with a 175PS version of the 2.0-litre diesel engine, while the 1.7-litre petrol boasts an impressive 240PS and a 0-62mph time of 6.8 seconds. Sadly, while it looks great, it's pretty underwhelming to drive which makes its price tag of close to £30,000 even more laughable. 

All models get Alfa Romeo’s DNA drive mode selector. This is gimmicky, using Dynamic, Natural and All-weather modes to tweak parameters like the engine, brakes, steering and accelerator depending on your requirements.

As you’d expect of an Alfa Romeo, the Giulietta is pretty good to drive, with plenty of composure during cornering. It’s not as sharp as a Ford Focus, though, and not impressive enough to make up for flaws in other areas. It has also got an exceptionally firm ride.

Another factor going against the Giulietta is its reliability record. We’ve had various faults reported over the years ranging from electrical issues to expensive timing belt failure. It’s fair to say that Alfa Romeo doesn’t have the most enviable reputation for reliability, either, and consistently ranks poorly in our Satisfaction Index. The brand’s three-year warranty does little to put your mind at rest, either. 

Ask Honest John

I need a spare bulb kit to drive in France - what do I do if none of the kits fit my car?
"I'm going to France for 10 days and have a 2012 Alfa Romeo Giulietta. I need to carry a spare bulb kit to comply with French law. So I went to Halfords today to buy one. I entered my vehicle registration into their system and none of their £10 kits fit my car. Have you any ideas please of where is best to go for a cheap spare bulb kit for my car?"
What I did was carry a universal spare bulbs kit. The fact is that most spare bulbs cannot even be fitted by a driver so this old rule became archaic about 25 years ago.
Answered by Honest John
Is the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Cloverleaf prone to faults?
"I am thinking of buying an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Cloverleaf with the turbocharged petrol engine. Do you know if this model has any common faults? "
We don't have any specific complaints:
Answered by Honest John
Is the 1.4TB Giulietta driving experience petrol engines comparable to the Multiair but slower?
"Is the 1.4TB engine driving experience comparable to the Multiair but slower?"
Answered by Honest John
Excessive road noise on Alfa Romeo Giulietta
"I have just bought a used (2013 model) Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.4 petrol and am on the whole very pleased with it, especially the engine. However, my main complaint is that there is a lot of road noise on certain surfaces, which rather spoils the refinement. The car is on 17-inch alloys with Pirelli Cinturato tyres with plenty of tread. Will fitting 16-inch wheels fix the problem? "
Try reducing the pressures. The correct pressures are the cold pressures. When a car is driven a few miles, heat builds up in the tyres and that increases the pressures by about 3PSI, so don't start with pressures already too high.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Alfa Romeo Giulietta (2010) cost?