Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV Review

240bhp Quadrifoglio Verde – it’s the hot hatch for those that don’t run with the crowd

By Shahzad Sheikh

Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV

I got to spend a week with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV whilst on holiday in the UK, and took the opportunity to properly get to know a car that I had only briefly driven on track previously (read about that here) on a day where I only really had eyes for the exquisite Alfa 4C.

See my video review of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV by clicking below.

On paper the 240bhp Quadrifoglio Verde almost matches the manic and great value Ford Focus ST five-door hatchback for performance, but in reality the Alfa’s better refinement and sophistication, plus a more tempered deployment of its considerable talents, brings it closer in line with the ST’s cousin, the Volvo V40 T5. In terms of price it sits somewhere between the two, staring from AED120,000.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV

I like the aggressive stance of the ST compared to the far more restrained elegance of the Volvo. But the Alfa is typically Italian: chic and sexy, not afraid to show its curves, and pose an allure and desirability something like a Golf GTI couldn’t even begin to fathom. You could logically want a GTI, but you would emotionally desire a Giulietta. And if you don’t, then move on, there’s no point going any further.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV

But if you do, then the news continues to get better. It’s got all the practicality of a five-door hatchback with decent front, rear and boot space. From behind the wheel, the controls and switchgear are so much more logical and intuitive than perhaps Italian cars of the past. But you can read about all that in my review of the regular Giulietta here.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV

Around town it’s an extremely well-behaved and surprisingly comfortable companion – notwithstanding the less-than-smooth roads I tested it on. The ride and body control is solid though, and this really shines when you get it out of town and put your foot down.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV

But before you do that, slip the DNA (for that is what the mode selector is named here) out of ‘N’ for normal and into ‘D’ for Dynamic (the ‘A’ is for all-weather I think). It doesn’t exactly transform. We’re not talking Jekyll and Hyde here, it’s more discreet. But the throttle response perks up, the transmission gets snappier and the engine note growls a little deeper and even more deliciously.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV

Punch the throttle and the meaty torque funnels through a linear stream of momentum that capitalises on the crisp paddle upshifts and sends the surroundings into swoosh mode. It’s not a pulverising, blistering kind of performance, it’s more manageable.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV

From the helm things are tight and faithful – you can chuck it about hard, and here’s where it probably has the edge over the more brutal characteristics of some of its rivals. Fun and satisfying, but not nerve-wracking or hard work.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV

At the price it slots in nicely into the growing spectrum of compact cool cars now being offered in a market where dealers used to believe hot hatches wouldn’t sell (Honda still does sadly). If it was a little more affordable and a little more high-profile (c’mon Alfa dealers ramp up the marketing on this babe!) then it would be a certain hit. As it is, it remains the smart maverick’s choice – and perhaps all the better for its exclusivity.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV

Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV – The Specs

Price: AED120,000 (US$33k)
Engine: 1.8-litre four-cylinder, 240bhp @ 5750rpm, 251lb ft @ 2000rpm
Performance: 0-100kph 6.6secs, 244kph, 6.8L/100km
Transmission: 6-speed auto, front-wheel drive
Weight:  1825kg

 

Golf GT, Focus ST, Volvo V40 T5, Astra OPC or this Giulietta QV – which would you have? Tell us in the comments below. 

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