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Behind The Wheel: Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV

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Obtaining the best of both worlds is a rarity amongst mortals.

As a sportsman and male style icon, David Beckham has it. As the lucky bastard who got to marry both Scarlett Johansson and Blake Lively (not in one go), Ryan Reynolds has it.

In the motoring world of hot hatches and stylish rides? The Alfa Romeo Giulietta ‘Quadrifoglio Verde’ owns it.

Splashed in fiery Alfa Red, I didn’t know what to expect when I was thrown the keys to this pretty hatchback which I assumed would garner me a few hairdresser comments. It did, but it also completely caught me off guard once we began rolling.

Flick that little switch into Sports mode and the Giulietta becomes an entirely different beast loaded with more fun than an Adam Sandler movie. Ok, bad example. Though it did provide spades of the aforementioned fun whilst maintaining its aesthetic integrity.

We took it away for a long weekend  through the wild twisties of Bells Line Road to find out how this swish little pocket rocket would handle.

What’s In The Box

We’ll kick it off with the well-appointed interior of the top of the line Giulietta QV TCT. The sports seats were a definite winner here for us, having bolstered the driver and passenger in supreme comfort whether it be in crawling traffic or the winding roads at over 100km/h.

This can be credited to the premium leather and Alcantara front seats finished with green and white stitching as well as the cool Alfa Romeo insignia embossed on the centre inserts.

Elsewhere in the cabin it’s textbook dark grey and gloss black with a good mix of luxury cues barring some stray hard plastics making its way onto the dash and parts of the steering wheel. We’re assuming this minor drawback correlates to the vehicle’s overall affordability (from $42,000), but given this is an Italian car I’d be happy to pay the extra grand or two for a bit more leather to endow its interior with the premium feel it deserves.

Interior space was a non-issue for us, as with most five-seater hot hatches. It seated our four passengers with ease whilst the boot had just enough space for all of our camera gear. There could’ve been a bit more boot space but the spare wheel well actually housed a BOSE subwoofer – you wouldn’t know it unless you copped a flat.

Tracing The Elegant Italian Curves

The Giulietta QV features unmistakable Italian design which helps it stand out amongst many of its hot hatch competition. More specifically, it’s the striking attention to detail from the racey gunmetal door handles to the trademark front fascia with wide intakes, to the big Brembo brake package inscribed with Alfa Romeo insignia, which all adds to its allure. And let’s not leave out those trademark 18-inch gloss gunmetal rims shod in sticky rubber.

Even the rear door handles have been intuitively positioned out of sight to make the car appear as a sportier two-door ride. When it comes to styling, the Italians can rarely be faulted and this rings true for the Giulietta QV.

“When traffic cleared up on Bells Line Road, we were able to take the car over 100km/h on the long sweeping bends with absolute precision and ease.”

Engine & Drive

The crowning moment for the Giulietta QV is the superb engine which packs a serious punch and leaves an aftermath in the form of an intoxicating exhaust note. Powered by a 1.7-litre turbo engine with 177kW and 340Nm of torque, you’d be forgiven for thinking the car was slightly underpowered against its competition. But once the car gets going in Sports mode, the exhilarating drive diminishes any prior doubt.

Acceleration is swift and non-violent. When traffic cleared up on Bells Line Road, we were able to take the car over 100km/h on the long sweeping bends with absolute precision and ease. The sports suspension almost fostered confidence in the driver to push this little machine into corners that weren’t meant to be taken this fast. Torque steer was also minimal for a front-wheel driver which shows that the car has received significant upgrades in the handling department.

One thing the car does struggle to handle is road bumps at speed mid-corner. As the sports suspension is firmer, hitting a bump on long sweeping bends at over 100km/h will unsettle the car a bit and raise a few hairs on your neck. So if you plan on doing some spirited driving, make sure you know the road conditions back to front and are ready to wrestle the steering wheel back into line.

Elsewhere you’ll find a TCT 6-speed dual clutch auto which is rather lifeless in Eco-Normal mode (as intended for keeping fuel consumption at 7.0L/100km) but shifts rapidly and holds gears longer in Sports mode. The exhaust note and engine noise is a prime selling point of the QV and we think Alfa have nailed it.

It features a new intake system which amplifies the engine noise to provide a exponential buzz that simply resonates right through the cabin, whilst still leaving out all the external stuff you don’t want to hear. This is smart engineering and it’s very, very good.

Last Words

The Giulietta QV suprised us in many ways and is a step in the right direction with Maserati now coming on board to help develop the new Alfa range with a sportier edge.

It’s not a balls-out, no-compromise sportscar and it’s in no way a boring hatchback too. It simply takes the best from both worlds and injects it into a platform which is beautiful to look at, practical to run and even more fun to drive. 

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