If you talk to any true petrol heads, you can be guaranteed they share a passion for Alfa Romeo. Alfas have always been known for their stylish looks and sporty appeal so when I got the call to test drive the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta Cloverleaf, it wasn’t one I was going to turn down. The original Giulietta was an Italian icon from the 1950’s, so can this current reincarnation live up to its iconic ancestor?
Well, it certainly has the looks. At first glance the Giulietta appears to be a three-door hot hatch but the good news for thirty-somethings (who are the only ones likely to be able to afford one) is that it’s actually a family-friendly five-door – those rear door handles are neatly hidden away in the rear door frame. Inside, there’s the traditional Italian leather and lots of chrome bits but a few extras like the test car’s double sunroof and electric heated seats quickly bumps the €33,995 base price to well over €40k.
Performance-wise, the Giulietta Cloverleaf is competitive. Its 1742cc turbo-charged engine has 235hp which means it’s fast (0-100km/h in 6.8 seconds) even if it doesn’t sound as soulful as you’d expect of an Alfa Romeo. With the “Alfa DNA” button set to offer the sportiest throttle and steering settings the Giulietta felt sharp and responsive around Mondello Park, although the high throttle position meant I couldn’t heel-toe on downshifts and the seats were hopelessly unsupportive for what after all is Alfa Romeo’s sportiest Giulietta.
So does it live up to its iconic predecessor? I think so. Just like the original car, it offers a unique blend of performance and style, and while it’s not perfect there’s still much to admire and desire in the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta Cloverleaf.[table “36” not found /]