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2017 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce Review


Good points

  • Sweet, visceral turbo engine
  • Engaging steering and handling
  • Decent value for money

Needs work

  • It's tight in the back seat
  • Some dodgy cabin materials
  • Thirsty at speed and in town
2017 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce Alfa Red

The big news at Alfa Romeo recently has all concerned their new rear-drive platform – with the mid-size Giulia sedan first out of the blocks, and an SUV derivative – called Stelvio – to follow soon enough. But this is new ground for the Italian brand: what Alfa Romeo have traditionally done well is soulful, front-drive hatches. And that’s where the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce comes in.

The Giulietta has been with us for about seven years, but the Veloce name is new. It’s the five-door Giulietta’s performance model – this used to be called Quadrifoglio, but in line with the new Giulia, the ‘four-leaf clover’ now denotes Alfa’s seriously rapid vehicles. The 177kW Veloce is quick, no doubt about it – but the take-no-prisoners 375kW Giulia Quadrifoglio reveals why the Veloce swap was necessary.

Few major updates have punctuated the Giulietta’s presence in Australia – and indeed, traces of the C-Evo platform the Giulietta sits on can be dated to the famed Lancia Delta of the 1980s. But a twin strategy of frequent, minor trim changes, and some meaningful mechanical upgrades mean the Giulietta Veloce is far more competitive with the modern hot hatch set than you’d thin,

In fact, the Giulietta’s combination of arresting looks, an emotional and highly-strung 1.75-litre turbo petrol from Alfa’s 4C mini-supercar, delicate handling balance and superb steering mean it pulls on your heartstrings like few other five-doors we have driven.

The alloy 4C engine means the Veloce is plenty quick enough, producing boosty, 6 second 0–100km/h sprints. It sounds raspy and rewarding, too, especially at high revs, where you’ll want to live to extract the most from this bratty Italian five-door. The presence of an electronically controlled, mechanically locking front differential also means that the substantial power figure can be harnessed through the front wheels, with the Veloce able to aggressively sprint up a mountain pass with little understeer.

And while the 1.75T is characterful and the diff useful, it’s the Giulietta’s handling characteristics that really draw a keen driver in. Sure, the interior and primary controls – especially the steering wheel – are quite dated, but if you’re not hung up on having the most modern cabin in this segment, the Giulietta Veloce is a distinctly interesting Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance competitor.

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce and Alfa Romeo 147

Key specs (as tested)

1.75 litres
Single turbocharger
177kW at 5,750rpm
340Nm at 2,000rpm
Double clutch
Power to weight ratio
136kW per tonne
Fuel type
Fuel capacity
60 litres
Average Range
882 kilometres
Front wheel drive
Engine configuration
4.35 metres
1.8 metres
1.47 metres
Unoccupied weight
1,299 kilograms
Cargo space seats up
350 litres
Cargo seats down
1,045 litres

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