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.
Key specs (as tested)
About Chasing cars
Chasing Cars reviews are 100% independent.
Because we are powered by Budget Direct Insurance, we don’t receive advertising or sales revenue from car manufacturers.
We’re truly independent – giving you Australia’s best car reviews.
The estimate provided does not take into account your personal circumstances but is intended to give a general indication of the cost of insurance, in order to obtain a complete quote, please visit www.budgetdirect.com.au. Estimate includes 15%^ online discount.
Budget Direct Insurance arranged by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd ACN 003 617 909(AGS) AFSL 241 411, for and on behalf of the insurer, Auto & General Insurance Company Limited(ABN 42 111 586 353, AFSL 285 571).Because we don’t know your financial needs, we can’t advise you if this insurance will suit you. You should consider your needs and the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision to buy insurance. Terms and conditions apply.
Indicative quote based on assumptions including postcode , 40 year old male with no offences, licence suspensions or claims in the last 5 years, a NCD Rating 1 and no younger drivers listed. White car, driven up to 10,000kms a year, unfinanced, with no modifications, factory options and/or non-standard accessories, private use only and garaged at night.
^Online Discounts Terms & Conditions
1. Discounts apply to the premium paid for a new Budget Direct Gold Comprehensive Car Insurance, Third Party Property Only or Third Party Property, Fire & Theft Insurance policy initiated online on or after 29 March 2017. Discounts do not apply to optional Roadside Assistance.
2. Discounts do not apply to any renewal offer of insurance.
3. Discounts only apply to the insurance portion of the premium. Discounts are applied before government charges, taxes, levies and fees, including instalment processing fees (as applicable). The full extent of discounts may therefore be impacted.
4. We reserve the right to change the offer without notice.