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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I’ve eventually got my hands on the Giulietta TCT I ordered 4 months ago….and by-eck was it worth the wait!

It’s interesting to think that ordering a new car these days takes around half the time as it does to create one us within the multi-complexities of a the womb. I know this may seem a strange and unusual comparison to make, but to me it’s this flesh and blood vs metal construction that outlines the abominable and seriously flawed logistics of modern car production. It’s true to say that the Cassino based factory has had a high demand for Alfa’s new gem but, going by the national proverb that Rome wasn’t built in a day, waiting 4 months for a European car in Europe is utterly absurd. Within the confines of vehicle production truths, a car like the Giulietta is processed through the plant within a maximum of 2 weeks. This time added to the quality checks and thorough (we hope) testing process, it should amount to one concentrated month of divine creation time…so what happens in the other 3 months? Well, your guess is as good as mine. My own take on it, beyond a painful ordering mandate, is that the evil-eyed monster of sheer incompetence has wreaked havoc ever since you signed the order form at the dealer. This is an obviously cynical and judgemental view, but I firmly believe I speak honestly for all of those out there waiting…..something seriously needs to change!

So, as I approach the dealer with these frustrations and venomous thoughts paling into insignificance, I catch a glimpse of my new buddy behind some glass doors. Proudly presented in Etna Black attire (Veloce) with 18” sport alloys and red brake callipers, it immediately highlighted to me how Alfa Romeo have the unique ability to make a car look sporty and classy at the same time. This, I thought, and hopefully a fantastic driving experience, is exactly what I was buying into as I was led off to complete the final dredge of paperwork and payments.

Eventually, I get my much awaited first view of the interior and auto shifter. Initially seeing the interior shots in promotion photos I was unsure of it's design but to my surprise it is ergonomically wonderful. Topped heavily with leather and a chunky metal trigger at the front, the selections feel very solid and precise. Basic drive, reverse controls are there then push the stick over to the left for ‘Sport Mode’ which increases the revs limit thus leaving a bit more playing time coupled with discretely placed paddle shifters. I’d also opted for the essential visibility pack and the not so electric folding mirrors and rear sensors, but there are some places I park where I’m sure they’ll be useful. The half-leather Micro-fibre seats are probably my favourite option as in they aren’t an option….I was dead set on full-leather but after trying them out in the demo they proved to be very comfortable. This with them being super easy to clean and the modern styling the extra £1800 option simply isn’t worth it.

Ahh, and whilst I'm on the subject of the interior...a word of warning. For those that have ordered an Auto, be careful as to what mats you buy. I treated the car to a set of black mats with red Giulietta logo whilst I was at the dealer only to find out that the driver’s side 'manual' version doesn't fit in the bay. This is mainly due to the rather large and magnificently shiny foot rest on the left. Fortunately the sales chap gave me a small matt as a temporary measure whilst I wait for the auto version.

Moving on then, I’m out onto the road for the christening …and here’s where things started to get very interesting. Like a kid in a sweet shop I took on the choices of driving delights with glee and my first impressions were a big surprise. When I first tested the Giulietta last year I drove the MA and a 170 Jtdm back to back. I was left feeling that the MA’s performance felt a little weak in comparison and being conscious of fuel economy a diesel was obviously a better choice to munch up my 20,000 miles per year. But, there was a big ‘BUT’ and that was the lack of refinement with the diesel engine. This became a big black blot as I’d test driven a GTD Golf (DSG) the same week that was indeed much quieter at idle and it’s general cabin noise was lower…the Giulietta I tried was gruff and typically diesel like which I thought was something confined to the diesel motoring equivalent of the dark ages. After this I begrudgingly placed the order thinking I’d just have to live with it. However, I started up the new steed from cold and to my delight the only noise to present itself was a soft purr from the front, barely noticeable, and first on the move the engine synced briskly and beautifully at low speed with the TCT in the selected Natural mode. I’m not sure what’s happened here!? Either Alfa have administered some last minute refinement after criticism, or the way the engines function with the TCT is the reason. Well, whatever it is the car is absolutely sublime and a much appreciated attribute.

Then came a little bit of play time before being good and running the car in. It seems as though there is a ‘Sport’ mode for each DNA selection. If you’ve selected ‘Natural’ the car will still rev higher in this setting…good I guess for overtaking and the only difference apart from that is that the display shows what gear you are in instead of just saying D (drive). Dynamic selected without sport mode is great because you can drive briskly with everything done for you. Dynamic mode in Sport mode is where the shifters come in the best in my opinion. This I tell you is brilliant! The car is extremely quick off the line and the sheer pace as you click up the gears going onto motorways is impressive as the torque surges after each quick change of a cog. There’s also a lovely little raw from the diesel engine that is petrol like in certain gears. Equally impressive is the change down…it’s instant reaction is better than the VW DSG and with a warning buzzer that tells you to change up the box protects it’s nicely from undue abuse (Whoops!). Then calmly back down to sedate driving in N and the car relaxes you with the refinement offering….all in all I’ve never driven anything so polarised in its capability. Fantastic!

Once in town and the stop-start presents itself unawares. I’m not really used to this feature and from reading the recently posted mag reviews I was a little dubious as one said to simply switch it off!?.Well, they’re very wrong, leave it on as it works seamlessly. From what I read I don’t think the journalist realised that the brake pedal is pressure sensitive in terms of engaging start-stop. The car has a creep mode (unlike the Mito TCT) so if you approach a set of traffic lights and press down the footbrake there is 2 second delay and the engine shuts down….then either tap the paddle-shifter, gear shifter or release your foot from the brake and the engine starts. You can do the same procedure and not shut the engine down if you just hold your foot on the brake pedal very softly just before total release…..simple!

On to ride quality/handling and here it doesn't disappoint one little bit …this is what Alfas do so much better than the competition. The 18" wheels are a must on Veloce spec and, compared to the 17"s I had on a courtesy Veloce spec, it's suits the car better. Especially once in D mode it sticks to the road willingly and won't let go unless pushing the ridiculous. I have the Sport alloys which soak up the road noise brilliantly unlike the 5 hole 18” versions so no issues there. I also thought this choice was a classier aesthetic especially with the red callipers clearly visible behind the turbine spokes.

So, there we have it. A seriously good start to Alfa Giulietta ownership….all that remains to be seen is build quality/reliability which in truth I have every confidence in as it appears to be very solid indeed. I think all in all the single thing I’m most impressed with is the combination of speed vs refinement of the car and I'm lovin it....Well done Alfa!!
 

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Coo! :eek: The dieselly auto is actually rather good...??

Nice write-up for an unusual (?) spec'... hopefully people who swear blind that the only "proper" combination is a manual benzina... :eek: .. will be more open-minded.. :D


Ralf S.
 

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Superb

Congratulations! and what a superb review you should be on Top Gear!:) Just picked up our 170jtdm [not tct:cry:] and also feel same as you about quality, ride, POWER. Also same spec so will be interesting to see how we both get on.
I am same as you re' Diesel , all new to me and yes i to find it quiet even when cold. Anyway don't want to detract from your great post, enjoy the Big G!, coushtie will be next:thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Many thanks to all for the comments!:) and what a great drive into work it was this morning.

I think some photos will have to wait as a couple of days commuting have taken its toll on the appearance already.

Couple more things to add....All Weather mode worked well on Sunday. The TCT adapts and seems to always pull away in second gear. Fuel economy so far looks very promising and on par with the 140 jtdm loan car I used. Getting around 50 mpg average.

Happy days.
 

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Great review, about to order mine with pretty much the exact same spec so a great help!

How about a few monthly updates, be a great way to see how the car gets on and with your writing skills could be very useful to a lot on this site?!
 

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I've just got the latest car leasing list and all Gs are there except the CloverLeaf, must say the TCT does sound good. Any offers for my SW?
 

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Terrible timing Tox1c would have snapped your hands off for that bella just a month ago!
Oh sorry, but if I'd have sold her a month ago you'd be forking out for a aux belt tensioner and new belt - so you've just saved £241 - look on the bright side :)

I'm not totally sure I want to make the leap, I love the 20v.
 

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Thanks for your review!i go my tct 170 jtdm2 two weeks ago and i am totally addicted.last weekend i drove her on the alps and had the sensation she was eating the curves:)
Impressive.Fantastic car!i love her...
 

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Haha worth it for a great looking car like that to be fair mate!

How much you asking for it you think? We might stil be tempted for her as she needs a bigger motor just not sure if it would be too big.
 
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