ACCORDING TO  the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), more potholes are likely to be found on rural roads this year because of the bleak wintry conditions the UK has experienced. However, if you’re driving an Alfa Romeo Giulietta, I wouldn’t worry. The car is so smooth and the suspension so good, you’ll hardly notice any potholes beneath you.

The 1.4 TB MultiAir 170bhp in Lusso spec, on test here, is a striking car. It’s basically a VW Golf challenger, but with a refreshingly innovative shape. Behind the wheel, Alfa’s all-new Compact chassis provides the foundations for class-leading ride and handling. The car is responsive, with bags of energy and pulling power from low revs, while the steering is well-weighted and direct – just like you’d expect from a VW Golf or
an Audi A3. And the Giulietta certainly delivers a driving experience reminiscent of those classy German hatches, but it does so in a package that has far more character

Three high specification trims – Turismo, Lusso and Veloce offer customers maximum user-chooser flexibility, while the Cloverleaf range-topping version has its own exclusive exterior and interior attributes. A host of cutting edge technological features are key to the Alfa Giulietta range, with advancements such as revolutionary performance engine technology in the form of MultiAir (petrol) and second generation MultiJet (diesel). But the icing on the cake is Alfa’s DNA system which customises the vehicle’s behaviour to suit road conditions and driving styles.

The latest Alfa Romeo is also pretty ‘green’ because the car comes with a standard Start&Stop system which guarantees improved fuel economy and, on this model, CO2 emissions are only 134 g/km. Other
impressive benchmark features on the Giulietta include air conditioning, electric windows, LED lights and six airbags for maximum occupant safety. But that’s not all – the Giulietta has been awarded the exalted Euro NCAP five-star rating and an overall score of 87/100 – an amazing result that makes it the safest compact car ever.

Back on the pothole front, the CLA urges motorists, especially those on unlit country roads, to stay vigilant and report major potholes to the local council. But in my view, you’ll be so proud of your new Alfa Romeo that you won’t be on any dark rural roads in the first place – you’ll be too busy pampering the gorgeous Giulietta and making sure she’s tucked up safely in the garage at home.

 PROS ‘N’ CONS

  • Ride
  • Equipment
  • Safety
  • VW Golf will hold value better X

FAST FACTS

  • Max speed: 135 mph
  • 0-62 mph: 7.8 secs
  • Combined mpg: 48.7
  • Engine layout: 1368cc 4 cylinder 16v petrol
  • Max. power (bhp): 170 at 5500 rpm
  • Max. torque (lb.ft): 184 at 2400 rpm
  • CO2: 134 g/km          
  • Price: £20,000 OTR

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