Overhauled - Alfa Romeo 1.6 JTDm TCT Super

The recent revision of the compact Giulietta Alfa Romeo has really succeeded in exceptional decency. The new grill behind the brand logo, the darker headlights and the sloping tailpipes are the outwardly most striking changes.

In the invisible, a lot has happened. So the new drive combination of the 120PS strong 1.6 liter JTDm four-cylinder diesel and the six-speed dual-clutch TCT is a real source of joy. While motors have always been the heart of every Alfa Romeo, Turin diesel engines are no exception.

For the new generation Giulietta, the unit has been completely redesigned. Thanks to common rail injection - an invention by Fiat subsidiary Magneti Marelli - the third generation with particularly high pressures and newly designed multi-hole injectors, the diesel engine not only achieves the EU6 emissions standard, it also ensures efficient combustion in one Standard consumption of only 3.9 liters on 100 kilometers results.

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That in practice then like two liters more, this is ensured by the characteristics of the small four-cylinder. The TCT gearbox conceals the small starting weakness with a smooth discrete clutch and just under 2000 revolutions, the 16V-JTDm bounces casually forward. With full use of the accelerator feel the 320Nm also much juicier than one might suspect at first glance in the data card. Astonishingly powerful, the Alfa goes through the center of the engine and does not shy away from the region over 4000 revolutions, it should precede once faster on the highway when overtaking.

The transmission is more in its element here. The dynamic pace seems more comfortable to him than stop & go inner-city traffic. So it is easy and quick to move to the right gear under tension, shifts back wonderfully well when braking is more serious and is so accurate that manual intervention is usually unnecessary. In the morning after a cold start and lined up in the commuter traffic, however, it shows that the Italians don't really like this type of use. The gears are held for too long before the clutch is disengaged, the whole Giulietta shakes roughly and the delays when starting up again are clearly noticeable.

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The same applies to the chassis, because the chassis vote shows that the last ounce is missing. The fineness of the fast competition from Cologne and Wolfsburg is alien to the Giulietta, although it is also wonderfully cheerful on the road, sufficiently well muted and thus wonderfully suits the juicy torque of the engine when you surf the highways. Steering behavior, the tuning of the electronic Q2 differential is well done here, but if it is really fast, then the compact Alfa must leave feathers. The interplay of resilient suspension and loose cushioning suddenly gets a little bit out of joint. The Giulietta leans powerful aside, slips out of the curve and with the gas pedal you can then save not much, because the DNA driving mode switch in the harshest setting allows too little control.

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So it's not for the wild ride. The speedy and longest stage must therefore be their domain. But for this, the arrangement in the interior must be a bit criticized. Even though the Uconnect LIVE system with its 6.5 inch measuring monitor has been renewed in the latest facelift, the ravages of time are already gnawing away at menu structure, graphics and computing power. Although the App Store is a Uconnect application available, with the help of which iPhone and Android devices can take a little on the leash and couple a few cooperating apps like Deezer or TuneIn with the Alfa, but the whole thing 2016 just does not work more contemporary. So also the design of the interior, here has the competition in the 30.000 EUR-price class, the Italians also suspended.

What a pity, because here you expect from an Alfa Romeo just a little more heart, a little more passion, a little more love. For 36.000 EUR, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.6 JTDm Super TCT may just be a bit short. From a great engine alone, it is difficult to live. But it's light at the end of the tunnel: with the new platform for compacts, the Fiat Group has new opportunities to turn the all-new Giulietta back into a fiery Alfa.

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