Definitely not the update we’ve been hoping for

The Giulietta name has had a pretty bumpy history. Originally used between 1965 and 1965, the name was discontinued until 1977. This Giulietta, dubbed Type 116, was produced from 1977 to 1985 at which point the name was once again discontinued. Alfa Romeo revised the name for the third time in 2010 for the Type 940 Giulietta, which is still produced today and received a facelift for the 2016 model year. It became blatantly obvious that Alfa Romeo is still struggling as a brand, as the face life to the Giulietta was so mild that it’s outright disturbing. Exterior updates we limited to a new grille mesh, new Alfa Romeo shield, a revamped badge, and minor changes to the rear fascia to go with a new set of alloy rims. The engine lineup for the Giulietta didn’t change much for 2016, but there is a new 1.6-liter unit, and inside changes were limited to an updated infotainment system.

It comes off very boring and lazy, indeed. In fact, you might as well save money and buy an older model, or wait for the next-gen model that should be arriving sometime in 2018. It’s a little surprising, however, considering the Giulietta competes against the likes of the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. For a company that really wants to turn itself around, it’s not working very hard at bringing fresh products to market. The Giulia was delayed, as was the brand’s first SUV. Add this excessively boring facelift to the mix, and you’ve got a company that might not survive if it doesn’t pick up the pace.

With that said, check out our full review below to learn about all the little things that came as a result of the 2016 facelift.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulietta.


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Styling-wise, the facelift didn't bring many new features to the Giulietta

Styling-wise, the facelift didn’t bring many new features to the Giulietta. Up front there’s a new Alfa Romeo shield with a honeycomb grille instead of the horizontal-slat layout, and a revamped badge. The same honeycomb grille can be seen in the bumper, which also received black inserts for a sportier character. Around back, the hatch is identical to the previous model, save for the mild changes in the bumper and the oblique tailpipes. As with most facelifts, the Giulietta received new alloy rims.

Other upgrades include red front bumper inserts, carbon looking headlamps, and glossy anthracite accents on the mirror caps, handles, and the foglamp surrounds, but these features are only offered on the Veloce trim level. Everything else was carried over from last year’s model, which is a bit disappointing to be honest. Granted, I didn’t expect the Giulietta to get Alfa Romeo’s new design language so soon, but this update is below par in the current market.


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Things don't get better inside, where the only noticeable upgrade is a revised Uconnect infotainment system.

Things don’t get better inside, where the only noticeable upgrade is a revised Uconnect infotainment system. Available with either a five- or 6.5-inch touchscreen, it comes with Bluetooth connectivity for hand-free and audio streaming, and the new Uconnect LIVE services. The app offers music streaming with Deezer and TuneIn, news with Reuters, and navigation with TomTom LIVE. Also new is the Alfa Performance service, specifically created to measure the car’s performance by using special timers.

Other than that, the Giulietta gets minor nips and tucks such as revised leather and Alcantara sports seats with red stitching, carbon looking dashboard surround and door panels in the Veloce trim, and a unique matte black dashboard in the base and Super versions. The latter also features grey and black fabric "cannelloni" seats. The Lusso pack adds height-adjustable leather seats and armrests, and an aluminum kick plate. Far from impressive really...


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The engine lineup was carried over from the 2015 model year, albeit with minor improvements in power and fuel economy, as well as slight reductions in the emissions department

Not surprisingly, the engine lineup was carried over from the 2015 model year, albeit with minor improvements in power and fuel economy, as well as slight reductions in the emissions department. There is a new 1.6-liter JTDm unit worth mentioning. The diesel-fed four-banger cranks out 120 PS (118 horsepower) and 320 Nm (236 pound-feet) of torque and mates to Alfa’s TCT transmission. Sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes 10.2 seconds in this model, while top speed is rated at 195 km/h (121 mph). Alfa says the engine needs only 3.8 liters of fuel for each 100 km and emits only 99 grams of CO2 per km.

More power comes from the larger, 2.0-liter JTDm turbodiesel available with either 150 or 175 PS (148 or 173 horsepower).

On the gasoline front, there’s the 1.4-liter Turbo Petrol with 120 PS (118 horsepower,) the 1.4-liter Turbo Multiair with 150 or 170 PS (148 or 168 horsepower), and the range-topping 1.75-liter Turbo Petrol with 240 PS (237 horses).

Finally, the Giulietta is also available with the bi-fuel (LPG and gasoline), 1.4-liter TB rated at 120 PS (118 horsepower).


Pricing for the refreshed Giulietta is unchanged compared to the previous model and starts from £18,450 (about $25,760) in the United Kingdom.


Volkswagen Golf

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One of the Giulietta’s biggest drawback is that it has to compete against the Volkswagen Golf, arguably the leader of the compact hatchback segment in Europe. Much like the Alfa, the Golf is sold with a wide choice of engines, ranging from 1.0-liter three-cylinder units to 2.0-liter four-bangers. For gasoline models, output ranges between 84 horses in the entry-level model and 148 horsepower in the GT and R Line trims. Moving over to diesels, there are 1.6- and 2.0-liter four-pots that generate up to 181 horses and 280 pound-feet in the GTD version. U.K. prices start from £17,595 (about $24,570) and go all the way up to £30,820 (around $43,050) for the high-performance models.

Find out more about the Volkswagen Golf here.

Ford Focus

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Redesigned in 2010 and updated for 2015, the Ford Focus is yet another popular choice among European buyers. Engine options are vary and include 1.0-, 1.5-, and 2.0-liter EcoBoost units, as well as a 1.6-liter Duratec. Output ranges between 84 and 246 horsepower. Ford also offers three diesel four-bangers, displacing 1.5-, 1.6-, and 2.0-liters respectively. The generate between 94 horsepower and 170 pound-feet and 183 horses and 295 pound-feet of torque. The Focus retails from £15,995 (about $22,340) in the U.K., while the ST and RS fetch £22,495 (around $31,420) and £28,940 (about $40,420) before options, respectively.

Read more about the Ford Focus here.


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The modern-day Giulietta has never been a big success compared to its competitors and European sales have been dramatically dropping since 2011. Having moved nearly 80,000 units in its first full year on the market, the Giulietta only managed to sell a little over 41,000 examples in 2015. By comparison, Volkswagen sold more than 500,000 Golfs, while Ford delivered more 220,000 Focuses. Sure, Alfa can’t compete with giants such as VW or Ford just yet, but an overhaul might just make the Giulietta a better competitor in this crowded segment. Unfortunately, the redesign is still some three years away and this facelift doesn’t bring major improvements to the hatch. It seems to me that Alfa Romeo doesn’t care much about the current Giulietta and didn’t spend much time on this facelift. Hopefully, the Italians will make up for it with a significantly improved next-generation model with styling cues borrowed from the bold Giulia. All told, this is one of the poorest facelifts we’ve seen in a long time and an uninspired decision in a segment packed with better propositions.

  • Leave it
    • Not many changes inside and out
    • Tough competition from VW, Ford, and Renault
    • In desperate need of an overhaul
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert -
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
About the author

Press Release

The official debut of New Giulietta was staged simultaneously yesterday with an international event in five cities across Europe: the central event was held in Arese along withTurin, Paris, Madrid and Frankfurt. A special reveal with which Alfa Romeo chose to celebrate its employees by inviting them to enjoy the preview reveal of the new car and an unforgettable evening of music, fun and "Alfa" spirit by involving them as ambassadors of the brand for launching the new model. The videos employees made with New Giulietta have taken Facebook and Instagram by storm and turned the employees into the faces of the new model.

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The latest addition to the Alfa Romeo line-up will be the star with its even sportier attitude and its compelling family feeling bond with the other models of the range. In addition to these distinguishing features, the car has the new 1.6 JTDm turbo diesel with 120 HP and Alfa TCT gearbox, exclusive Live services on the Uconnect system and a line-up optimised to make choosing a car even more straightforward. In brief, New Giulietta is ready to pick up where its predecessor left off, with the goal of winning over even more Italian design enthusiasts with its unmistakable style and even bolder sporty character.

The Arese event was held in the revamped Alfa Romeo Museum, dubbed "La Macchina del Tempo" (The Time Machine). Guest of honour was the British singer-songwriter Skin. The many celebrities and guests danced to her DJ-set joined by a high number of FCA employees on the floor. There could be no better location for the Milan debut of New Giulietta: the brand’s "home" has recently reopened to the public and showcases some of Alfa Romeo’s most famous, innovative creations. For the occasion, guests also visited the annexed Arese Motor Village. The brand’s futuristic showroom is an integral part of the new polyfunctional centre which comprises a bookshop, a cafeteria, a documentation centre, a test track and an event hall in addition to the mentioned museum.

At the same time, an equally spectacular and thrilling event was being held at the FCA headquarters in Turin for over 5,000 FCA employees. Guest stars of the level of Piero Pelù, DJ Ringo and Marky Ramone, drummer of the legendary band The Ramones, staged an unforgettable performance all revolving around New Giulietta. The two winning bands of the company’s most recent contest also took the stage: the only requirement to enter was that at least one band member had to be an FCA employee.

The same spirit of the Arese and Turin events was the ingredient of the other New Giulietta reveal events in Madrid, Frankfurt and Paris. Star of the evening at the Teatro Barceló in the Spanish capital was DJ Nano with the partnership of Los 40 Principales, the most popular radio station in the country that sent one of their official voices. At the same time, the windows of the FCA Motor Village in Frankfurt lit up bright Alfa red. Two New Giulietta models were placed at the showroom entrance to welcome guests together with DJ Teddy O and King Kamehameha Club Band, the group that performs in some of the best-known clubs in Germany. Lastly, the Champs Elysées MotorVillage in Paris opened to welcome guests to the sound of DJ Cédric Couvez, in a party atmosphere with a variety of entertainment.

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The "Fuel your Instinct" project has a digital side too: a special operation that unites the passion, creativity and style of our extraordinary international Contributors with the values of the Alfa Romeo brand.
On the website a video is available that is inspired by New Giulietta’s personality and the free artistic spirit of the Contributors. In addition, an ad hoc tool was created that allows each user to create and share a personalized video on the most important social networks.

New Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Family feeling with Giulia: shared appearance and line-up logic.
Even sportier: specific new exterior details and the new Veloce pack available on all petrol and diesel engine versions.
Making its debut is the new 1.6 JTDm 120 HP turbo diesel with Alfa TCT.
Always connected with the new Uconnect system LIVE services.
Rational line-up: three trim levels (Giulietta, Giulietta Super and Giulietta Veloce), two new packs (Veloce and Lusso), nine engine versions, eleven body colours and twelve different 16" and 18" alloy rims with three exclusive designs.

To keep on playing a leading role in the segment, Alfa Romeo Giulietta has been refreshed with a bolder sport characterisation, new specific elements and an unmistakable family feeling shared with the fascinating Giulia, which is the new Alfa Romeo paradigm and ultimate expression of the meccanica delle emozioni - or mechanics of emotions - concept.

New Giulietta comes with important innovations, like the new 1.6 JTDm 120 HP turbo diesel engine paired with the Alfa TCT and the extremely useful Live services on the Uconnect system available on the entire range. In addition, the line-up has been rationalised and now features three trim levels (Giulietta, Giulietta Super and Giulietta Veloce), two packs (Veloce and Lusso) and nine engine versions (petrol, diesel and LPG) so customers can more simply and quickly pick the version most suited to their inclinations and needs and then customise it with optional equipment and accessories.

Ready to face future challenges, New Giulietta embodies the unrivalled "Alfa Spirit", which for over one century has typified the cars made by Alfa Romeo. They are light and efficient - resulting from the choice of materials and the correct weight-to-power ratio - and are the perfect expression of the care for detail typical of only the very best Italian designs. Additionally, they are agile on the road with responsive steering, evolved suspensions and balanced weight distribution.

Finally, New Giulietta fits a host of features developed by Magneti Marelli - from lighting devices to powertrain, suspensions and exhaust systems - as further confirmation of the consolidated and mutually profitable collaboration between Alfa Romeo and the well-known international leader in the design and manufacturing of high-tech automotive systems and components.

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Refreshed looks and sportier characterisation

Today, the family feeling of New Giulietta with Giulia, which is the new Alfa Romeo paradigm, is enhanced and embodied by several exterior style elements, such as the one-of-a-kind honeycomb grille and the new front bumper which recalls the shape of the legendary front trefoil, arguably one of the most famous and recognisable symbols in the automotive world. Similarly, the lettering of the name "Giulietta" and its position on the back wink to those of Giulia. The new model also sports the refreshed logo, which has been modernised preserving the distinctive style elements which have made it an emblem known and cherished worldwide. Not by chance, only who has a great past can face the challenges of the future.

Burnished headlights, new bumper inserts, one-of-a-kind alloy rims and new oblique tailpipes complete the new look. The Giulietta Veloce trim level - the sportiest of the line-up - is even bolder featuring new sports bumpers with Alfa Red profiles, new carbon look treatment headlights, glossy anthracite accents on mirror caps, handles and on the grille and fog light surrounds.

The exclusive sporty outfit corresponds to an exclusive interior ambience packed with premium quality accents in which all details are carefully picked: New Giulietta is the most developed expression of Italian style. On the inside, the sportiest Giulietta Veloce trim level has new leather and Alcantara sports seats with integrated head restraints embellished with contrasting red stitching and "Alfa Romeo" written on the head restraints. Standard are also the contoured leather steering wheel with contrasting red stitching and the carbon look finish dashboard surround and door panels, all complemented by specific matte grey inserts.

The sports characterisation is equally strong on the Giulietta and Giulietta Super versions. The first has grey and black fabric seats, a one-of-a-kind matte black dashboard, leather steering wheel and new black inserts on the tunnel and door pulls. Even bolder is the Super trim level with new Alfa Romeo trademark grey and black fabric "cannelloni" seats. Premium leather seats are available on both trim levels on demand.

New 1.6 JTDm 120 HP TCT engine

The 1.6 JTDm 120 HP debuting on New Giulietta is paired with Alfa TCT to combine the well-known, typical advantages of a turbo diesel engine with the comfort that only an automatic transmission can offer and the responsive shifting of a twin clutch, for top efficiency and driving pleasure.
Equipped in this way, the new car delivers excellent performance - top speed of 195 km/h, acceleration from 0 to 100km/h in 10.2 seconds - while being fuel-efficient and environment-friendly at the same time: 3.8 l/100 km and just 99 g/km of CO2 on the combined cycle with the ECO version.

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New addition to the second-generation MultiJet turbo diesel family, the 1.6 litre engine of New Giulietta delivers a top power of 120 HP at 3750 rpm and fits a small-size turbocharger capable of expressing top-in-class torque (320 Nm at 1750 rpm) for the best flexibility. A peculiarity of the 1.6 JTDm is certainly the third-generation Common Rail injection system which uses innovative injectors and balanced hydraulic servo valves to control very accurately the amount of fuel injected into the combustion chamber in a particularly quick and flexible injection sequence.

The Alfa TCT, now also with 1.6 JTDm 120 HP engine, can work in fully automatic or sequential mode. The up and down positions of the accurate and ergonomic gear stick are controlled manually by the driver. Shift paddles on the steering wheel can be chosen as an alternative. The Alfa DNA selector can also be used to select the dynamic performance of the car by operating on engine torque, brakes using the Pre-Fill function, TCT shifting logics, accelerator response, ESC control system, the Alfa Q2 electronic self-locking differential and the ASR traction control. The driver can activate three driving modes according to road conditions and driving style.

In brief, the engine line-up of New Giulietta now features four turbo petrol engines (1.4 Turbo Petrol 120 HP, 1.4 Turbo Multiair 150 HP, 1.4 Turbo Multiair 170 HP TCT and 1750 Turbo Petrol 240 HP TCT) and four turbo diesel engines: 1.6 JTDm 120 HP with manual transmission or TCT, 2.0 JTDm 150 HP and 2.0 JTDm 175 HP TCT. Finally, there is the bi-fuel (LPG and petrol) 1.4 TB 120 HP.

Uconnect system with the new LIVE services

The innovative Uconnect with 5" or 6.5" touchscreen is set proudly in the middle of the dashboard of New Giulietta. The multimedia device has Bluetooth connection for hands-free phone use and audio streaming, Aux-in connector, USB port, voice controls, SMS Reader and DAB device for listening to the radio with digital quality. Both the 6.5" and the 5" Uconnect systems are developed in collaboration with partners of excellence, such as Harman and Here Auto (the first) and Continental (the latter). Debuting on New Giulietta are the new UconnectTM LIVE services for staying connected while driving using a smartphone.

By downloading the free app from App Store of Google Play Store to a smartphone, Uconnect LIVE offers music streaming with Deezer and TuneIn, news with Reuters, connected navigation with TomTom LIVE and the opportunity to keep in touch with friends on Facebook Check-In and Twitter. Savings, eco-friendliness and control are also guaranteed everywhere with eco:Drive and my:Car.

Also debuting on New Giulietta is Alfa Performance, the exclusive service specifically created to enhance the driving experience. Using an array of digital gauges and instruments, drivers can control the main parameters of the car, measure their performance using special timers and see driving statistics on their smartphone, in addition to receiving real-time driving tips. The service is available on Uconnect 6.5" Radio Nav LIVE".

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Other features on the 6.5" Uconnect LIVE include satellite navigation function with 3D bird’s-eye view maps, sequential route instructions and One Step Voice Entry Destination.

Complete, rational line-up for easy choices

In Europe, the New Giulietta line-up features three trim levels (Giulietta, Giulietta Super and Giulietta Veloce), two new packs (Veloce and Lusso) and nine engine versions, including the new 1.6 JTDm 120 HP TCT turbo diesel, which will be particularly appreciated by business customers. The palette to choose from includes eleven body colours, comprising the new Alfa White and Lipari Grey, twelve different alloy rims (each size with one new pattern) and two more packs (Comfort and Visibility) to satisfy all customer needs.

The entry level Giulietta has a new front - with a new honeycomb grille and new bumper inserts - embellished by headlights with burnished treatment, satin handles and new oblique tailpipes. Inside, the new grey and black fabric seats with Alfa Romeo logo on the head restraints, new matte black dashboard insert with matte black finish and velvet mats. The refreshed style elements are accompanied by comprehensive standard equipment which includes leather steering wheel, climate control, 5" Uconnect with Uconnect Live services, Alfa DNA selector (with Q2 electronic differential and DST), innovative ESC (with ASR and Hill Holder), six airbags and front and rear electric windows. Giulietta customers can pick from the following engine line-up: 1.4 Turbo Petrol 120 HP, 1.4 Turbo Petrol 150 HP, 1.4 Turbo Petrol 170 HP TCT, 1.6 JTDm 120 HP with manual gearbox or TCT, 2.0 JTDm 150 HP and bi-fuel (LPG and petrol) 1.4 TB 120 HP.

Available on all engine versions (except for the 1750 Turbo Petrol 240 HP TCT), the Giulietta Super trim level adds an array of very interesting features to the entry level, such as two-zone automatic climate control, cruise control and front armrest. From the appearance point of view, it comes with 16" alloy rims, fog lights, chrome-plated details and the one-of-a-kind grey and black fabric seats with the Alfa Romeo logo on the head restraints. They can also choose to customise their New Giulietta Super further by picking the Lusso or Veloce packs to enhance the elegant or sports attitude of the car. The Lusso pack includes height-adjustable leather seats, front and rear armrests, aluminium kick plate and 6.5" Uconnect Radio Nav. The Veloce pack, instead, includes all the aesthetic contents of the Giulietta Veloce described below.

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Giulietta Veloce - the best expression of the sports character of New Giulietta - completes the line-up and is packed with standard equipment and specific elements for an even bolder look and technical-racing features for a no-compromise stance on the road. These include sports suspensions with specific set-up, side skirts, sports bumpers with exclusive red Alfa profile, 17’’ alloy rims, oversized Brembo brake system with red callipers and four master cylinders and oversized tailpipes. Other interesting features include the exclusive "Veloce" badge, tinted windows, headlights with carbon look treatment, glossy anthracite finish on mirror caps, handles, grille and fog light surrounds. On the inside, the sports vocation of the New Giulietta Veloce is reasserted by new leather and Alcantara seats with contrasting stitching and by the words "Alfa Romeo" written across the integrated head restraints, the aluminium pedals, the matte grey moulding, the contoured sports steering wheel with red stitching and the carbon look effect dashboard surrounds and door panels. As can be expected, this high-performance version of New Giulietta comes exclusively with the powerful 1750 Turbo Petrol with direct injection and aluminium crankcase which delivers 240 HP at 5750 rpm.

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