Alfa Romeo Giulietta (2014-2020)

Models Covered:

5dr Hatch (1.4, 1.75 petrol / 1.6 diesel, 2.0 diesel)


If you thought that all Focus-sized family hatchbacks built in the 21st century’s second decade were much of a muchness, Alfa Romeo's Giulietta is probably going to come as a breath of fresh air. After four years on sale, this car was updated in 2014, at which point it gained an upgraded 2.0-litre diesel engine, greater refinement, cleverer infotainment technology and a slightly smarter feel inside and out. These virtues were added to this Alfa’s existing attributes - distinctive styling, a strong range of engines and interior design a world away from the usual blandness - creating a car that might appeal to both head and heart. Here, we check out the 2014-2020-era versions of this model for the used market.

The History

So you need a family hatchback – but you don’t want a dull one. It’s time for something different this time around, something you can attach a bit of pride and passion to. Something like this perhaps, the post-2014-era version of Alfa Romeo’s Giulietta.

Here’s a model – and a brand – with as much heritage as you could want. The Giulietta name, after all, goes all the way back to the pretty two and four-door designs Alfa used to make in the mid-Fifties and was a badge revived in the late Seventies for the ‘Nuova Giulietta’, a chic sports saloon, before it was once again abandoned in favour of the various modern era family hatches that directly preceded this car. In the Eighties, we had the 33, succeeded in the Nineties by the 145 and 146 models before the turn of the century brought us the 147 range that set the scene for the re-introduction of the Giulietta name in 2010, this time designating a sporting family five-door hatch - the car we look at here.

By this time, global passion for the Alfa brand had cooled somewhat, for reasons now well documented: the excellence of the German competition, the slow turnover of models and the Milanese brand’s over-dependence on hardware borrowed from parent company Fiat. It was clear that if the company was to survive, then things would have to change, with more competitive, freshly designed products and cutting edge technology. All created without losing the spark that makes an Alfa what it is. Early signs with this Giulietta were good in that regard.

Sure enough, early sales of this model were certainly encouraging, the appeal of the Alfa brand matched with the efficiency of hi-tech MultiAir petrol and Multijet diesel engines installed beneath the bonnet and optionally mated to a clever dual clutch TCT paddleshift auto gearbox. By 2013 though, things were tailing off as buyers at the premium end of the family hatchback sector began to be tempted away by newer rivals from Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Alfa urgently needed to rejuvenate this car. Hence the 2014 model year update that created the version of this car that sold all the way through to the end of production in 2020.

What You Get

Let’s be honest. Even in its pricey premium segment, the family hatchback market isn’t overly endowed with pretty cars. This one was welcome then, taking the styling cues of its smaller MiTo stablemate and transferring them, rather successfully it has to be said, to a bigger five door-only design. The visual changes made to the post-2014-era revised version were slight: extra chrome on the front grille, revised front fog light bezels, smarter alloy wheels and a wider range of paint colours. But then, this wasn’t a design that needed much doing to it and as on the original version of this Giulietta design, there’s beautiful detailing almost everywhere you look.

And at the wheel? Well, if you owned the original 2010-2013-era version of this car, you’ll probably take a seat in this post-2014-era model and struggle to put your finger exactly on why it all feels slightly nicer. So let us help. We mentioned seats: well they were re-designed as part of the 2014 facelift to be more comfortable and enveloping, particularly in terms of upper-body lateral support. The sweeping dashboard’s was re-designed too.

What To Look For

Though quite a few owners in our survey seemed happy, there are certainly things that you’ll need to look for. If you like a quiet drive to work, this might not be the car for you: the squeaks you’ll commonly get on older models will mean you may have to drive with the radio on. Interior trim, particularly around the centre console area, can contribute to this by becoming loose and making a noise. Build quality can certainly be patchy. We’ve come across reports of the gear knob working loose. And certain cable protectors under the bonnet get worn away by the engine cover, too. Overall, you’d we wise to insist on a fully stamped-up service history.

On The Road

So is it a ‘proper Alfa’ to drive? With the kind of sound that enthusiasts would want any car from this charismatic Italian brand to have – that distinctive Alfa engine rasp? Whether you get that depends of course much on the powerplant you choose. Half the range was, after all, made up of Fiat Group JTDm-2 diesels - a 105bhp 1.6 plus a couple of 2.0-litre units - and no one ever expected aural excitement from one of those.

Choose the right petrol engine though and the units on offer are as sonorous as you can expect any modern engine to be. At entry-level, there was an aging 120bhp 1.4-litre TB unit, but all the emphasis – from Alfa and from people like us – rightly went into persuading potential buyers to shake the piggy bank a little further and stretch to the much higher-tech 170bhp 1.4-litre MultiAir unit from the little MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde hot hatch, a powerplant that suits this car perfectly. This is the petrol version of choice, but if it really isn’t quick enough for you, then you could also search for the rare 237bhp 1.75-litre turbo petrol Quadrifoglio Verde hot hatch model.


Alfa Romeo’s modern-era Giulietta proved to be a car that confounded many expectations. It was mature, cost-effective to run and featured strong safety credentials. When all's said and done, these are things that make this Italian contender much more a car you would actually buy, rather than a one you’d simply add to a future wish list. And for Alfa Romeo, that was a step forward.