Alfa Romeo Giulietta

24 Feb, 2012 12:13pm Michael Taylor

New twin-clutch box for the Giulietta boosts speed and efficiency


The new TCT twin-clutch gearbox is fast, jolt-free and easy to use. It’s great around town and helps increase the car’s fuel economy, too. As a £1,350 optional extra, the TCT box is worth considering. But while the Giulietta is stylish inside and out, it lacks the quality finish and polished driving experience of its rivals.
You can now order Alfa’s twin-clutch TCT gearbox on the Giulietta. But is it any good?

The auto box is available with 1.4-litre turbo petrol or 2.0-litre diesel engines – both of which produce 170bhp. It has been reworked since it launched in the MiTo last year, and claims to improve the Giulietta’s speed, refinement and economy. We tried the diesel to see how it affects the driving experience.

Put the gearlever in Drive mode, and the transmission does an excellent impression of a full automatic – holding on to gears at high revs and downshifting smoothly under braking.

Take control yourself with the wheel-mounted paddles and it shifts quickly and crisply. Alfa has engineered in auto-style ‘creep’ from a standing start to wipe out the jerkiness usually associated with twin-clutch boxes under light acceleration. Plus, it weighs around 13kg less than a traditional six-speed auto.

The TCT is pre-engineered for stop-start, and this helps the 2.0-litre JTDm diesel achieve a combined fuel economy figure of 62.8mpg. The petrol model is faster from 0-62mph, but in-gear acceleration is noticeably stronger in the diesel, and the lower running costs are difficult to ignore.

Sadly, the rest of the Giulietta package fails to match the class leaders in any area.

Key specs

* Price: £24,800
* Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl, 170bhp
* Transmission: Six-speed twin-clutch auto, front-wheel drive
* 0-62/top speed: 7.9 seconds/135mph
* Economy/CO2: 62.8mpg/119g/km
* Equipment: Stop-start, DNA switch, air-con, steering wheel paddles
* On sale Now