Alfa Romeo Giulietta review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
A cramped interior and awkward driving position are the price you pay for that swoopy styling
Interior space wasn't the highest priority when the Alfa Romeo Giulietta was designed, and it shows. Alfas are built for style, not practicality.
Visibility out of the back is poor because of the tiny rear window and thick Golf-like C pillars. The limited rear view makes parking problematic, although higher spec cars are helped with standard-fit parking sensors. The stylised writing on the sporting dials can also be hard to read at a glance.
The pedals are positioned a little too close together and there's no space to rest your left foot, while the steering wheel is also too far away, resulting in a less than perfect driving position.
Also, the dashboard layout is muddled and can be difficult to use while on the move – plus the optional sat-nav unit is small and some times hard to read. Storage space is at a premium too, as there's a tiny compartment in the central armrest and only an average-size glove compartment.
The Giulietta gives a little away in terms of length and width to rivals like the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra. It’s 4,351mm long and 1,798mm wide so its dimensions are closer to premium brand alternatives like the Audi A3 and Mercedes A-Class which tend to focus less on practicality.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
Despite the Giulietta’s five-door layout there's a surprising lack of passenger space and legroom is tight. Rear passengers may also have an uncomfortable time thanks to the reduced headroom that’s a result of the coupe-like styling and swooping roofline. Kids will be OK, as there are Isofix mounting points to accommodate their chairs, and access to the rear bench via the rear doors is good.
Matters don’t improve in the front for adults, unfortunately, because as well as the awkward driving position there’s a cramped feeling cabin.
You get 350 litres of boot space in the Giulietta which isn't great. There’s also a high load lip that makes putting heavy or bulky items in the luggage bay pretty difficult. Even if you fold down the standard-fit 60:40 split-folding back seats, the boot doesn’t expand that much and the space isn’t that practical. You do get a space-saver spare wheel on all trim levels though, which is better than a can of gunk.
In this review
- 1Alfa Romeo Giulietta reviewThe Alfa Romeo Giulietta is one of the prettiest hatchbacks around. It’s fun to drive too but quality and practicality issues let it down
- 2Engines, performance and drive‘DNA Switch’ features ill-judged drive modes, and the ride is compromised for UK roads
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsDiesel and petrol models offer good efficiency, and depreciation isn’t too bad either
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Giulietta’s sexy exterior styling is only slightly marred by less than class-leading interior quality
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingA cramped interior and awkward driving position are the price you pay for that swoopy styling
- 6Reliability and SafetyOwners we asked aren’t enthused by the Giulietta’s build quality or reliability, but safety is well covered