Wednesday – TB Or Not TB

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Alfa Romeo might not thank me for saying so but secondhand Giulietta‘s look like great value to me. I would have opted for diesel every time if I was buying – until I tried out this white 1.4 TB petrol.

I’ve driven the Volkswagen Golf with a 1.4 TSI and despite being quick, it just doesn’t pack the excitement you want from a relatively small, high performance engine.

The difference is that DNA switch by the gearstick. In ‘Normal’ mode the Alfa is  Golf-like. Push the lever forward to ‘Dynamic’ and the Giulietta surges forward with an instant, unmistakable rush.

I honestly thought it was a gimmick when the car arrived. Then I realised it’s what sets the Alfa apart. Perhaps the only question is, why isn’t DNA active all the time?

The fuel gauge is almost on red now. We’ve been averaging 39mpg most of the week. Final thoughts on this great car tomorrow.

 

 

Saturday – White Riot

cropped-alfa1.jpgThe White Lion at Aldeburgh is right on the beach. It’s painted white, the same as our Giulietta and, just like the Alfa, is rather well equipped inside.

I spent breakfast this morning staring out of the dining room window at the sea. Or to be honest, rather longingly at the Giulietta which had just whisked me here from the West Country.

The 150-mile journey is one of my least favourite – tortuous might be a better description. What the Alfa did last night more than any other car was take me back to my teenage years, when my 1971 Alfa GT Junior was the vehicle parked outside the family home.

The Giulietta is a throughly modern Alfa Romeo but there’s still more than a trace of ‘old school’ Alfa DNA about it. The ribbed leather seats, the speedometer dials labelled in Italian and the timeless Alfa grille, to name but a few.

The 1.4-litre TB engine is a revelation too – how did they squeeze so much performance out of such a modest unit? No wonder it was New Engine of the Year in 2012.

I’ve never liked white cars but like the drive to the White Lion last night, because of the Giulietta, I’m warming to them all the time.