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Car and Driver: Alfa Romeo Updates the Giulietta—But Is It Truly “Nuova”?

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Except for the much-delayed Giulia, there has been very little coming from Alfa Romeo in terms of new product—and the eight-car-plan put forth by Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne a while ago is wilting. So Alfa has to work with what they’ve got. Thus the brand has performed a mid-cycle facelift on the Giulietta, the European-market sister model of the Dodge Dart that was launched a full six years ago.

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The Giulietta is a decent performer but it fails to excel in any particular field, and this facelift is unlikely to change that.

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The engine lineup continues to comprise of three turbodiesels (a 1.6-liter with 118 horsepower and a 2.0-liter with 148 or 173 horsepower); four gasoline engines (a 1.4-liter with 118, 148, or 168 horsepower, and a 1.8-liter with 237 horsepower); and a bi-fuel version of the 1.4-liter that can run on either gasoline or LPG. The only thing that’s new here is the availability of a six-speed dual-clutch automatic on the least powerful diesel.

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Alfa Romeo has also changed the grille inserts, the tailpipe style, the bumper design, and some of the interior trim. The headlights are darker, and the logo has been updated. Lastly, there are the “extremely useful Live services on the Uconnect system” that can be ordered as an option. This, folks, is a truly mild facelift.

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Should we clamor for an arrival of the Giulietta on our shores, as Fiat-Chrysler had once planned? Probably not, although it could replace its sister model, the Dart, which has failed to excite the masses to the extent desired by its fathers. The little Dodge would hardly be missed, and the Giulietta—pardon us, the “New Giulietta”—would help Alfa get closer to the goal of 400,000 annual sales that Marchionne loudly proclaimed in the not-too-distant past.

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