The Alfa Romeo Giulietta was one of the surprise packages of this year’s tests. A small and stylish Italian hatchback isn’t the most obvious tow car, but the Giulietta actually tows very well.
Alfa’s 150bhp diesel engine deserves a lot of the credit. It delivers enough punch to pull car and caravan from 30-60mph in 13.1 seconds. The Alfa stops as well as it goes, needing just 10.3m to stop from 30mph on a dry track.
High-speed stability was right up with the best cars in the lightest weight class, with a secure and composed feel all the way to 70mph. In the lane-change test the stability control worked hard to keep the car pointing in the right direction, even with the van sliding dramatically behind it.
However, choosing the Alfa over its less glamorous rivals is a compromise. Rear-seat space is below average for a small hatchback, and the boot is small and has a high lip. You can fold the back seats for more luggage room but they don’t lie flat.
For such a well-equipped car the Alfa Romeo is competitively priced, and the official combined fuel economy figure of 67.3mpg promises low running costs. However, the Giulietta finished 108th out of 116 cars in the 2013 JD Power Customer Satisfaction Survey.