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Used Alfa Romeo GT

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Used Alfa Romeo GT

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Is the Alfa Romeo GT a good car?

Read our expert review

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Words by: Mark Nichol

"It’s almost impossible to avoid calling ANY new Alfa Romeo “the most important car in the company’s history.” That tends to happen when a brand with such historical cachet and near-unanimous affection doesn’t actually sell that many cars. As the company’s first all-electric car – and a small-ish electric SUV, at that – the Junior really should do decent numbers for Alfa Romeo, though. It’s a super trendy car in a super trendy segment. If THIS doesn’t sell, what on earth does Alfa need to do? Thankfully the Junior is very good. The caveat here is that so far we’ve only driven a top-spec, highest-powered Veloce version. It’s significantly enhanced compared to the basic models that most people will probably buy; there’s definitely the possibility that more ‘ordinary’ Alfa Juniors will feel more… well, ordinary. Much closer to the Stellantis small SUVs that the Junior shares most of its parts with: the Vauxhall Mokka-e, Fiat 600e, and Jeep Avenger, to name a few. Still, there’s plenty to suggest that, however much you spend on your Junior, you’ll be getting one of the very best small electric crossover-SUVs on the market."

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Running costs for a Alfa Romeo Junior

4/5

It’s hard to argue with a base price that’s about on par with all the similar Stellantis products, and for a car that feels significantly more ‘premium’. (An abstract concept, true, but Alfa Romeo won our customer-voted Most Loved Brand award recently.) It undercuts the BMW iX1 by a whopping £12,000, and even the Hyundai Kona Electric by a grand or so. For a family-sized electric car with added Italian embellishment, this feels like excellent value. We can’t confidently comment on battery efficiency as it stands, having driven a Veloce-spec car only, and exclusively around a track – albeit on Alfa’s Balocco test track, including various ‘real life’ surfaces, and at (mostly) normal speed. But it is very lightweight for a family-sized electric SUV – the heaviest version is 1590kg on the scales, which for topical context is about a tonne lighter than the latest BMW M5. Alfa quotes a 250-mile range for the basic models from a 52kWh battery.

Reliability of a Alfa Romeo Junior

4/5

At the risk of banging on about this, the Junior shares the same chassis, battery, running gear and basic electrics with plenty of Stellantis electric cars. They’re all proving broadly reliable. So, unless Alfa Romeo has made the Junior’s specific parts – the electric motor, suspension, steering system and interior trim – out of cheese, reliability shouldn’t be an issue. We can confirm that no cheese was used in the making of the Alfa Romeo Junior. Apart from the bit in the press pack that says the car “redefines the canons of beauty.” In fact, the Alfa Romeo brand took top spot in the JD Power reliability survey in 2023. Times really have changed.

Safety for a Alfa Romeo Junior

4/5

Euro NCAP hasn’t crash-tested the Junior yet, but if it doesn’t get at least four stars we’ll be amazed; the last Alfa Romeo to be crash-tested, the Tonale SUV, received a five-star score. From the base model, the Junior comes with adaptive cruise control, emergency automatic braking, multiple airbags, and lane-keeping assistant – a positively lazy lane-keeping assistant, at that. Which is good, because while it will alert you if you’re drifting out of lane, it will not bounce the between lane markings like some of these things do. It's worth pointing out that the Junior has one of the less intuitive infotainment screens on the market, though – the sort of setup that has you taking your eyes off the road a little too long to do something simple. Something like finding the home menu, to find the radio menu, to find the radio station you’re looking for.

How comfortable is the Alfa Romeo Junior

4/5

Again, the following is based on driving the top-spec Veloce version, which has a number of mechanical tweaks to separate it from the regular stuff. We’ll come to the changes later, but they all affect day-to-day comfort, and the Veloce model, at least, does feel closer to a hot hatch than it does a floaty family SUV. That said, the equilibrium feels spot on. In Veloce spec, the Junior manages to balance decent comfort and a visibility-friendly driving position with a real sense of being connected to the road. In typical Alfa style, the driving position is a little lower, a little more hunkered down, than the average SUV’s. The steering is that bit sharper and heftier. And the body lean around corners is that bit more controlled. Combine that with a responsive electric motor and strong brakes, and you’ve got a car that, in short, is proper good fun to drive. There aren’t many electric family SUVs you can say that about. Alfa says that the lesser models are more comfort-biased, which means they’ll have a little more give in the suspension, smaller wheels, lighter steering and flatter seats – the Veloce’s sports seats are more huggy than a long-lost relative. Regardless of spec, though, rear space is decent – good for two adults, although the middle rear chair is tight – and the 400-litre boot is generous. While feeling quite compact on the road, you could use a Junior as your main family wheels.

Features of the Alfa Romeo Junior

3/5

Three versions to choose from: a base model, a Speciale and the Veloce. In true ‘premium car’ style, you can spend thousands on packs that add various tech, styling and comfort features – including £216 on a charging cable storage box under the bonnet. That feels a bit stingy, to be honest. Similarly, although the base Junior is reasonably well specified on paper – 18-inch alloys, twin 10-inch display screens, adaptive cruise control, climate control, and rear parking sensors – you'll have to spend more money on options to make it feel a bit more sparkly. You’ll need the £2,200 Technology Pack for navigation, keyless entry, better LED headlamps, wireless phone charging, a reversing camera, and a couple of extra stereo speakers. A stereo with just four speakers is standard. Inexcusable. So, we’d probably skip a basic Junior and go for a Speciale…unless you want the Very Most Alfa Romeo Style experience, which is the Veloce. And while the Junior does have a sense of heft from behind the wheel, owing to the driver-focussed cabin design (the screen is angled towards the driver) and a driving position that cocoons you in – in a good way – there is some obvious cost-cutting within arm’s reach. Most of the dashboard plastic isn’t very touchy-feely (if that sort of thing bothers you). And although the cowl over the instrument screen is designed to look like it covers twin dials (very Alfa Romeo), the oblong instrument screen itself doesn’t follow its curves. It looks a bit aftermarket. (Again, if that sort of thing bothers you.)

Power for a Alfa Romeo Junior

4/5

Power choice for a Junior is more than deciding whether you want a bit more range or a slightly quicker 0-62mph time. As standard, the Junior’s electric motor has 156 horsepower and a 52kWh battery, good for a 250-mile quoted range. That’s the case with the Speciale version too, but the Veloce is a much more focussed car, with more of Alfa Romeo’s DNA built into it, including a brand-new 280-horsepower electric motor that you won’t find in any other Stellantis EV… for now, at least. It has unique sports suspension, a steering rack tuned for more road feel, wider tyres, 20-inch wheels, more powerful brakes, and the sort of mechanical limited-slip differential usually reserved for high-end performance cars – and which has a tangible effect on cornering grip, and the sharpness with which it changes direction. With this setup, the Junior is genuinely engaging to drive. It doesn’t feel as flat-out quick as you might expect – the accelerator response is progressive rather than having the instant ‘snap’ that most quick EVs have – but all-in-all, it’s a sharp, balanced and fun thing to drive. Almost certainly the most entertaining fat hatchback to drive this side of a Porsche Macan. You’ll struggle to get 200 miles from its battery, though.

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