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Driven: Alfa Romeo GT 1.9 16v JTD M-Jet - on sale now

Alfa Romeo


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Much was promised when Alfa Romeo launched the new GT last year but not many would have predicted that the 1.9-litre MultiJet diesel version would make up the majority of sales.

Its success has been down to the combination of power and economy. With 225lb-ft of torque there’s no need to work the six-speed hard. At motorway speeds it will happily pull from top gear.

In the tight twisty stuff it’s a joy and the engine never needs to be revved hard.

Being front-wheel drive (it is based on the same platform as the 147 and the 156) there is some torque understeer, but it transfers well through the tyres, rather than struggling for grip.

Like the driving position, the handling is spot on and the sports suspension is tight enough to minimise body roll, but doesn’t make the ride uncomfortable, consequently the GT is great on long journeys.

There is a surprising amount of room inside, even in the back, while the boot is unfathomably large for such a compact coupe. In terms of practicality the Alfa has the edge over rivals like the BMW 3-series coupe, and can happily carry four adults.

And the interior is equally as impressive – it’s unmistakably Alfa, is well put together and has a good finish. The dash and centre console are uncluttered and despite the fairly cheap appearance of the stereo, it’s cabin has an upmarket feel to it with a satisfying absence of squeaks and rattles.

The glitches and faults, which have often dogged new Alfa’s in the past, appear not to be affecting the GT (so far) and for those wanting a practical coupe that stands out from the crowd (even now it is still a real head turner) the GT is a great choice.

Strengths: Great styling, sharp handling, comfortable
Weaknesses:Slightly cramped in the back
Opportunity: Good opportunity for fleet sales
Threat: Premium competition from the likes of BMW
The USP: Gorgeous looks with diesel economy

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The Germans. It’s a phrase that appears in consumer roadtests on the 159 regularly, with the BMW named most often.

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