Alfa Romeo Junior Veloce 2024 review | First Drive

A promising beginning which suggests that Alfa Romeo has not forgotten its roots…

09th July
Ben Miles


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Read a first drive of any Alfa Romeo at the moment and you’re likely to read something about it being the most important car in the company’s history. Stelvio? First SUV, most important car. Tonale? One of the biggest market sections covered, most important car ever. But this time, it might be the truth. The Alfa Romeo Junior is not only the first small Alfa since the Giulietta, but the first full EV that Alfa Romeo has ever produced. With a looming countdown before it becomes a fully electric company, which is still set for 2027, this is the most important step yet.

We like

  • Feels like an Alfa should
  • Manages to be comfortable as well
  • Looks better than its competitors

We don't like

  • Small rear space
  • Interior design a little uninspiring
  • Questionable brakes


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The Junior is a lot smaller than images of it seem to suggest, illustrated by the fact that the driver sits just 2.5cm higher up than someone driving the old Giulietta hatchback. So to call the Junior a crossover is a little bold.

It also functions as a cohesive design a lot better when you set eyes on it, rather than looking at artily shot press photos. The nose is undoubtedly higher and more bluff than something like a Giulietta, but carries some features from the stunning 33 Stradale – the feature lines in the bonnet. Sidelines are undeniably “boxy hatch” but are tempered by the final section, which tapers into a Kamm tail and are what Alfa Romeo say is a tribute to the TZ1 and TZ2 of the 1960s. 

That rear is the Junior’s most striking angle. Featuring an arced, full-width light bar that accentuates that cut off nature of the boot. But what also grew on me as I spent more time with the Junior was its new grille. At first, the triangular shield now being completely filled in looked odd. But in person it becomes a nice addition to the styling. It also serves a purpose. When all Alfa Romeos are fully electric there will be no need for a grille. So, there will need to be some kind of insert to include the classic deep vee on the front. Probably something just like this.

Overall, it’s a pleasing piece of design. Despite sharing an awful lot of its bits with cars like the Peugeot 2008 and Vauxhall Mokka, side-by-side the Junior would not look like just another part of the family. 

Performance and Handling

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The first caveat of this review is that the only version of the Junior that we’ve had the chance to drive is the top spec Veloce and in a pre-production form. The Veloce isn’t just a Junior Elettrica (the base model) with more power and a bit more kit. It has a brand new diff, new steering, and better suspension. This is the Alfa Romeo Junior for Alfa Romeo’s traditional fans.

The Alfa Romeo Junior Veloce is front-wheel-drive, with a 240PS (177kW) and up to 345Nm (254lb ft) depending on the mode in use. Perhaps more importantly, that power is sent through a brand new Torsen d-type limited slip differential, which Alfa Romeo says is the first time this has been used on a front-wheel-drive car and an EV. 

Underneath, the Junior Veloce gets a new knuckle for its steering, for better response, as well as torsion bar suspension at the rear with double hydraulic stop dampers. There’s also stiffer springs and anti roll bars and uprated shock absorbers for the top spec car. 

Altogether that means 0-62mph is completed in 5.9 seconds, and the Alfa Romeo Junior Veloce has a top speed of 200km/h (120mph). All of these things sound promising, and the total kerb weight of just over 1,500kg is another plus to the column. That might sound significant for what is effectively a warm hatch, but it’s the lowest in class, and over 100kg lighter than its 2008 cousin. 

But, does what sound good on paper add up to an Alfa Romeo? Well, this is not quite a finished car, and some details feel like they need a final tweak. But even with those changes this is still a car with which Alfa Romeo fans can be happy. 

The power delivery from that electric motor is fine; it’s not the most urgent of EVs, but it still has a decent amount of punch. You do feel like the Junior could handle a little more power if there’s enough call for a Quadrifoglio, but in the mid range it can properly shift. To put it in perspective, the 0-62mph time is the same as the latest Golf GTI.

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But the best thing about the Alfa Romeo Junior is the way it handles on a good road. The new limited slip differential is an excellent addition to what is overall a great chassis. It’s not overly aggressive, but just allows you to shape corners on the throttle. You can send the nose of the Junior into a corner, perhaps with a little brake to dig it in, and then pull the Junior through with power. The product people at Alfa Romeo were very keen to say this was supposed to be a car that you could drive on the throttle, and they weren't wrong.

That diff is backed up by a good steering set up. The Junior’s wheel isn’t the quickest in reactions, but communicates nicely. That balances out the sharp responses of the diff so that you don’t ever find yourself tugged from side to side by an over-powered front-wheel-drive car. The rear will float when needed too, as well, although at times it did feel like it needs a final bit of tuning. There are moments when you are mid corner that the Junior can feel a tiny bit unstable off throttle, perhaps just a tiny bit too little stiffness on the rear dampers. But overall, it feels nimble and enjoyable to chuck around the famous Balocco test track near Milan. The Junior is lively on the brakes and feels happy to move through the turns.

Calm things down, switch back into the standard setting, with a slightly slower throttle response and a little more regen, and the Junior becomes a comfortable family car. The initial ride feels a little bit firm at times, but this is dealt with excellently by the secondary ride meaning the overall experience, even on Alfa Romeo’s most rutted test roads, is pleasant.

Perhaps the only downside we found was the brakes. This is at its best when the car is in its full dynamic mode; at this point the regen element is dialled away from the brake pedal, leaving just you and some proper steel to do the slowing. But, in other modes it feels sponge-y and less than reassuring. This isn’t the only Stellantis product to suffer from this problem, and it’s an issue you can easily drive around. But it’s not really a comfortable feeling to spend your time pushing your foot through the bulkhead just to avoid the car in front.


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The interior design of the Alfa Romeo Junior is dark, but pleasant. There are elements that you will recognise from other Stellantis products, like the screen and its surround which look very similar to those on certain DS cars, but it has been given enough Alfa-ey touches to make that feel OK.

For example, the instrument binnacle may be totally digital now, but it still has Alfa Romeo’s traditional circular settings jutting toward the wheel. The door car design is simple, with nice amounts of Alcantara and red stitching for the Veloce, while the centre console feels uncluttered while retaining a good amount of physical functions away from the screen. 

I like the integration of the dash, with the flat top shading everything below, but perhaps it might feel a little bit under-designed should you have just spent time in the Tonale – a car which I feel integrates its screen and the rest of the dash in a nicer fashion.

Rear room isn’t massive, and could be positively cramped if you are over six foot tall, while boot space is a decent 400 litres with the seats up. That number is unhindered by the need to store charging cables, as Alfa has included a space for this under the bonnet. Simple, but quite handy.

Technology and Features

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As standard the Junior comes with LED lights, rain sensing wipers, parking sensors, the 10.25-inch instrument cluster and 10.25-inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, adaptive cruise control, active lane assist, keyless go, and a heat pump. That is the base car, in Elettrica trim, which will cost from £33,895.

Upgrading past the Speciale (£35,695) to the Veloce we drove adds the lower suspension, diff, extra power, larger 20-inch alloy wheels, 180-degree camera, electric boot, torsen diff, and more. That will set you back £42,295.

The kit is all good, but I did find the screen a little difficult to use at times. It’s simple, and very much a settled version of Stellantis’ software. But getting back to the home page after doing anything felt like a mission, the kind of work that would lead you to abandoning what you wanted to do if driving. This is, of course, mostly overcome with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.


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It is the Junior Elettrica that would be the most important to Alfa Romeo’s long running success. But, if the company is right when it says that all cars begin with the design of the top car, and the qualities trickle down, then the Veloce is a promising beginning.

An electric Alfa Romeo, especially one that is a c-segment crossover, is a recipe for un-excitement from the traditional Alfisti. But our first drive of the Junior Veloce suggests that Alfa Romeo has not forgotten its roots. It also poses perhaps one annoying question: if the Stelvio is excellent, and the Junior feels on point, why was the Tonale so mediocre?

But, the Tonale is a different car. The Junior is a showcase that we shouldn’t be so fearful of the future. They might have to make EVs, but they will still be proper Alfa Romeos. For £42,000 it is a significant price, but for that you are getting a car that is far more than just a badge-engineered Peugeot – it is a properly enjoyable car to drive. 



Single electric motor


281PS (207kW)


345Nm (254ft lb) 


Single-speed, front-wheel drive

Kerb weight



5.9 seconds

Top speed

124 mph




207 miles


£33,895 before options