variable-geometry turbocharger and variable-valve timing, and generates peak torque of 340Nm at just 1900rpm. It proved almost as frugal, but felt discernibly quicker than the 1.4 version. The latter has a claimed O-lOOkm/h time of 7.8sec, while the 1750 is said to cut a second off the run.

The other differences between models are that the Cloverleaf model gets firmer suspension, and its ride height is lowered by 10mm. On road, it is not quite as easygoing in the ride department but is still passable: on the flipside, it feels a harder charger. Both cars feature the second-generation DNA system, which we set to 'D' for Dynamic and left it like that all day. In Normal mode, it feels like the boost has been bypassed, while the Dynamic setting unleashes the beast within, and also firms up the steering. Both models also feature an electronic LSD, and stability and traction control. Common to the pair are dual-zone air conditioning, alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, auto wipers and lights, and Bluetooth telephony. The upper-tier model adds sports seats in leather, a Bose HiFi system with subwoofer, window tints and hot 18-inch alloys.

Ateco reckons over half its volume in 2011 will come from the Giulietta, and that would seem about right, based on the launch drive. We believe that this could be the most well-rounded offering Alfa has served up in decades. FC

The Stats

MODEL Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1750TBi PRICE $54,990 ENGINE 1742CC ,IL4, Dl, turbo, dual WT, [email protected], [email protected] TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive VITALS 6.8sec O-lOOkm/h, 7.6L/100km, 177g/km, 1320kg

f anyone doubts that Fiat's stewardship of Chrysler will have positive effects, they should step inside die new Jeep Grand Cherokee. Gone are die seats that felt like bean bags stolen from a student flat, and die controls are now placed widiin range of human not simian fingers. There's also an impression of quality and luxury. While die new Gee-Cee still won't sway die fashion designers amongst us from spending their money on a Range Rover, die Discovery 4 now has good reason to fear diis extensively upgraded American rival.

You'll find little bits of die Discovery all over die new leep. There's now fully independent suspension with air springs to adjust die ride height of die body; a similar monocoque construction, which stiffens die vehicle noticeably; liill descent control and an optional limited-slip rear differential

The Stats

MODEL Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 Limited PRICE $79,990 ENGINE 3604cc, V6, [email protected], [email protected] TRANSMISSION 5-speed auto, all-wheel drive VITALS 7.8sec O-lOOkm/h, 11.4L/100km, 265g/km, 2266kg for diose genuinely serious about taking their 80-grand vehicle off-road; and a ten-ain response system that optimises settings to the perceived driving conditions. When die Grand Cherokee's new 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel arrives later this year to complement the two petrol donks available now, die parallels between the two vehicles will almost be complete-with two notable exceptions: price and forward ratio count.

For the new Jeep Grand Cherokee range currently tops out at $86,990 for the 5.7-litre V8-powered Limited, still $5000 below the Discovery's $91,990 entry point, so you essentially get a jeep fully equipped for less than the most basic of the equivalent Landie models. It even comes packed with stuff like sat nav, a DVD system, self-dipping headlights and a rear-vision camera. Adjustable air suspension is standard oil all models, including the $79,990,3.6-litre, petrol V6 version of the Limited, which marks the cheapest model in the NZ line up (Aussie gets a stripped-out version called Laredo, which is priced against the popular Ford Territory). Expect to pay

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