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New Alfa Romeo Junior: price, specs and release date

Alfa Romeo desperately needs this new baby SUV, which shares a lot with the Jeep Avenger and Fiat 600e.

Originally it was given a quintessentially Italian name – Milano – but, because it's built in Poland, the Italian government decided it was illegal to name it Milano. You have to call it a sparkling crossover instead. Best not to mention the Hyundai Tucson, Ferrari California or countless other cars named after places.

So welcome, instead, to the Alfa Romeo Junior – a name which harks back to the 1966 GT 1300 Junior. Fortunately, the styling hasn't been diluted in the name change. It's not a wallflower, that's for sure. But, when the Junior has so many talented rivals – such as the Peugeot 2008, Ford Puma and Renault Captur to name just three – it needs to do everything right.

Alfa Romeo Junior front end

Sticking with the Renault Captur, the Junior looks a bit like the Renault, with C-shaped laser-thin headlights – likely to be all-LED as standard. There’s a new interpretation of Alfa’s shield grille, which is blanked off and features a design that includes part of the brand’s logo. With the number plate underneath, not tacked on the side.

Around the back, the Junior gets a new rear light cluster inspired by the larger Tonale SUV. While much of the side profile looks to be shared with the Jeep Avenger, the Alfa should look the part with exclusive alloy wheels and colour schemes.

Alfa Romeo Junior in teal – rear

Two electric options are available, and both Junior Elettrica versions get a 54kWh battery – and perks such as wallbox installation and a Free2Move charging card that works with 600,000 European chargers. The standard Elettrica has 156hp and a 0-62mph time of around nine seconds but the Junior Elettrica Veloce comes with a punchier 240hp electric motor.

We’d expect a 0-62mph time of six-to-seven seconds for the Elettrica Veloce, which also gets a host of performance upgrades including faster steering, a mechanical limited-slip differential and uprated brakes. Expect a slight drop in range from the extra performance and the larger 20-inch alloy wheels.

Alternatively, there’s a 1.2-litre petrol engine called the Ibrida. This uses the latest-generation hybrid-petrol setup that we’ve seen in various recent Peugeot, Citroen and Vauxhall models – which are also part of the Stellantis brand empire. That’s means the Junior Ibrida offers 136hp and extra power from its electric motor, plus a small battery pack. We’re told that the Ibrida can run on electric power for up to half of journeys around town.

Alfa Romeo Junior interior

Three trim levels are available, whether you go for petrol or electric. Entry-level Techno trim certainly lives up to its name, with Matrix LED headlights, an automatically opening boot and gesture control for the built-in sat nav. Premium adds a massaging driver’s seat, among other things, and Sport gets the, er, sportiness we’ve come to expect in modern cars – sports seats, suede upholstery and a slightly racier style. There’s also an even more generously equipped Speciale launch-edition model.

All get a pair of 10.25-inch screens, shrouded in a cabin design that echoes previous Alfa Romeo models and even modern Audis. Some of the switchgear is shared with other Stellantis small SUVs, as you might expect. There’ll be space for four adults and, behind them, a 400-litre boot that’s competitive with rivals – the Junior has style and substance.

Alfa Romeo Junior boot

Orders open in early summer, with the first deliveries likely to take place in the autumn. Alfa hasn’t revealed prices yet, but expect the electric versions to start from around £35,000. Entry-level petrol versions could kick off from around £27,000.

Arrive in style in an Alfa Romeo from Motorpoint

Read our Alfa Romeo Giulia review or browse our enticing selection of used Alfa Romeo cars for sale, all with low mileage and warranty cover included.