Alfa Romeo Giulia review


What is?

The first Alpha you’ve wanted to buy in a long time. The Giulia is the Italian brand’s answer to the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and Jaguar XE: a mid-size sedan with an all-new rear-wheel drive platform (also underpinning the new Stelvio SUV) in the that Alfa (or parent company FCA) has invested billions in a quest to grow Alfa from 75,000 sales a year to 400,000 in three years. That… didn’t happen. But that’s certainly not because the Giulia is a poor team. To drive, it’s actually one of the best normal cars money can buy.

Like its rivals, there is an engine in every flavor and for every occasion. In total, there are two petrol engines, two diesels and one high-performance model: the 503 hp Quadrifoglio V6 biturbo. This one is pretty special. As far as specs go, you’ve got Super, Speciale, Veloce and this gut-wrenching Quadrifoglio with prices ranging from just under £35,000 to £70,000 for a fully equipped super saloon.

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For that money you get quite a bit of technology, especially in the Quadrifoglio. Torque vectoring and some kind of new braking system that uses a traditional servo in conjunction with stability control to apparently improve responses. All cars get normal collision warning, pedestrian detection, and whatever autonomous braking kit you might need.

Dynamically, Alpha knocked it out of the park on his first try. Regardless of specification, the Giulia has the inherent feel of a proper driver’s car. The seating position is excellent, the steering is incredibly quick (making it agile, almost like it has rear-wheel steering), and it has excellent balance and a more playful edge than its competition.

It looks good too. The aggressiveness increases as you go up the range, but there’s a nice, neat, highly animated face to each of them, while the side shapes are simple and organic. Unsurprisingly, the Quadrifoglio is an angry beast, but even in lower versions the Giulia sits fantastically well on its wheels. She is an Alpha after all.

It is also quite light. The doors, fenders, engines, and end caps for the suspension and brake systems are all aluminum, and the driveshaft is carbon fiber. The fastest goes one step further, with carbon hood, carbon roof, carbon spoilers and splitters and ceramic discs. Weight distribution for all versions is 50/50 (this is rear-wheel drive, remember). Alfa also seems particularly proud of the Giulia’s suspension and steering setup, with double wishbones at the front and a four-link layout at the rear that help it drive incredibly well. Much better than you’d expect from a car with such a short gestation period, that’s for sure.

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Looking at the Quadrifoglio’s cabin materials is confusing because there are some wonderful elements: the big metal paddles on the steering column that move wonderfully solidly, the exposed carbon trim (on the tall model range), and the fancy stitching. Contrasting green and white. . But then there are the basic, uninteresting, and a bit shoddy parts; the heater controls, the column levers, and the way the seat belt touches the B-pillar if there is no passenger sitting next to the driver.

Interested in how this car looks over a longer period of time? Read our long-term review by clicking on these blue words.

Our choice of the range.

Alfa Romeo
2.0 TB 280 Veloce 4 automatic doors

What’s the verdict?

The small sedan to buy if you’re tired of seeing BMWs and Audis everywhere like we are.

The Giulia, regardless of engine, is a very attractive and capable little sport sedan from Alfa. He is the first convincing rival of the Alfa Germans for more than a decade. It has real character and dynamism that makes car guys smile. Yes, there are some Italian idiosyncrasies, and it’ll cost more per month than the usual German suspects, but it’s an Alfa, so what did you expect? Such is the price of swimming against the tide.

If you’re looking for a left-field option for normal Mercs, Bee Ems, and Audis, there’s finally something really tempting. And with interior updates for 2020, it’s now a little easier on your heart to convince your head to sign on the dotted line.

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