Reviewed for you: Alfa Romeo Giulia
When the Alfa Romeo Giulia arrived Down Under in 2017, it was viewed as a return to form for Alfa. Here was a good-looking, driver-oriented sedan. And while passenger cars have lost some lustre to SUVs, the Giulia is a vehicle you buy with the heart as much as with the head.
What’s the price and what do you get?
The model-year 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia arrived earlier this year and has had features and active safety added across its four-variant line-up. The four models are Giulia, Super, Veloce and the range-topping Quadrifoglio. The Giulia Super, which was the only variant in the range to be offered with a diesel engine, is now petrol only for an all-petrol line-up.
Starting with the Giulia ($60,900+ORCs), there’s now Apple and Android connectivity, blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert. The Giulia Super ($65,900+ORCs) adds Bi-Xenon headlights with Adaptive Front Lighting System and Auto High Beam, and heated rear seats. The Giulia Veloce ($72,900+ORCs) adds heated, eight-way power-adjustable front seats and heated rear seats. The Quadrifoglio ($145,900) also gets heated rear seats and room for three across the back (previously it was a two-seater rear seat set-up), and a leather Alcantara steering wheel with carbon-fibre insert.
What’s the interior like?
The Giulia is a good-looking machine with enough Alfa cues to satisfy the fans (Anyone spot the hints of 1950s Giulietta Sprint?) and the sort of clean lines that will catch the eye of new buyers.
The interior/dashboard is all focused on the driver with the dash tilted slightly towards the right-hand side of the car. It makes for a very comfortable driving position, in that all the controls are aimed at the driver and within easy reach. The materials used are all soft touch and of decent quality with the Giulia’s interior on-par with others in the segment.
What’s the passenger space like?
Get behind the wheel, and the Giulia feels like a sporting sedan. The driving position is low-slung but comfortable with the seat hugging you just enough and in all the right place. With the door open, you drop down into the seats, although there’s plenty of adjustment, both up and down, forwards and backwards. The steering wheel feels great in the hands, and there’s good vision all around the car.
Climb into the back and the door openings aren’t huge, so taller passengers will need to duck. But once inside there’s decent elbow, shoulder and legroom with good wriggle room for your feet. For me, there was enough head space but the sloping roofline means taller passengers might feel a little too closed in.
What’s the boot like?
The boot offers 480-litres which matches, give or take a litre or two, the likes of the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series but the shape is not consistent so the boot isn’t quite as practical, if you’re carrying large square things, as key rivals. What marks it ahead of its rivals is the fact it offers, as standard, a 40:20:40 split-fold rear seat.
What’s under the bonnet?
While the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV is on another planet from the regular models, there’s no denying the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine which makes 147kW of power and 330Nm of torque is both refined and urgent. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic and this is easily the best-tuned eight-speed automatic transmission on the planet. It means that there’s never a time when the engine will be caught napping; squeeze the throttle and the Giulia will surge ahead.
What’s it like on the road?
While some Giulia variants get adaptive dampers, the standard suspension set-up is excellent blending comfort with absolute body control and driver connection. The more you push the Giulia, the more it gives back and the suspension does an excellent job of dialing out the worst of the road without taking away from its sporting control. This is a driver’s car. Even the light, direct steering is perfectly suited to the front-end bite when tucking into corners. The mid-corner balance is excellent and there’s bucket loads of grip with an engine and transmission that are in perfect harmony, working with the driver to make the Giulia the most enjoyable car in its class.
What about safety?
All Giulia variants also get the brands complete active safety suite, with forward collision warning (FCW) with autonomous emergency brake (AEB) and pedestrian recognition – it can stop the car completely at speeds up to 65km/h, Integrated Brake System (IBS), and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). The Guilia Super gets blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-path function and can detect obstacles at up to 60 metres.
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