Alfa Romeo Giulia – The return of a true Alfa
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is a stunning new rival to the traditional premium compact saloon car. The majority of those currently on the market, are from the German manufacturers. The Giulia looks excellent from all angles and will certainly grab more attention in a company carpark than many others. The Giulia is built on an all-new rear-wheel-drive platform which helps to optimise weight distribution.
The Alfa Giulia is the follow up to the not so impressive Alfa 159, and it certainly hits all the right notes. Gone is the front-wheel-drive system and back comes the traditional (and favoured) rear-wheel drive. There are five trim levels to choose from; Super, Nero Edizione, Speciale, Veloce and Veloce TI. The higher up the trim level you go, the more aggressive the looks and stance of the Alfa Giulia become.
Alfa has also made a high powered performance version, named the Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio. It is powered by a 2.9-litre, Bi-Turbo V6 engine developing 510hp and will hit 0-62mph in just 3.9secs. Alfa is putting it up against the likes of the BMW M3 or Mercedes AMG C63 S. On paper, it should be capable of ruffling a few feathers.
I will be concentrating on the standard, compact, executive saloon model. It is sure to become one of the more popular Alfa’s of recent years and will also take some sales back from the German-dominated market. The Giulia features the latest weight-saving technologies by the Italian firm, such as the wings, doors, engines and most of the brakes and suspension, all made of aluminium and the drive shaft made of carbon fibre.
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Engines, Power and Performance
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is available with a choice of diesel and petrol engines. Firstly there is an all-new longitudinal 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine. This helps to reduce weight as the engine block is made of aluminium. The diesel engine comes with two power outputs, 160hp or 190hp with both offering great performance and fuel economy figures. The 160hp diesel choice generates 450Nm of torque and will hit 0-62mph in 8.2secs and reach a top speed of 137mph. The more powerful 190hp generates the same 450Nm of torque but will hit 0-62mph in 7.1secs and climb to a top speed of 143mph. Both engines are efficient and return WLTP combined mpg figures of 53.3 and 52.3, respectively.
There is a 2-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which will develop 200hp or 280hp (only available in the higher-spec Veloce and Veloce TI models). The 200hp version develops 330Nm of torque, will reach 0-62mph in just 6.6 secs and hit a top speed of 146mph. Opt for the more powerful 280hp version, and the torque increases to 400Nm, the top speed increases to 149mph and the sprint from 0-62mph drops to 5.7secs. These powerful petrol engines are not as frugal as the diesel version and are said to return WLTP combined mpg figure of 36.2 and 33.6.
The petrol and diesel engines are both coupled with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, which is smooth and responsive. There are also a pair of shift paddles attached to the steering column, allowing you to take manual control when you want to have a little more fun.
Interior, Quality and Technology
The interior of the Alfa Giulia is stylish and well thought out, with all buttons and dials located in great positions to be in easy reach of the driver. The interior is vastly improved from when production first began. Now there are more soft-touch plastics and high-quality materials throughout. The interior does not feel quite as well made as its German rivals like the BMW 3 Series or Audi A4. Perhaps not quite the same levels of premium materials, but it is still a top-quality interior, better than most.
Every Giulia features the latest Alfa Connect infotainment system, with an 8.8-inch colour screen. It can be controlled via voice command, a new intuitive rotary controller or controls on the steering wheel. There is also a 7-inch TFT colour display screen placed centrally between the analogue speedometer and rev counter. Each Giulia gets a host of standard features including; 3D Sat-Nav, Bluetooth and smartphone mirroring with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with cruise control and rear parking sensors.
There are various styling packs and optional extras available like; the upgraded Harmon Kardon sound system, Luxury Pack or Sport Pack and Performance Pack to list just a few.
Space, Practicality and Safety
The Alfa Giulia is a fairy spacious saloon, especially in the front, where there is room for occupants well over 6ft. The seats are manually adjustable, as is the steering wheel, so finding a comfortable position is easy.
In the back, again, there is a decent amount of headroom and legroom suitable to suit most passengers. The Giulia is better suited for four passengers (2+2) rather than five, due to the large central transmission tunnel the middle seat. It is only really suitable for adults taking short journeys. It is better suited to a small child who doesn’t need much legroom and foot space. The boot is of good size, coming in at 480-litres, the same as the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. It will easily fit a families holiday luggage.
The Alfa scored an impressive 5-star rating at the Euro NCAP safety tests, thanks to a variety of standard safety features and assists. Some of the standard assists include; Lane Departure Warning (LDW), multiple airbags, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and headlight adjustment. As you move up the trim levels, there are more safety features included as standard, plus optional packages allowing you to get the level of safety to suit.
Overall the Alfa Romeo Giulia is a great car, with striking looks, which certainly appeal. There is a good selection of trim levels and engine choices to suit everyone. You will undoubtedly get more attention and questions from your friend at work if you turn up in one of these. Perhaps with a hint of jealousy. If you have never owned an Alfa, then this should be the one for you.