At the NI launch of the Alfa Romeo Giulia I recall Donnelly Group sales manager Drew McVeigh say “The Giulia is a true sports saloon with rear-wheel-drive and sports tuning through its DNA, it lives up to the motto of LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO DRIVE BORING CARS”.
Soon after this comment at the preview of this new model from Italy I was fortunate to get one for the weekend thanks to Donnelly Group – Mallusk and i could’t agree with his statement more. This was way back in January and I must apologise now for the time it has taken me to put pen to paper for this one.
However, as I recall my weekend with the Giulia I do so with a smile as I must admit the Italian charm oozed in abundance from this all-new four-door saloon that is set to rival the long standing German invasion of BMW’s 3 Series, Mercedes’ C-Class and Audi’s A4 as well as the Britain’s very own Jaguar XE.
At a glance the Giulia will always win the beauty pageant, it is simply stunning and far removed from the ‘plain jane’ exterior styling of its rivals, Alfa Romeo have created an incredibly attractive and practical looking mode of transport that should be rewarding with the Italian heritage attached.
Inside the Giulia is just as gorgeous and noticeably designed around the driver, despite being very well put together some materials may lack compared to some more expensive rivals but I have no personal complaints of the Giulia’s interior.
With a low slung seating position you instantly feel at one with this Alfa Romeo and indeed the sporting passion that has been instilled in the Giulia is apparent even from this driving position. Rear leg room is sufficient for four adults to travel in comfort.
Infotainment is plentiful with connectivity from standard coming in the form of Bluetooth, USB and AUX-in whilst DAB Radio and AM/FM Radio are all part of the Giulia along with a multi-function leather steering wheel.
A single gearbox is on offer in the Giulia – this being the amazing 8sp ZF automatic transmission – a transmission that is good enough for you to be forgiven for thinking that it could maybe be a twin clutch type ‘box – there really is no need for a manual in a car like this in my eyes when the auto ‘box is so good.
With a 50:50 weight distribution, rear-wheel-drive system and a fantastic chassis the Giulia more than ticked all the boxes for me over a weekend. It cruised the motorway comfortably and tackled a handful of B-roads without a fuss however it was long meandering A-roads that the Giulia really came to life.
Until driving the Alfa, I would have rated the Jaguar XE as being the best ‘drivers’ car’ in this segment but I am glad to say the Italians have taken this accolade with the Giulia by providing a car that rewards when running late for a meeting, a little on the firm side for some, however I felt it was the perfect balance of comfort and performance.
Four-door saloons are highly popular on the business fleet market and this is one area that Alfa are pushing hard to break into with the Giulia and I can see them doing very well indeed due to the style and comfort as well as the fact they don’t offer a lesser engine to meet business friendly emissions.
Instead what they offer for everyone, but most importantly for large sales – the fleet market, is a 2.2 turbo diesel with either 150HP or 180HP that produces a mere 109 g/km of co2 which is more than appealing to those on business lease.
Also as standard on the Giulia is Alfa’s DNA system, this allows for a change in the cars settings depending on the driving style you wish to adopt and what you want from the Giulia at any one time. The DNA modes are Dynamic, Normal and Advanced Efficincy and having experienced DNA before, there is a noticeable difference between modes.
Four models are on offer starting from £29,550 with the ‘Giulia’ which see’s a 6.5” Alfa Connect infotainment system along with 16” alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, start/stop technology, ambient lighting inside, lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking and auto lights/wipers – the Giulia is only available with a 2.0L turbocharged petrol engine producing 200HP.
Next up is the ‘Giulia Super’ staring from £31,250 which adds an 8.8” navigation system, 7” TFT instrument cluster display, half leather interior with a choice of colours and 17” alloy wheels – this is the model I would see as most popular and is available with the 2.0L turbocharged petrol unit as well as the aforementioned 2.2 turbo diesel with 150HP or 180HP.
A well kitted diesel called a ‘Giulia Speciale’ adds 18” alloy wheels, electrically adjustable heated leather interior with adjustable bolster support, electrically folding mirrors, sports front and rear bumpers with dual exhausts, red brake calipers and run flat tyres – this model starts from £35,190 and comes with only the 2.2 turbo diesel 180HP power-train.
For the real enthusiast out there a ‘Giulia Veloce’ finishes the line-up from £37,935 which adds a 280HP 2.0L turbocharged petrol engine along with 18” alloy wheels, TMC Pro (live traffic updates), 40:20:40 split fold rear seating, alloy gear shift paddles along with along sports pedals and foot rest, an up-rated braking system, Bi-Xenon headlights along with front parking sensors.
With vast options throughout all models regarding colours, materials, wheels and anything else you can think of you will not be stuck for a car that is individual to your needs but for those who want the epitome of Alfa Romeo four-door, there is always the twin-turbocharged V6 ‘Giulia Quadrifoglio’ starting from £61,300.
This model demands an article of its own and as such I will be reporting on it separately in the coming weeks.
The model tested and pictured is a ‘Giulia Super’ finished in Montecarlo Blue (£695 option) along with a rather marmite but appealing black cloth and tan leather interior and an 18” alloy wheel upgrade (£750 option).
One nice addition to this model is the alloy gear-shift paddles (£275 option) giving the driver more control over the auto gearbox and one option not on this model that I would suggest adding is a ‘Cold weather pack’ (£550 option) which adds heated washer jest, heated seats and a heated steering wheel.
Based on the 2.2 turbo diesel 180HP engine fitted to this model tested and on a quick ‘build your own’ via the Alfa Romeo UK website – expect your Giulia Super in a nice spec to come on the road circa £36,000 – I would most certainly own one having thoroughly enjoyed this model for a few days.
Words and Photos: Graham Curry
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