The base Alfa does, however, come with a larger, more potent engine than the BMW, and there's also a generous list of standard features in the Italian car, ensuring Alfa's new saloon should be a strong contender against its established rivals.
British buyers get to choose from five trim levels for Alfa's saloon: Giulia, Giulia Super, Giulia Tecnica, Giulia Speciale and the range topping Giulia Quadrifoglio. More details for each can be found below. Pricing for the range-topping Quadrifoglio version of the car, which features a Ferrari-derived 3.0-litre V6 with 503bhp, starts at £59,000.
Besides the Quadrifoglio model, three engines will be available in the Giulia. These include a 197bhp and 243lb ft turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol, which is coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Compare that to the entry-level BMW engine, a 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit, and even the base Alfa looks suitably well endowed.
Next are two 2.2-litre diesels, the most powerful of which produces 178bhp and 332lb ft of torque. It’s capable of emitting less than 100g/km of CO2 in Eco specification. The other diesel comes with 148bhp and 280lb ft.
Both engines can be had with either a six-speed manual transmission or the eight-speed auto 'box.
All models will be rear-wheel drive as standard, but all-wheel drive will be available on some versions. Alfa Romeo says the car has a perfect 50/50 weight distribution, and features multi-link suspension at the rear and double wishbones at the front.
The Giulia has an unladen weight of 1374kg in 178bhp 2.2-litre diesel form.
Alfa Romeo says that electronic aids on the Giulia are used only to make the driving experience more exciting. For example, the new integrated braking system mixes the traditional stability control set-up with a servo brake, reducing weight and vibrations through the pedal.
Other safety and assistance systems include autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, optional adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring.
Drivers can choose from three driving modes via Alfa’s DNA drive selector. In addition, range-topping Quadrifoglio models get a Race option.
The five-seat cabin features an 8.8in infotainment system, controlled via a rotary pad on the centre console. The system features compatibility for Apple and Android devices, Bluetooth and satellite navigation. Depending on specification, the Giulia gets either a 3.5in or 7.0in colour display as part of the instrument cluster.
In entry-level Giulia form, the car sits on 16in alloy wheels, and has LED rear lights, a fabric interior, 3.5in TFT driver’s information screen, 6.5in infotainment screen and a leather steering wheel. Cruise control, dual-zone climate control and lane departure warning are three of several key features offered as standard.
Pay £30,880 for a Super model and Alfa will add 17in alloys, twin exhaust pipes and part-leather seats, as well as an 8.8in infotainment screen and two-tone interior trim. Add £115 to that price and the Tecnica falls into reach, bringing a rear reversing camera, privacy glass, chrome window surrounds and a cooled glove box.
The highest-spec non performance Giulia, the Speciale, costs from £34,150 and adds bi-xenon headlights, heated front seats and steering wheel wrapped in leather, 18in alloys and sports front and rear bumpers.
The Quadrifoglio range-topper gets an even more aggressive look and optional Personalisation pack, which brings features such as wheel-mounted paddle shifters, keyless entry, front and rear parking sensors and electric front seats. There's also an autonomous emergency braking system and blind spot monitoring to head a long list of driver assist features.
Alfa Romeo says the new Giulia “embodies the core elements which have made Alfa Romeo one of the world's best-loved automotive brands; distinctive Italian design; innovative powertrains, perfect weight distribution, unique technical solutions and the best weight-to-power ratio".
Alfa's newly announced pricing ranks the Giulia above some of its key rivals, including the aforementioned £25,160 BMW 3 Series, and the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Jaguar XE, which are priced at £26,350, £27,665 and £26,990 respectively. But the Alfa has arguably one of the strongest engine line-ups of the lot and a lengthy list of standard equipment to help it fight it cause.