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3 mins read
16 July 2020

Anyone bored with the same-old, same-old offerings in the executive car class has, since 2016, been able to cast a little wider and bag a deeply competitive and wonderfully charismatic saloon with an Alfa Romeo badge. You see, the Giulia is a really compelling alternative that competes on performance, running costs and driving experience, and for which none of the old Alfa apologies is needed.

From launch, the choice of engines has started with a 197bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and increased to 276bhp with the Veloce and Veloce Ti versions. The diesel range stems from a 2.2-litre four-cylinder with either 148bhp or 177bhp. Then there’s the top-of-the-range Quadrifoglio – a car so good that it’s best reserved for its own separate guide – with a 503bhp 2.9-litre V6. All engines come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Standard equipment is decent, too, with most models getting an 8.8in infotainment system, cruise control, dual-zone climate control and a host of safety systems such as lane departure warning, forward collision alert and automatic emergency braking.

Click here to buy your next used Giulia from Autocar

It comes in four trims: Giulia, Super, Speciale and Veloce. The entry-level Giulia trim equips the Alfa with 16in alloy wheels, cruise control and rear parking sensors. Inside, there’s dual-zone climate control and Alfa’s infotainment system complete with a 6.5in display and a DAB radio. Upgrade to Super for 17in alloys and uprated infotainment with an 8.8in display and sat-nav, while Speciale adds 18in alloy wheels and a sporty bodykit. The range-topping Veloce gets a unique set of alloys, an upgraded braking system and lovely crafted aluminium paddle shifters.

To drive, the Giulia is a lesson in how an executive car can be made to handle well, with quick steering and a fluid ride quality. The interior fit and finish can’t match that of the BMW 3 Series or Audi A4, but it is smarter than the Jaguar XE. Space is also better in the Giulia than its British rival, although leg room in the rear still isn’t a patch on that the A4’s.


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The boot is among the deepest in the class and, on Speciale versions, there’s a useful 40/20/40 split folding rear bench as standard.

In 2020, the Giulia was updated, with the infotainment upgraded to a touchscreen affair, albeit still with a rotary dial for certain functions, and the interior materials were improved. It also gained advanced driver assistance systems and smartphone mirroring now comes as standard.

Prices for an early Giulia start at around £14,000. Budget between £15,000 and £18,000 for good 2017 and 2018 cars and £19,000 to £22,000 for 2019 models. Expect to spend around £28,000 on a 2020 car.

Need to know

There has been one recall, for cars built between November and December 2017. Mineral oil might get into the braking and clutch system. Consult your Alfa dealer.

If you experience tyre scrub when on full steering lock, don’t worry: they all do that. This is due to aggressive steering geometry that allows the car to have very quick steering and resist understeer at speed.

Alfa Romeo finished in 25th place out of 31 manufacturers in the most recent What Car? Reliability Survey. The Giulia has in the past finished in the top three in its class, although this year it finished in a respectable mid-table position.

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Our pick

Giulia 2.2 JTDM-2 Super: The standard Giulia comes with plenty of equipment, but it’s the Super version that we would recommend because it has a slightly better interior and part-leather seats that give it a more premium feel.

Wild card

Giulia 2.0 TB 280 Veloce: The 276bhp 2.0-litre petrol gives the car the feel of a cut-price Quadrifoglio model, with storming performance and wonderfully eager handling. The interior’s suitably sporty, too.

Ones we found

2016 Giulia 2.2 Super, 34,000 miles, £14,995

2017 Giulia Quadrifoglio, 28,000 miles, £37,995

2018 Giulia 2.0 Veloce, 12,000 miles, £24,995

2020 Giulia 2.2 Speciale, 3500 miles, £28,000


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Speedraser 18 July 2020

These are fantastic cars --

These are fantastic cars -- the Alfa Romeo promise fulfilled. I bought my 2018 Giulia Ti Sport (basically the US market 280hp Veloce) new. I looked at and drove all the competitors -- if your priority is the drive, the Giulia is the best driver's car BY FAR. It has been completely reliable -- no problems whatsoever. Looks, as always, are subjective, but typos1's opinion seems to be in the small minority. I think it looks great -- IMO, it's the best looking car in its class, and the frequent positive comments from people support that notion.

typos1 16 July 2020

Sadly, as good as the Giulia

Sadly, as good as the Giulia drives, it looks god awful, its the complete opposite of the 159 which looked great but drove awful.

V12smig 16 July 2020

need balls

I'd need to grow some balls to buy a new or nearly new Alfa, or cultivate a profound relationship with the service receptionist..  Mates Veloce spent 8 months in the garage, having some elctrical issues sorted, but he bought another, goes to show theirs more to cars then reliability

typos1 16 July 2020

V12smig wrote:

V12smig wrote:

I'd need to grow some balls to buy a new or nearly new Alfa, or cultivate a profound relationship with the service receptionist..  Mates Veloce spent 8 months in the garage, having some elctrical issues sorted, but he bought another, goes to show theirs more to cars then reliability

In the alst 12 years I ve owned 6 Alfas, all with 95,000 plus on the clock, all have been very reliable.