What is it?
We've already been impressed with the Alfa Romeo Giulia abroad. Faced with the steepest of challenges - that of taking on the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class at their own game, Alfa has shown that its new Giulia is capable of running with the very best when it comes to the way it drives.
Of course, for D-segment saloons the big market is company car drivers, which means diesel power. And sure enough, that's where Alfa expects 80% of Giulia sales to go. Still, for the predicted 20% who choose petrol, and for those who shy away from the full-fat 503bhp Quadrifoglio version, this 197bhp option is the only remaining choice - for now at least, because a warm 276bhp petrol Veloce model is coming in April.
While this Giulia misses out on some of the visual frills of the Quadrifoglio - including that car's auto-extending front splitter and bonnet vents - it is nonetheless an aggressive-looking machine. Certainly, it's got the individuality which someone who's spent years drifting between the German premium brands might be looking for, that is, if they can't be persuaded by the Jaguar XE first.
On paper, too, this petrol version of the Giulia would seem to be a good bet, especially if you won't be doing the high mileage needed to justify a diesel. CO2 emissions are rated at a modest 138g/km (only slightly behind the 134g/km of BMW's 320i SE) - equating to 24% BIK in 2016/17 - while fuel economy of just under 48mpg shouldn't see you visiting the pumps too often.