It may not have escaped your notice that DriveWrite has previously owned not one but two Alfa Romeo cars. Previously on these pages you will have read about them. In both cases they were fabulous to behold and glorious to drive but sadly, badly, flawed. I won’t labour the point because the evidence of universal ownership issues is widely known. Now there’s the new compact executive, the Alfa Romeo Giulia.
Resurrecting famous car names from the past is a good thing. There are too many motors known only by numbers. Where’s the automotive romance in that? Remember the gloriously sexy 1967 Giulia Sprint GT Veloce? Well, it’s 21st Century namesake doesn’t conjure quite that much boy’s-bedroom-wall-poster lust but there’s no doubting it is a beautiful-looking car.
See for yourself in my images. This is a ‘Super’ version and definitely a car you would look back at across a car park even in this rather unexciting shade of Silverstone Grey. It looks fast standing still. The neat, sleek integration of the features front-to-back – headlights, tail lights, exhaust – make for a comprehensive design that pretty much beats all-comers on the car catwalk. Only Maserati are arguably prettier and they’re of Italian design too. Regard those 18” wheels! The test car had optional run-flat tyres but they didn’t spoil the ride as some can do.
The Power Of The Alfa Romeo Giulia
Beauty is power they say but looks alone don’t butter those parsnips. There has to be some beef under the bonnet and, although our featured rear-wheel drive car is a diesel it accelerates fast, is a spirited ride and, overall a fine-handling car, much better than its smaller sibling.
Steering via the elegant wheel is ideal, weighting up as the speed increases. This is thanks to a new front suspension design delivering a responsive pin-sharp road feel. Like Dr Strangelove your hand will automatically reach for the rotary DNA drive dial and turn it to Dynamic and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. The Alfa Romeo Giulia demands to be driven.
The 2.2L diesel (there’s a good range of engine alternatives – see the AR website) delivers maximum torque from 1,750rpm which, when combined with the perfectly mated ZF eight-speed automatic, gives the Alfa Romeo Giulia the legs to press on and overtake efficiently and safely. Obviously you don’t get the aural treats that come with overtly sporting motors; this car quietly gets on with the job, the engine just a murmur at speed.
You can get faster versions of this vehicle including the hugely powerful Quadrofoglio with it’s array of purposeful tailpipes, but with this model payback comes in the guise of very acceptable fuel consumption which business users will appreciate. I saw an average of 48mpg although Alfa’s official figure is over 60mpg. Emissions are very acceptable too at just 109g/km which means a BIK rate at the time of writing at 21%. With wearying inevitability, expect that to change this April but at least you do get a lot of car for it.
Check out the specification below for the details and you’ll see why the basic cost of around £32,000 can be easily inflated to £40k by dipping into the options list. It’s well featured as standard certainly but the snag is those extras, like a limited slip diff, are just so desirable that buyers might just as well bite the bullet and load up.
A Very Italian Interior
Inside, there is no mistaking that Italian influence. It’s very attractive. Leather seats that have contrast stitching sit low in the cabin hinting again at the performance heritage. There’s tons of adjustment for the driver and the seats have those adjustable squabs for leggier pilots.
It’s a characterful dashboard too, with it’s driver-focused swooping design and neat, efficient layout. Even the elegant door handles say ‘speed’.
Of course, this being an Alfa Romeo there are a couple of quirks and disappointments. For a car that has prestige pretensions, the overall finish in the cabin isn’t quite up there with the posh German brands. You know, the ones that just use numbers instead of names for their models.
Also, the door pockets (and it’s surprising how useful these can be) are just too small. Although a big car externally, it does feel a little confined inside, not cramped you understand, just more of a four than a five-seater. With the driving seat set for me, there’s not a whole heap of legroom for lankier passengers.
I like a saloon car, they are more distinctive these days, but the boot, good and deep as it it is, isn’t as convenient as a hatch; but you cannot have it both ways, I guess. You can certainly get plenty in it.
Would I Buy An Alfa Romeo Giulia?
As mentioned I’ve owned two of the flippin’ things before so what do you think? Of course, I would. In a heartbeat. That’s the thing about Alfa Romeo; they can give you grief but are so beautiful you keep coming back for more, like a cuckolded husband.
And anyway; what would you prefer? A standard euro-box or some wilful excitement? With all the technology thrust at us in life, what do you want from your car? If we just allow our automotive passions to be usurped by autonomous vehicles, ride sharing with smelly, kebab-breath strangers and other ‘socially acceptable’ forms of mundane transport, then what’s the point of cars at all? Buy it. Love it. Geoff Maxted