Alfa Romeo Giulia review
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is seductively stylish, offering rear-drive thrills and plenty of Italian charm
The Alfa Romeo Giulia could be a superb choice for compact executive saloon car buyers, as it offers a brilliant mix of gorgeous looks, fun handling and decent running costs. Like the Jaguar XE, it’s a welcome alternative to rivals from the German manufacturers, and has a unique character.
The Giulia's petrol engine is excellent, and while it’s a shame we don’t get a manual option here in the UK, the eight-speed automatic gearbox is very good. Fans of Mercedes and Audi interiors might find the Giulia's cabin isn't quite up to the same standards, but there’s so much to like about Alfa’s compact executive saloon that it could still win them over.
About the Alfa Romeo Giulia
Cars like the Alfa Romeo Giulia provide a breath of fresh air in the new car market, as it offers a great alternative to the mainstream executive norm. Alfa's four-door saloon sits in the compact executive saloon sector, with its many rivals including the the BMW 3 Series, which offers great handling and a plush ride, the Mercedes C-Class that puts luxury to the fore and the Audi A4 which is a tech-lovers dream.
Elsewhere in the class, the Jaguar XE has the all-round ability to compete, the Volvo S60 adds a slice of Swedish style and comfort to the mix and the Volkswagen Arteon offers style that means it's knocking at the door of the executive class.
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Meanwhile, the 503bhp, V6-powered Giulia Quadrifglio is an alternative to fiery models such as the Audi RS 4 Avant, BMW M3/M4, Lexus RC F and the Mercedes C63, although the latter has now turned to petrol plug-in hybrid power to help it to a mammoth 671bhp.
While its German rivals are offered in a variety of body styles, the Giulia comes solely as a saloon. But what a shape it has, with taut curves and that distinctive shield grille up front, slender lights and a rakish roof, it's easily the head-turner of the class. The Giulia also received some subtle design tweaks in 2023, including a new 3x3 headlight signature and ‘Trilobo’ grille. Inside, the Giulia continues to turn on the style with aluminium shift paddles on the steering column, a 12.3-inch digital dash panel and 8.8-inch central touchscreen. If you're after something a bit more practical, Alfa has the Tonale compact SUV and Stelvio mid-size SUV.
The refreshed Giulia is only available with one engine: a 276bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. The 197bhp version of the same motor was removed from the range in the name of simplification in 2023, and you can no longer get a diesel-powered Giulia either. All Giulias are rear-wheel drive and while European markets have the option of a six-speed manual gearbox, in the UK all models are fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
There are three trim levels to choose from – Sprint, Veloce and Competizione – with prices starting from around £43,000. Standard kit includes 18-inch alloy wheels, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, wireless charging pad, reversing camera, cruise control, blind spot monitoring and Autonomous Emergency Braking, among other safety systems.
For an alternative review of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Alfa Romeo Giulia is seductively stylish, offering rear-drive thrills and plenty of Italian charm
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe 2.0-litre petrol engine offers great performance, and overall the Giulia is a delight to drive
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Giulia offers decent efficiency considering the performance on offer, although residual values aren't the best
- 4Interior, design and technologyArguably the best-looking car in its class, the Giulia's cabin quality doesn't quite match up to close rivals
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Giulia offers good interior space and a competitively sized boot, along with lots of practical kit as standard
- 6Reliability and SafetyDecent standard safety kit helps the Giulia achieve a top Euro NCAP rating