New Alfa Romeo Giulia 2023 review
The stylish Alfa Romeo Giulia saloon gets a fresh face and new tech
The updates to the Giulia don’t really change the car’s basic recipe, but they do enough to keep it in the mix compared with its German rivals. Company-car choosers will look to other well known models in search of plug-in hybrid efficiency, but for private customers especially, there’s still great appeal in the Alfa’s mix of four-cylinder turbo petrol power and a keen-driving chassis.
Seven years after its debut, the Alfa Romeo Giulia has been updated, with a simpler range and subtle design changes.
While familiar, its sharp exterior receives a refined ‘Trilobo’ grille and the addition of new three-segment headlights to help set it apart from its predecessor.
As the industry trends towards full electrification, Alfa Romeo has instead kept it simple under the skin, offering the Giulia with just one powertrain in the UK. This pairs a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and all three available trim levels send the same 276bhp and 400Nm of torque to the rear wheels.
That’s enough for a 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds, along with a 149mph top speed. These figures stand up well against German rivals, such as the Mercedes C 300 and BMW 330e, and the Giulia feels quicker than they suggest on the road, thanks to a 1,429kg kerbweight; that’s 416kg less than the (plug-in hybrid) BMW 330e.
While light, the Alfa’s steering is as responsive and quick as we’ve come to expect from the Giulia, with excellent precision and off-centre weighting making it a satisfying car to drive on twisty roads. Combine this with its large, tactile shift paddles, compliant suspension and a standard limited-slip differential (on the top two trims) and you end up with a genuinely entertaining saloon. In the Competizione range-topper, adaptive dampers promise to take the edge off troublesome surfaces at the touch of a button.
The Giulia’s brake-by-wire system gives a firm, consistent pedal at everyday speeds, with Dynamic mode noticeably reducing travel for more precision. Push on and the brakes don’t inspire as much confidence as we’d like, but they offer sufficient power for most scenarios. At low speeds, the gearbox can occasionally feel jerky, but on the move it’s more than up to the task.
Inside, a new 12.3-inch digital dashboard is the biggest upgrade. There’s wireless phone charging too, and the main 8.8-inch infotainment display is sharper than before – but still behind German rivals.
Prices begin at £43,259 for the Sprint, rising to £47,759 and £52,259 for the Veloce and Competizione respectively. The less potent C 300 AMG Line (£51,555) is Merc’s closest offering, with the BMW 330e PHEV giving near-identical performance (but more tax-friendly CO2 emissions) for £47,535.
|Model:||Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce|
|Engine:||2.0-litre 4cyl turbo petrol|
|Transmission:||Eight-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive|