For anybody who read my first impressions review following the launch of the new Alfa Romeo Giulia you will know that it is a car that I became very fond of in a very short space of time. It is easy to get drawn in by a car based on first encounters but it isn’t until you spend some proper time with it that you can make a firm judgement on it. This is the point where you may expect me to say that having tested the car for a week I changed my mind and thought it was terrible. That is definitely not the case when it comes to the Alfa Romeo Giulia.
What Alfa Romeo have achieved in the new Giulia is something they should be extremely proud of. They have produced a car that not only looks brilliant but also drives superbly with an excellent chassis set up and seamless automatic transmission and feels like it has been made to last the test of time. The biggest issue now for Alfa Romeo is to get more of them on the roads however based on official figures obtained through the SIMI this does not appear to be happening as quickly as you would imagine. The new Giulia not only marks Alfa Romeo’s return to the D segment of the market but also marks a key turning point for the brand as they attempt a full brand overhaul.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is built on an all new rear wheel drive platform. Engineered from the ground up, the Giulia boasts short overhangs, a long sloping bonnet, the longest wheelbase in its class and a muscular appearance. Throughout the design of the Giulia it is evident that Alfa Romeo have paid specific attention to weight saving through the clever use of materials such as aluminium and carbon fibre to achieve an almost perfect 50:50 weight distribution. It is all well and good me hearing these details and you reading them but to see exactly what is meant by them you really need to see it and more importantly drive the new Alfa Romeo Giulia to see it and feel it for yourself.
The new Alfa Romeo Giulia is available in a 2.0 litre turbo petrol engine with 200hp and a 2.2 litre turbo diesel engine with 150hp or 180hp depending on your choice. There is also the range topping Quadrifogio 2.9 litre V6 Bi-Turbo with 510hp and the slightly tamer Veloce version which is powered by a 2.0 litre turbo petrol engine with 280hp. All models are mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The subject of this review is the 2.2 litre JTD 150hp model in Super Lux trim.
Standard equipment from the base trim level “Giulia” includes 16inch alloys, daytime running lights, LED rear lamp clusters, dual zone climate control, Connect infotainment system as well as safety features such as forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection and lane departure warning. The “Super Lux” trim adds more along the lines of driver aides or comforts in the form of full leather seats, front parking sensors, reversing camera, adaptive cruise control and power folding mirrors as well as 18-inch alloy wheels with run flat tyres.
As you sit into the new Giulia you will notice that no matter what trim you choose the initial driving position offers an excellent level of visibility. In keeping with a lot of its competitors, the interior has been de-cluttered and designed to be centred around the driver with the main controls grouped together on the steering wheel. There are also two knobs located behind the gear selector which control the Alfa DNA selector and the second knob which controls the infotainment system. From “Super” trim upwards you will receive the larger 7inch colour instrument display. Here you can access all the relevant driving information which changes depending on the mode selected on the Alfa DNA system. The START button is also cleverly located on the steering wheel adding to the racing heritage within the Alfa Romeo.
The seating, both front and rear offers excellent support and optimum driving position. Boot space in the new Giulia sits at 480 litres and access to the boot area is achieved quite easily.
It is when you take to the road in the new Alfa Romeo Giulia that you will see exactly where all the design engineering has gone. The Giulia in even its most basic form offers a smooth, fluent ride with well-balanced handling. Steering response from the Giulia is almost instant with very good feedback and weight. This adds to the driver engagement and ensures a poised and stable ride. If you are buying a new Giulia so you can experience the back end of the rear-wheel drive saloon attempting to pass you out at times I’m afraid you will be disappointed. I spent a week searching and there does not appear to be any way of disengaging the traction control!
The 150hp 2.2 JTD engine performs well regardless of if you are on motorways, country roads or nipping through the city streets. Engine noise is kept relatively low except if you are pushing it hard which you would expect. The 8-speed automatic transmission provides seamless gear changes which happen quicker than the blink of an eye.
In my opinion, Alfa Romeo deserve to do well with the new Giulia. It is a model that should allow them the opportunity to regain a significant footing within the Irish car market. If you are in the market for a D segment family saloon then the Giulia should not be overlooked.
Engine Size – 2.2 JTD
Fuel Type – Diesel
Power – 150 bhp
Torque – 380 Nm
Acceleration (0 – 100km/h) – 8.2 seconds
Top Speed – 220 km/hour
Consumption (Combined) – 4.2 litres/ 100 kilometres
CO2 emissions – 109g / km
Road Tax – €190
Starting Price – € 39,995 Model Tested – € 42,166
Prices correct as per www.alfaromeo.ie