Alfa Romeo have finally made good on their promise of a curvy Italian rival to the 3-Series/A4/C-Class stronghold, and boy did they deliver.

“Alfa Romeo have finally made good on their promise of a curvy Italian rival to the 3-Series/A4/C-Class stronghold, and boy did they deliver.

  • Jaw-dropping good looks

  • Proper RWD ‘Driver’s Car’

  • Something new and exciting

81%

Overall Rating

  • A little pricey

  • No manual option

  • Germans do a better interior

Overall Rating

Overview

A car so good-looking it will make you want to bite your lip, the Giulia might just be the saving grace for Alfa Romeo here in Ireland, and indeed across Europe.

Now that it’s finally here, we can confirm it drives just as good as it looks. A silky smooth eight speed automatic gearbox is standard across the range, which includes the jaw-dropping Quadrifoglio performance model. The more realistic 2.2l diesel option is no slouch either – available in either 150 or 180hp guise, its low emissions and decent fuel economy help to keep running costs impressively low.

The striking Italian design continues inside the cabin which houses a top-class infotainment system and a raft of other high-tech gadgets to play with.

We like it. We like it a lot.

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Interior Gallery

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Space & Practicality

First impressions when you sit inside are promising. Smooth curves surround the dashboard which slopes up to seamlessly house a very slick infotainment system – operated via a sophisticated dial in the centre console, the way all premium saloons must.

The clean lines and simple fuss free layout might give it a bit of an Audi-esqe vibe, but despite some very high quality materials, it’s still bit away from the exceptional level of refinement of an A4.

However, it more than measures up to others in the class when it comes to space and comfort. There is plenty of head and legroom for all passengers, with the slight exception of  the middle seat in the back which is impeded by a large transmission tunnel, a problem shared with the fellow rear wheel drive 3-Series.

The boot is exactly on par with the class at a very typical but still quite sizeable 480 litres. Be sure to spec folding rear seats if you need them though as they are not standard.

Equipment and Safety

Go for the basic Giulia and you get a generous level of standard kit including Cruise control, parking sensors, dual zone air conditioning and Keyless go, as well as some impressive safety features including lane departure warning and forward collision warning.

This all helped the Giulia score a perfect five star rating on the NCAP safety test.

You can upgrade to the Super trim for half-leather upholstery, 3D Navigation, DAB radio and a 7 inch TFT display behind the steering wheel.

The Super Sport is the sweet spot of the range in our eyes with upgraded styling details that really makes it pop like the 18 inch turbine alloy wheels, tinted windows, chrome accents in the cabin and a flat bottom sports leather steering wheel. It also gets full-leather upholstery which is only befitting of an Italian saloon.

Top of the line Super Lux will add a reversing camera, adaptive cruise control and power folding mirrors.

Performance & Running Costs

The other big decision after you choose your trim level is whether to go petrol or diesel. The petrol option is a 200hp turbo powered 2 litre, or if you’ve got €100k going spare there’s the pinnacle of Alfa Romeo ownership in the 2.9l V6 510hp Quadrofoglio.

More realistic for the mere mortals with things like fuel economy and tax to consider however is the 2.2l JTD diesel available with either 150 or 180hp.

The official fuel economy figure is 4.2 litres per 100km or 67 miles to the gallon, although real world driving uses closer to 5.6l/100km. Not like its unusual for claimed to be a little ambitious.

It could also have something to do with the way Alfas encourage you to drive them. They are well-known for being a rear drivers car and the Giulia certainly doesn’t disappoint on that front. All models are fitted with an ultra smooth 8 speed automatic transmission which makes for a really relaxing and effortless drive that thanks to the perfect balance of that rear wheel drive, is still fun and engaging.

The steering is sharp and responsive, and that low down torquey power makes it great fun around corners and bends.

Yet it still offers all the refinement you want from a premium saloon with a suspension that will iron out any rough surfaces and impressive sound insulation which makes for a peaceful cabin.

Reliability & Residuals

The news that the Giulia looks good and drives great should be more than enough to satisfy your hardcore Alfa fans.  It’s those who don’t fall in to that category that may need a little more convincing, as the brand has been off the radar for so long. There will also be those who cannot disassociate it from reliability issues of the past.

But really, you only need to sit in to the Giulia to see just how far the brand has come in terms of build quality over the last few years, and it certainly feels like a well screwed together machine. So while in the past Alfa ownership may have been seen as a bit of a risk, these days it’s more of a statement. And one we would be quite happy to make.

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