Driving

Alfa Romeo Giulia review

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Alfa Romeo Giulia
Review continues below...

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The Giulia combines a smooth, fluent ride with nicely balanced handling – the latter really distinguishing it from its less involving rivals such as the Audi A4.

Lower-end versions of the Giulia come on 16 and 17in alloy wheels, while the top-of-the-range Quadrifoglio version rides on 19in wheels, stiffer springs and adaptive dampers. Although there’s plenty of difference in the driving experiences of entry-level and top-of-the-line models, even the 2.2-litre diesel has swift handling responses and is fun through corners, and the Giulia’s steering is quick and direct on all models, delivering good straight-line stability.

The diesel engines are a little coarse, but they do quieten down at a cruise and pull quite hard through the middle of the rev range, where the eight-speed automatic gearbox keeps the engine most of the time.

Alfa’s 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine is more potent, sounds better and revs more smoothly. Its more willing and athletic repertoire is a better match for the car’s handling than the diesel-engined versions. In fact, it’s more fun to drive quickly than its rivals from BMW, Mercedes and Audi, even if it can’t quite match the dynamic prowess of Jaguar’s XE. The 280 Veloce is noticeably faster than the standard petrol option, but it doesn’t turn the Giulia into a snarling sports car.

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The Quadrifoglio version competes with other super-saloons such as the BMW M3, and it has the taut and adjustable handling character of a true sporting great, although brake pedal feel could have been better in the example we drove. The Alfa’s V6 engine has plenty of character, but it doesn’t feel quite as strong in the real world as that 503bhp suggests. Over short sprints, though, it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

 

Alfa Romeo Giulia
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There are 7 trims available for the Giulia saloon. Click to see details.See all versions
Super
Swaps the lesser model’s rims for 17in ones, and adds part-leather seats, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters for the gearbox, and some richer interior trim features. Also open to further equipm...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£30,066
Average Saving £2,424
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Speciale
Speciale trim features 18in ‘Sport’ alloys, bi-Xenon headlamps, sports front and rear bumpers, a sports diffuser, dual chrome exhaust and red brake callipers. Inside, aluminium metal sport pedals a...View trim
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£34,193
Average Saving £2,797
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Nero Edizione
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
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£34,990
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Veloce
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£36,048
Average Saving £2,927
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Veloce TI
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£42,068
Average Saving £3,432
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Quadrifoglio
Not just a Giulia with a 503bhp V6. It gets 19in wheels and bi-xenons as standard, as well as special leather/alcantara sports seats, sport suspension with adaptive dampers, uprated brakes, a torqu...View trim
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£60,683
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Quadrifoglio NRing
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£82,500
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