What's the used Alfa Romeo Giulia saloon like?
It’s fair to say that a number of people might have bought a used Alfa Romeo in the past simply because it looked really good and its value had dropped faster than a lift with the cable cut.
But times change, and the Italian firm has made great efforts over the past few years to improve its build quality and make its cars more competitive. Take the Giulia. With it, you have a really compelling alternative to the usual executive car suspects. It competes with these cars on performance and running costs and also offers a great driving experience to boot. It's well screwed together and, of course, it wears that wonderfully evocative badge.
Standard equipment is decent, with all models getting an 8.8in infotainment system that in earlier models is controlled with a rotary dial, plus cruise control, dual-zone climate control and a host safety systems such as lane departure warning, forward collision alert and automatic emergency braking.
It came initially in four trims: Giulia, Super, Speciale and Veloce. The entry-level Giulia trim equips the Alfa with 16in alloy wheels, cruise control, rear parking sensors, a chrome exhaust pipe, LED rear lights and a wealth of safety technology - including that autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and forward collision warning, as mentioned - as standard. Inside there are manually adjustable front seats, a leather-clad steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, automatic wipers and lights, and Alfa's infotainment system complete with a 6.5in display, a DAB radio, and USB and Bluetooth connectivity.
Upgrade to Super and 17in alloys, aluminium door sills and part-leather seats are included alongside an uprated infotainment system with a larger 8.8in display and sat-nav, while opting for the Speciale adds numerous luxuries to the package. These include 18in alloy wheels shod in run-flat tyres, bi-xenon headlights, electrically adjustable and heated front sports seats, a heated steering wheel, electrically folding door mirrors and a sporty bodykit.
The range-topping Veloce model gets an unique set of alloys, an upgraded braking system, front parking sensors and lovely crafted aluminium paddle shifters. Those after a more thrilling drive can opt for the lunacy of the Quadrifoglio, which not only gets you a 2.9-litre V6 punching out 503bhp and the ability to propel the Giulia to 191mph at full chat, it also gets a wealth of additional equipment as standard too. These include 19in alloys, more powerful bi-xenon headlights, blind-spot monitoring system, interior ambient lighting, a bespoke leather and Alcantara upholstery, a rear-view camera and a quad-exhaust, not to mention Alfa's clever active aerodynamics package, active torque vectoring system, chassis control and dedicated race mode.
The ride has a fluid quality over bumps and is particularly good on Giulias fitted with the adaptive dampers that come as part of an optional Performance Pack. They stiffen up in Dynamic mode, but when you enter a town or come across a poorly maintained bit of Tarmac, you can simply hit a button to slacken them off in an instant.
Inside the Giulia, the fit and finish can’t match that of the 3 Series or A4, but it is smarter than the XE. Space is also better in the Giulia than its British rival, although leg room in the rear still isn’t a patch on that of the A4. The boot, although its opening is rather awkward and hampers usability a little, is among the deepest in the class, and on Speciale versions there's a highly useful 40/20/40 split-folding rear bench as standard.
In 2020 the Giulia was treated to a number of minor updates, with a redesigned centre console and the infotainment system being upgraded to a touchscreen affair, albeit still with a rotary dial to control certain functions, and the interior materials being improved. Quality overall was said to be improved, too, with added advanced driver assistance systems and the Giulia's connectivity upgraded with smartphone mirroring now standard.
Trim names were changed at the same time, to Super, Sprint, Veloce, Veloce Ti and Lusso Ti. The 2.2-litre diesel engines were enhanced to 160 (158bhp) and 190 (187bhp) versions.
Further updates in 2022 trimmed the range to just the 197bhp 2.0-litre petrol and the 276bhp 2.0 280 Veloce, as well as the Quadrifoglio. Trims were renamed Estrema, Sprint and Veloce.
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