Used Alfa Romeo Giulia long-term test: report 5

The Alfa Romeo Giulia has plenty of style and an exotic badge, but is that enough to make it worthy of a used purchase?...

Used Alfa Romeo Giulia long-term test review

The car 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.2 JTDM-2 190 Speciale  

Run by Mark Pearson, used cars editor

Why it’s here To find out if buying a used Alfa is now an undertaking to be considered with both the head and the heart

Needs to Add a dash of Italian charisma to the daily grind, as well as cope admirably with all that an executive car should do

Mileage 4802 List price new (2019) £37,795 Price new with options £41,765 Value now £28,000 Test economy 36.6mpg Official economy 51.4mpg

28 April 2020 - To everything there is a season...

It may well wear a fancy-pants badge and steer like it wants to be a sports car, but I’ve discovered my Alfa Romeo Giulia can do all the sensible stuff, too.

You see, prior to the coronavirus-related cessation of all my non-essential motoring, the Alfa had actually been fulfilling its role as a practical family saloon rather well. For starters, there had been the inevitable trip to Ikea in Croydon, a long and hideously traffic-laden journey on some dreary urban roads that often takes so long that you can actually feel your life draining away before you even arrive at the store. Once you arrive, of course, it can often feel like it’s stopped altogether.

Alfa Romeo Giulia LT

However, for the most part, the Alfa helps relieve the tedium by being smooth and relaxed in traffic. My teenage daughters fit in the back, even if, as I’ve mentioned before, taller passengers might find it a bit of a squeeze. The interior’s lush feel and the eye-catching and comfortable red leather seats and associated trimmings make such journeys at least bearable, and sitting in there, the whole thing puts me in mind of the Maserati Quattroporte – in fact, in some respects it’s as if Alfa had taken that car and shrunk it by 75% in a photocopier to make the Giulia.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Said daughters were pleased that the Alfa has Apple CarPlay as standard, so that Five Seconds of Summer could come along for the ride. Modest items of flat-pack furniture could be fitted in the boot, once we’d finished shopping, although I have to admit that a saloon is no match for an estate, hatchback or SUV when it comes to practicality. 

Among the highlights of the interior, for me, are the desperately cool-looking paddles behind the steering wheel. These were a £275 option when the Alfa Romeo Giulia was new, but you'd be well advised to look for a car with them fitted if you're buying used. 

Alfa Romeo Giulia

They feel wonderful to the touch and are ideally placed for snappy gearshifts. The only problem with them is that they’re so wide that they obscure the stalks behind them, making it awkward to operate the smaller controls on them, especially the mildly infuriating windscreen wipers. No matter; I guess it’s a small price to pay for such style, itself a rare commodity in a class of car usually more designed to fulfil only that sensible-shoes role I mentioned at the beginning. 

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