- An excellent driving machine
- Strong engines and quick acceleration
- High safety scores
- Interior fit and finish
- Unknown reliability performance
Alfa Romeo Giulia Expert Review
New for 2018
Entering its second model year, the Giulia gains more standard features including chrome door speaker surrounds, 18-inch double Y-spoke aluminum wheels on the Ti model, and Forward Collision Warning Plus and a Harman Kardon premium audio system on the Quadrifoglio. New options now available on the base Giulia and Giulia Sport models include 18-inch Bright Turbine aluminum wheels, an 8.8-inch display with a free year of SiriusXM satellite radio, a Harman Kardon premium audio system, and a two-tone Black/Ice leather interior with Dark Gray accent stitching (also available with sport leather and on the Ti models).
The Ti Sport model is now available with 19-inch Bright five-hole aluminum wheels and 19-inch polished Y-spoke aluminum wheels and the Ti Lusso model now gets an optional light Walnut wood trim. All models now get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available and the optional Cargo Convenience package. Additional new packages include the Driver Assistance Static with Front Park Sensors package for the base Giulia and Sport models and the Ti Sport Performance package for the Ti Sport model.
The Giulia is the Italian automaker's only sedan in the U.S market and Alfa's entry-level vehicle, slotting before the more expensive Stelvio crossover and 4C sports car.
The standard engine in the 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia is a potent 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 that churns out 280 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque and comes with an EPA-rating of 24/33 mpg city/highway with the Q2 rear-wheel drive model and 23/31 mpg with the Q4 all-wheel drive model. The powerful 505-hp, 443-lb-ft of torque 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 is only available in the range-topping rear-wheel drive Quadrifoglio model and delivers 17/24 mpg. An eight-speed automatic backs both engines. In Motor Trend testing, the Quadrifoglio hit 60 mph in an impressive 3.9 seconds and the standard 2.0-liter turbo engine with rear-wheel drive did it in a very quick 5.1 seconds.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia comes standard with HID headlights with LED daytime running lights and static bending, LED taillights, power-folding and heated side-view mirrors, LED interior ambient lighting, automatic dual-zone climate control, a 7.0-inch driver's display, a 6.5-inch center display with rotary controller, 3 USB ports, 10-way powered leather front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic up/down for all windows, Alfa DNA drive mode selector, four-piston Brembo brakes painted in silver, and 10-spoke 17-inch wheels. Available features for the Giulia include genuine aluminum interior trim, an 8.8-inch widescreen display with 3-D navigation, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system, aluminum sport pedals, 12-way powered heated luxury leather front seats with Cannelloni design, a heated steering wheel, steering column-mounted aluminum paddle shifter, Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear performance brakes, red/yellow/black painted calipers, a mechanical limited-slip differential, an active suspension system, and an assortment of 19-inch wheels.
The Quadrifoglio model receives unique features like an active aero front splitter system, front carbon fiber spoiler, Quadrifoglio badging, quad exhaust tips with rear diffuser, a carbon fiber hood and roof, carbon fiber rear spoiler, carbon fiber interior trim, a 200-mph speedometer, leather and Alcantara ultra high-performance Sparco carbon fiber racing seats, leather and Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel with accent stitching and carbon fiber inserts, Alfa DNA Pro drive mode selector (with race mode), ultra high-performance Brembo carbon ceramic braking system, a torque vector differential, a two-mode performance exhaust system, Quadrifoglio-tuned active suspension, Pirelli PZero Corsa "AR" high-performance tires, and a selection of staggered 19x8.5 inch front, 19x10-inch rear wheels.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is considered a 2017 Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS, the institution's highest honor. The Giulia earned that designation by receiving the highest rating of Good in all five crash test evaluations and received the highest rating of Superior for the front crash prevention test. That rating was achieved by properly warning the driver of a possible collision, for avoiding a 12 mph impact, and for reducing a 25 mph impact by 24 mph thanks to the Forward Collision Warning Plus driver assist safety feature. That tech is found in the Driver Assistance Dynamic Plus package, which also includes Adaptive Cruise Control Plus with full stop, Lane Departure Warning, and automatic high-beams. The Driver Assistance Static package includes blind-spot monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection, and auto-dimming exterior mirrors.
What We Think
In a Big Test comparison of eight premium sedans, the Giulia came out on top. We were impressed with its incredible handling and comfortable ride, fast acceleration, good Real MPG fuel economy numbers, and value. We had issues with the interior, although styling, there were too many cheap aspects and poor ergonomics. In conclusion, we said, "Efficient, economical, quick, safe, and without question the most fun to drive, the Giulia is a car we're willing to gamble on despite its reliability legacy and lack of cost-of -ownership data." "Its incredible performance and driving experience make it the easy choice for us. We're willing to look past the reliability question marks to experience the passion this Italian delight delivers. Without question, if it were our money, this would be the car we'd pick."
In a First Test review of the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.0, we liked the sedan's very quick acceleration, transmission, and throttle blips when the driver downshifts with the large aluminum shift paddles. We also loved the way the car drove, "Head out on a twisty road, and dial up Dynamic mode from the DNA selector, and from the first twirl of the smaller-than-usual steering wheel, you'll enjoy the quick turn-in and feedback through the steering wheel rim. This reinforces the impression made by the eager engine's snarl and the Ferrari lookalike steering wheel-mounted start button that this is a car that encourages aggressive driving."
Unfortunately, the stability control system cannot be turned off, hurting the Giulia's at-the-limit handling numbers. Regardless, we said, "Plying real-world roads with all systems engaged, few drivers reported any stability meddling, and nearly everyone who thrashed the Giulia agreed that its neutral balance and poise make it the best-driving sedan in the class." Ride quality was also spot-on, "Several also praised its ride quality as approaching that of class leaders such as the?Mercedes-Benz C-Class." We felt the infotainment system was fine but needs some work. The interior was stylish but not first-class, "Interior styling meets Italian expectations and complements the gorgeous exterior, but some knocked the red leather for seeming a bit too pleathery. Others criticized the graining and gloss of some plastic bits."
"So if not a slam dunk on space, comfort, and ergo-quirkiness, at least it's darned competitive." We concluded with questioning its unknown reliability, "It's that third item that nobody can assess yet. This car behaved perfectly for two weeks but for an errant car alarm incident. Alfa Romeo as a company ranked near the bottom of J.D. Power's 2016 Dependability Study for the U.K., reporting 235 problems per car—just behind?BMW?(196), Jag (173), and?Audi?(169). But this is an all-new car. A fresh start? Nobody knows."
The Giulia's 2.0-liter turbo engine is direct injection, uses the automaker's MultiAir 2 valve technology, is SOHC (unlike the usual DOHC), uses a direct-mount twin-scroll turbocharger with an electronic wastegate, and has an indicated red line of only 5,500 rpm with a max engine speed of 6,200 rpm.