Alfa Romeo Giulia
Looks good, drives great
For: Styling, engines, Quadrifoglio version
Against: Interior quality, no manual option, no all-wheel-drive version
Verdict: Great looking saloon that’s even better to drive
Choice is a wonderful thing. While the majority of buyers in the market for a compact executive saloon opt for something with a German badge, the Alfa Romeo Giulia presents a compelling alternative. Like many Alfa Romeos of the past, the Giulia isn’t perfect, but look beyond its quirks and you’ll find a car that’s highly appealing and a welcome sight on our increasingly crossover-congested roads. The flagship Giulia Quadrifoglio gets top billing, helped in no small part by a Ferrari-derived 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged engine producing 510hp, which is enough to propel the rear-wheel-drive super-saloon to a top speed of 171mph. It’s the BMW M3 for the driver who fancies a touch of Italian flair.
But don’t discount the lesser models, because all Giulias are driven through the rear wheels and powered by more efficient engines than the ‘four-door Ferrari’. A 2.2-litre diesel engine producing 160hp or 190hp might seem like a world away from a 510hp M3-beater, but it’s the default choice for company car drivers and those who spend many hours on Britain’s motorway network. A WLTP figure of 52.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 128g/km make it the ideal choice for those who love the Giulia’s good looks but aren’t prepared to buy a timeshare in their local petrol station. You can expect around 20mpg less in the 280hp 2.0-litre petrol, while a 200hp version is also available. Trim levels range from the Super, through to the Nero Edizione, Speciale, Veloce and Veloce TI.
The Giulia is let down by an interior that can’t match the quality of the Germans and the Volvo S60, plus an infotainment system that feels dated and fiddly to use. The fact that there’s no manual gearbox offered (an eight-speed automatic transmission is fitted as standard), and no all-wheel-drive variant, means that the Giulia’s market will remain limited, but a degree of exclusivity is part of the appeal.
Due for replacement: TBC
Euro NCAP score: Five stars
Warranty: Three years / unlimited miles
Available bodystyles: Saloon
Alternatives: BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Volvo S60
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