In the early days there was the BMW 3-Series which continued to dominate its segment for many years and even generations, even with rival brands trying to storm its position. Now things are looking a little different with Alfa Romeo and its shiny new weapon, the Giulia. Performance on paper and through tests like what Motor Trend has done is one large indicator...
- MotorTrendOur first drive experience indicated strong evidence of success on item one, and now that we’ve gotten a Giulia out of captivity and strapped our gear onto it, we have verified Alfa’s promise of a 0–60 time of 5.1 seconds. It managed this en route to a quarter-mile time of 13.6 seconds at 103.7 mph, which has the base Giulia running at the head of a crowded pack of 2.0-liter turbo sport sedans. (The Audi A4 Quattro nips most closely at its heels running 13.7 seconds at 100.4 mph). The Giulia’s engine delivers a stirring wail on its way to each redline shift, which the ZF eight-speed automatic executes smartly whether under orders from a computer that’s uncommonly savvy at selecting the optimal gear or when directed by the Ferrari-esque column-mounted aluminum elephant-ear shift paddles.
If there's something that pulled you towards the Giulia (especially the QV) odds are it was the Ferrari DNA, starting with whats under the hood. Jalopnik did a video just on exhaust to highlight how Ferrari-like it is. Ferrari DNA just doesn't start and stop with performance, the interior has some as well.
- JalopnikNext, and the thing you’re really paying for here, is that engine. In a world where turbocharging, once the domain of expensive suicide machines, has been normalized into just another appliance to boost efficiency, this Ferrari-derived V6 truly feels like it has exotic roots.
Do what we did: pop the hood and rev the **** out of it. Listen to it scream at high-RPMs, because that’s where the black magic and the God-noises happen. Watch the motor rumble and shake in its engine bay. Let it howl, unfiltered and unrestrained.
Then there’s the exhaust note. Here is a taste of some of the sound:
There's a lot about the interior to be covered especially now that owners have taken delivery, but overall one way to put it as Motor Trend did is, competitive. How competitive is hard to say, that's up for debate, which again comes back to owner feedback from being in these day in and day out.
- MotorTrendInterior 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. The trunk opening is smaller than most, and the volume inside is just barely class competitive, but as Italian sedans go—well, let’s just say no old-timers from the Alfa 164 team appear to have helped with the packaging and ergonomics of this one. So if not a slam dunk on space, comfort, and ergo-quirkiness, at least it’s darned competitive.
Suspension and Handling
Firming up the dampers along with all the other changes that take place by switching to Dynamic Mode is fun when you need it. Driving in the city is smooth as you would expect with any vehicle in this class. Electric steering has been getting some flack but at the same time raving reviews when compared to rival brands like BMW.
- AutoExpressTurn into a corner, and the quick steering immediately makes its presence felt. It's well weighted and points the Giulia’s nose towards the apex with almost laser-guided accuracy. There are huge reserves of grip from the double wishbone front suspension, while the multi-link rear does a fine job of putting the power down as you exit a bend. Race mode relaxes the stability and traction control, allowing you to indulge in the car’s beautiful rear-wheel-drive balance, but even with the aids switched on, the Alfa’s line can be altered using the steering and throttle, giving it a more natural feel than an M3.
Adaptive dampers are standard, and in Dynamic and Race settings they deliver strong body control without being too firm. Switch the suspension into Natural and the Giulia feels remarkably supple on the UK’s broken and bumpy roads. It thuds through deeper potholes, but overall it’s more comfortable and composed than the BMW. This feeling of refinement is backed up by reasonably low wind and road noise.