2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia on sale now

The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia brings Italian style to the executive saloon market

The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia contends with rivals like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes C-Class and Jaguar XE. You’ll need from £29,180 to bag the entry-level model, which is just referred to as ‘Giulia’, while the lavish Speciale trim costs from £34,150.

If you want the BMW M3-rivalling Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio with its extensive performance adaptations, it’ll set you back £59,000, almost double the price of the standard model.

In the regular Giulia line-up, the most popular engine is Alfa’s 2.2-litre diesel with a choice of 148 or 178bhp, but there’s also a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol with 197bhp for those after a sportier experience. With 503bhp, the Quadrifoglio uses a 2.9-litre petrol V6 with two turbochargers, developed in collaboration with Ferrari.

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia equipment & trim levels

There are five grades available, starting with Giulia and going through Super, Technica, Speciale and finally Quadrifoglio. Even the standard model is reasonably well equipped, with 16-inch alloy wheels, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, rear parking sensors, cruise control and climate control. The Jaguar XE undercuts the entry-level Giulia by around £2,000, but the Alfa does get some extra safety technology, including autonomous emergency braking lane-keeping assistance. The fact the Giulia trim only comes with a petrol engine is likely to put off UK buyers, however.

For this reason alone, the Super is the most likely to sell in big numbers, priced from £30,750 with the 148bhp 2.2-litre diesel. The step up in trim also brings an 8.8-inch touchscreen, along with a second seven-inch display in the instrument cluster. The interior gets a lift, too, with part-leather seats and a choice of three colours.

Choose the Technica (starting at £30,995) or Speciale (£34,150) and you can no longer get a petrol engine, but the specification increases to include privacy glass, all-round parking sensors, a reversing camera and filtered air-conditioning.

The Speciale trim gets an exterior makeover akin to BMW’s M Sport and Audi’s S line trim levels, with 18-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, sports front and rear bumpers, twin exhaust tailpipes and even red brake callipers. The theme continues inside, with aluminium pedals, heated and power-adjustable front seats, leather trim and a heated steering wheel.

Costing roughly twice as much as the entry-level Giulia, the Quadrifoglio could almost be considered a separate model, with unique sports seats and upholstery, a sports steering wheel, carbon-fibre trim and aerodynamic bodywork.

Design

The Giulia’s predecessor, the Alfa Romeo 159, was a handsome car, with angular lines and a graceful shape. The Giulia’s styling is more assertive, with swooping headlights and rounded edges that give it a more muscular air. It has short overhangs front and rear, which is typical of a car like this. It also sports the iconic Alfa Romeo badge set in a triangular grill.

The standard Giulia doesn’t look quite as aggressive as the Quadrifoglio, but is still a very pretty car that’ll most likely turn more heads than a BMW 3 Series or Audi A4.

Interior

Alfa Romeo cabins have been somewhat fragile and not that user-friendly in the past, but the Giulia’s interior looks good. While the traditional hooded and chrome-ringed dials remain, the dashboard is considerably more modern and less cluttered than those of previous Alfas.

The Giulia has a very driver-focused interior, with many of the main controls (including the starter button) fitted to the steering wheel. A colour display behind the wheel (3.5 or seven inches depending on the trim level) shows key information about the car to the driver. Carbon-fibre trim makes the Quadrifoglio even sportier inside.

Technology

A Connect Nav 3D system with rotary dial and voice control provides infotainment functions through a screen on the Giulia’s dashboard. An optional 14-speaker Harmon Kardon surround-sound stereo is also offered for the Giulia, promising excellent sound quality.

The Giulia also sports up-to-date safety assistance systems, such as forward collision warning to detect and avoid potential front-end crashes, as well as autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and blind-spot monitoring. The benefit of all this safety-technology is borne out by the five-star rating the Giulia has been awarded after Euro NCAP crash-testing, including a 98% score for adult protection.

Engines, drive & performance

Although the Quadrifoglio’s Ferrari-derived V6 is arguably the most exciting engine to be fitted to an Alfa Romeo in years, it’s unlikely to be the one most buyers go for.

Two versions of a 2.2-litre diesel account for the bulk of UK Giulia sales. The first makes 148bhp, while those in search of more power should be satisfied with the 178bhp version. The 2.0-litre TBi four-cylinder turbocharged petrol makes 197bhp, but doesn’t sell as well as the two diesels.

All use a new Alfa Romeo eight-speed automatic transmission called Q-Tronic, while an ‘ECO’ version of the 178bhp engine emits less than 100g/km of CO2 for free road tax, if registered before the system changes on 1 April 2017.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio model boasts serious performance, with a 503bhp Ferrari-inspired 2.9-litre V6 engine taking it to 62mph from rest in just 3.9 seconds and on to an incredible top speed of 191mph. That makes it faster than the majority of its rivals.

Complementing the sporty looks and performance numbers of the Giulia Quadrifoglio is a body constructed of lightweight materials. The bonnet and roof are carbon-fibre, while the wings, doors and parts of the rear bodywork are made of aluminium. This strict weight-saving regime has resulted in 50:50 weight distribution – so the Giulia handles any twists and turns the road throws at it pretty well.

Alfa Romeo has also introduced an Active Roll Control system on the Giulia to improve ride and handling by altering the suspension through corners to keep the car balanced. An adjustable suspension function is also available as an option, giving you the facility to change the ride for comfort or improved handling.

Price & on-sale date

The Alfa Romeo Giulia went on sale in the UK in November 2016. Prices start at £29,180 for the entry-level model equipped with the 197bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine. The Super starts at £30,750 for the 148bhp diesel or £30,880 for the petrol, while if you go for the more powerful diesel, it’s £31,950.

The Tecnica costs either £30,995 or £32,195 depending on engine, while the Speciale – which is only available with the more powerful diesel – is priced from £34,150. Finally, the exciting Quadrifoglio model will set you back at least £59,000.

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