Alfa gives us a new saloon. is it on par with germany, though?
The lesser engines are less exciting than the 503bhp Quadrifoglio but that’s okay, because you don’t care about that. You’re most likely interested in the 2.2 all aluminium diesel engine that emits around 100g/km. This engine also has two power outputs, 148bhp and 177bhp respectively. The top speed of the diesel is 137mph for the 148 version and 143mph for the 177 version respectively. Fine for most, then. The 177bhp produces a tasty 332lb/ft at 1750rpm which means that the automatic gearbox (only option for UK) doesn’t search for ratios or kick down a gear for acceleration. No, instead it simply surges forward because of all that torque all the way across the rev range.
This diesel engine is an interesting proposition for company drivers. Annual tax sits at £20 here in the UK and the automatic gearbox increases performance at no added running cost or mpg expense. It’s claimed to be able to do 67mpg which is one of the best figures in class. Company car tax is low, too, so come right this way driver.
It revs out, this diesel, so may not feel like it performs quite as smoothly and in a refined manner like a C220 or 320d but it certainly has its advantages with that torque surging you forward from 1750...
Italy has given us another beautiful car in the Giulia. I particularly enjoy looking at the rear end of this car because it’s just that good. It trounces upon dull rivals like the 3 series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class. Those cars are very good, mature cars but this Alfa is the new parent on the block. It seems like it could be something sold for a slightly younger buyer than 44 year old Rob. Anyway, this new Giulia is beautiful. You wouldn’t care that it’s a diesel, it doesn’t have a hidden exhaust or basic chrome trim around the windows. It has sleek curves and design lines all over the body with that great triangular grille and large air intakes at the bottom sides of the front. I like the exhausts too, one on either side instead of two together on one. Never liked that. 10/10 for design, Alfa.
Luxury Package interior. Neccessity to improve the overall feel. Don't worry, you don't have to have cream.
This interior is actually really nice. It might not be of the same quality as an Audi A4, no, but it’s certainly infinitely more attractive than and not as dull as the Audi and other rivals. Fit and finish is good, it’s just little details like certain vibrations that don’t hold very well. Everything is beautifully layed out in such a way that it's practical but doesn't look boring. Germany, take out the notepad. Italian saloons have always been like that, though, and people continue to buy them so it’s certainly an issue that can be overlooked. With this interior, the luxury package is a fine option. It adds leather and wood trim like that in the image above. Nice. The visibility in the cabin is actually really good, too, and the driving position is great. I think this is going to drive very well...
Yes. It does, actually. It drives very finely indeed. The company states that this is a driver’s car and so we see. It doesn’t really have equality between sportiness and comfort. It’s a lot more sports saloon than versatile limo. The steering is a bit too sharp for the suspension. It’s probably the quickest steering in class so bends are dealt with in minimal amounts of fuss. The suspension itself is annoying when it comes to potholes which, if driven upon at certain speeds, translate a great thump through the car. Bad. Instead, this does translate into a car that gives good feel for the road ahead. Good.
The car being RWD is a great advantage because it truly grips and tackles corners well and the acceleration out of corners is truly sublime. The rather odd feel and weighting of the steering however means that it’s not as rewarding to drive as something like a 3 series or Jag XE but it can be forgiven because it really does stand alongside those two for top class drive. Take the transmission, put it into manual mode, and enjoy fantastic response. Here in the UK we only get the auto but not to worry, the manuals a bit...crap. Sure, it is a manual and offers some additional driving experience but it isn’t slick and as you’d like it plus it actually results in lower performance figures. The manual is limited to 280lb/ft of torque where the automatic delivers the mentioned 332lb/ft. High five to the ZF 8’.
The car comes with options. Packs, in fact. I’ve already mentioned the necessity for the luxury pack which enhances the previously mentioned ‘iffy quality’ to be something a lot more acceptable. It adds seat heating and xenon headlights. If you choose the Sports Pack, you get aluminium trim instead of wood and sportier steering wheel. Not all that much, then. If you want sportiness, go for Ultra packaging. It gives steering wheel mounted paddles to control the automatic gearbox and if you’re a keen driver you’ll want this every now and then for when you get bored on a decent road. The standard Giulia offers all the standard stuff you’d expect on any car in this class with things like cruise control, autonomous braking and the Groups new Connect Infotainment System. That’s all bog standard stuff, so I’d recommend Ultra or Luxury to buyers.
Beautiful is the Giulia, unquestionably so. It delivers in this segment because it has fantastic handling to match those beautiful looks and sets out a journey for Alfa Romeo. The diesels which people here in the UK will buy in the largest numbers is good. It absolutely delivers. They’re punchy, revvy, economical and pretty cheap to run. The Giulia itself however is not perfect. It isn’t quite the complete package and the quality will need to improve. While Alfa buyers and those who want an alternative will certainly consider this car, those who expect quality will possibly put this car in the option bin because it doesn’t deliver in quality as its rivals do. Then again, the XE has some cheap and scratchy materials around its cabin and that sells. We’ll just have to see if this Giulia 2.2 is a winner or not.