It had been many years since we had driven an Alfa Romeo, so when the Giulia arrived for testing, Reuben van Niekerk jumped at the opportunity to see how this automaker has moved with the times.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is an authentic expression of the Alfa Romeo spirit, successfully combining all the elements that have made it one of the most desirable automotive brands. These elements include high-performance engines, perfect weight distribution and unique technical solutions.
Four trim levels are available in the Giulia, coupled with 2,0 petrol engines. The base model features a high level of standard equipment without compromising on the value for money this model offers. This model features 16-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, cruise control as well as Stop/Start technology.
The intermediate model, the Super, extends the already high levels of specification of the Base by adding 17-inch alloy wheels, Adaptive Cruise control with stop function, steering wheel-mounted shift paddles, twin exhausts, privacy glass, and decorative aluminium sill plates in the door entrances.
The top model in the 2,0 litre range, the Super with Stile Pack, features everything available on its sibling plus the addition of 18-inch alloy wheels, Uconnect 8,4 CD/DVD/MP3 interface with navigation, sports pack and wheel, aluminium inserts on the dashboard, central tunnel and door panels, as well as Xenon headlights. The Luxury pack includes a leather-upholstered dashboard and door panels, heated front seats that are 8-way adjustable, genuine oak or walnut wood inserts on the dashboard, central tunnel and door panels, plus chrome-plated exterior window frames.
Interior finishes are available in cloth or leather on the Base model, cloth and leather in single or two-tone on the Super model and full leather on the Stile option. The QV version features three leather and alcantara combinations.
The interior of the Giulia offers the best in terms of quality, safety, equipment and comfort, with a specific, profoundly Alfa Romeo-style element being the central position of the driver.
By design, all the main controls, including the start button, are incorporated in the steering wheel, while the human-machine interface consists of two simple, user-friendly knobs for adjusting the Alfa DNA selector and infotainment system.
The Giulia features some of the very best in terms of driving assistance currently on the market. Multiple sensors are fitted throughout the car to guarantee peace of mind and a safer drive. This is demonstrated by systems such as the Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking that ensure the Giulia will avoid collisions with pedestrians on the vehicle’s path. In addition, the Giulia features adaptive cruise control and Lane Departure warning.
The 2,0 litre engine is made entirely of aluminium and generates 147kW at 5000rpm and 330Nm at 1750rpm. An electro-hydraulic valve activation system, a 2-in-1 turbocharger system, and 200-bar direct injection combine to deliver quick response to accelerator commands at all speeds while retaining highly efficient fuel consumption levels.
This engine is coupled to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The gearbox was one of the areas that did, unfortunately, let the car down. It seems the programming of how it changes gears, especially on the downshift needs some work, as it can be jerky in a high traffic situation when, in our opinion, it selects first gear too soon.
However, the Giulia proves that Alfa Romeo products have undoubtedly made huge improvements in fit, finish and quality. But I do still feel that they are one step behind the German automakers when it comes to that attention to detail that can make a good car, a great car. – Reuben van Niekerk