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- Highs Gorgeous exterior styling, spry handling, gutsy turbo four-cylinder engine.
- Lows Checkered reliability record, some cheap interior bits, smallish interior storage bins.
- Verdict The Giulia is a true driver's car with a seductive look and an Italian accent.
Alfa Romeo’s triumphant return to North America has not been without stumbles, but the Giulia is absolute proof that the legendary performance brand can deliver the goods. An athletic chassis, crooning turbocharged four-cylinder engine, available adaptive suspension, quick steering, and tenacious brakes make the Giulia a joy to drive—for novices and professional drivers alike. Within its muscular body lies a cabin that can be dressed in either a sporty or chic motif. To calm the nerves of potential buyers, we’re happy to report that Alfa’s initial build-quality issues seem to have been resolved. Giulias that have recently visited our office performed flawlessly without any mechanical or electrical glitches that plagued earlier examples. The Giulia is the real deal: a total-package sports sedan that we’re delighted to have on our 10Best Cars list for 2018.
What's New for 2018?
Following its much-anticipated introduction in 2017, the Giulia sees a sort of expansion of its lineup for 2018. Last year’s entry-level Giulia and Giulia Ti each spawn additional models based on last year’s Lusso and Sport option packages to create a five-model lineup: Giulia, Giulia Sport, Giulia Ti, Giulia Ti Lusso, and Giulia Ti Sport. Other changes are minor and include a handful of new wheel designs and chrome rings around the door speakers on base and Sport trims. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard on all Giulia models, front parking sensors are now bundled together with blind-spot monitoring and auto-dimming exterior mirrors, and a new Cargo Convenience package ($250) adds grocery-bag hooks, a cargo net, and tie-down hooks inside the Giulia’s trunk. The premium 14-speaker Harman/Kardon stereo is now offered as a $900 option on the Giulia and Giulia Sport.
- Base: $39,490
- Ti: $41,490
- Sport: $39,490
- Ti Sport: $41,490
- Ti Lusso: $43,990
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Its turbocharged engine and eight-speed automatic transmission power into 2018 without any changes and so does the Giulia’s real-world performance. The Giulia’s 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four makes 280 horsepower, sounds intoxicating, and feels gutsy when driven hard. Yet, somewhat disappointingly, it only powers the Giulia to a mid-pack finish in our acceleration tests. The automatic transmission’s harsh gearchanges in the sportier Dynamic drive mode are the sole shortcoming. Our rear-wheel-drive test car’s 5.7-second zero-to-60-mph time in our testing places it at midpack among the competition, but none of its rivals sound quite as good. With all-wheel drive, the Giulia proved to be slightly quicker in our testing. Zippy turbo power, an athletic chassis with responsive steering, and strong braking performance make the Giulia an enthusiast’s dream come true. Additionally, it’s an easy car to live with for a daily commute, thanks to its comfortable ride. Agile and lively at all times, the Giulia is a driving enthusiast’s sports sedan. The front tires are very responsive to input and speak clearly to the driver through the leather-wrapped steering wheel. Body roll is well controlled, and in hard corners the Giulia remains flat and predictable. It’s easy to drive quickly and aggressively, but it’s equally comfortable when driven sedately. Even with our test car’s optional adaptive suspension on its firmest setting, it absorbed bumps nicely, but don’t expect a cloudlike ride in any mode.
EPA fuel economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest and most accurate fuel economy numbers on current and older vehicles, we use the U.S. Department of Energy's fueleconomy.gov website. Under the heading "Find & Compare Cars" click on the Compare Side-by-Side tool to find the EPA ratings for the make, model, and year you're interested in.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The beautifully designed interior looks convincingly upscale, save for a few missteps. Supportive seats and well-laid-out controls provide a driving position that is comfortable and perfect for enthusiastic driving. A few interior tweaks are in store for 2018: base Giulia and Giulia Sport models now come with chrome rings around the door speakers and a new two-tone, black and ice gray interior theme can be ordered on all but the Ti Lusso trim. A new, light walnut wood trim is available as a no-cost option on the Giulia Ti Lusso. The seats are comfortable and well bolstered, especially in the optional sport seats. The interior of the Giulia features soft-touch plastics, fine leather, and either textured metallic or genuine wood trimmings. Cheaper plastics in the center console near the shifter strike the one discordant note. It’s an elegantly styled cabin, with a wide, sweeping dashboard that acts as a visor to shade the integrated infotainment screen from the sun. Trunk space and rear-seat flexibility approach best-in-class levels, but when it comes to storage cubbies and bins, the Giulia falls short. All of the available bins inside the cabin are small and shallow, and the door pockets are especially inconvenient due to their narrow openings that limit usability.
Infotainment and Connectivity
All Giulias feature Alfa Romeo’s Information and Entertainment System, displayed on either the standard 6.5-inch or optional 8.8-inch display, tucked in between the dashtop and the central climate-control vents. Three USB ports, an auxiliary input jack, and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity are all standard. The system is controlled by a rotary knob on the center console or by using voice control. The Information and Entertainment System interface requires several clicks to complete simple tasks, but overall it’s no less intuitive than its rivals.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.