- Dynamic, engaging performance
- Impressive on-board tech as standard
- Responsive automatic gearbox
- Infotainment system quite slow
- Some rivals offer more boot space
- No hybrid or plug-in hybrid versions
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is a neatly styled four-door saloon that has been given a make-over for 2023 to take on-board design cues from the recently-launched Tonale.
Giulia is available in two generously-equipped trim levels called Sprint and Veloce and both models are competitively priced.
The entry-level Giulia Sprint offers customers the full Alfa Romeo experience, while the Veloce further enhances the sportiness and performance of the car.
Both versions are rear-wheel drive and powered by a 2.0-litre 280hp petrol engine. We tested the Giulia Veloce.
The four-door Giulia is a family saloon that will turn heads as it passes thanks to its dynamic styling with distinctive trademark Alfa Romeo design cues.
The 2023 model features some new features, including 3+3 headlights – these are a nod to the iconic Alfa Romeo SZ Zagato and feature full-LED adaptive Matrix lights. In addition, the front and lower grilles of the main air ducts have been given a unique finish to reinterpret the famous Trilobo grille.
Other eye-catching features include dark tinted rear windows (a £350 optional extra), gloss black window surrounds, aluminium front kick plates, a gloss black exhaust finisher, a black V-grille and an offset front number plate.
Moving inside, the interior is packed with tech and features black leather upholstery throughout. The main nerve centre is an 8.8-inch infotainment system with navigation that offers access to the numerous features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, a DAB radio and a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines,
The heated seats and steering wheel are ideal to fend off the winter blues and there is a new-look 12.3-inch digital driver display screen that can be customised into three different layouts called Evolved, Relax and Heritage.
There are plenty of physical dials and switches to operate the climate control, audio volume, drive modes and navigate the touchscreen, along with lots of steering wheel controls too.
All readouts are perfectly positioned for driver-useability, although some of the touchscreen functions seemed to lag a little at times.
On The Road
Handling & Performance
Alfa Romeo is renowned for creating beautifully-styled cars with performance to match the dynamic good looks and the Giulia is another perfect example.
Powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine delivering 280hp and 400Nm of torque, the Giulia can power its way to 62mph from a standing start in just 5.7 seconds and maxes out at 149mph.
The acceleration through the eight-speed automatic transmission is perfectly timed for rapid pace and there are large metal paddles each side of the steering wheel for manual gear changes.
Out on the testing country lanes with lots of twists and turns, the Giulia is beautifully balanced with excellent grip into and out of tight corners. The steering is nicely weighted with plenty of driver feedback and drive modes called d, n and a alter the characteristics of the car, with ‘d’ standing for Dynamic, ‘n’ for Natural and ‘a’ is used for Advanced Efficiency to maximise fuel economy.
The latest Giulia is a confident motorway cruiser too sitting comfortably at 70mph and is also agile in busier town centre settings with fairly decent driver visibility making life easier.
You do sit quite low to the ground and while the suspension set-up does a worthy job of smoothing out many bumps and dips, you will feel the full force of any unexpected potholes.
Space & Practicality
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is a four-door, mid-sized saloon car that stretches 4,643mm in length, 2,024mm wide and 1,436mm tall. The cabin is spacious with ample room up front. Thanks to its 2.82-metre wheelbase, there is a decent amount of legroom for a couple of adults to sit comfortably in the back provided the front seats are not pushed right back.
The large transmission tunnel means any passenger forced to sit in the middle rear seat will have limited leg room, but it’s fine for children.
The boot has a capacity of 480 litres and this can be increased further thanks to 60:40 split-folding rear seats – anchor points are a practical plus-point to stop items rolling around. On the downside, the high lip means loading heavier items can be quite challenging. Elsewhere there is a cooled glovebox, central cubby, narrow door pockets, front and rear cup holders, seat back nets, trays and a wireless charging pad.
Powered seats and a fully-adjustable steering wheel make getting comfy a simple task and there are memory settings to save favourite driving positions which is handy if the car is shared.
And with family getaways in mind, the Giulia has a towing limit of 1.6 tonnes.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia range costs from £43,260 for the Sprint and £47,759 for the Veloce version, as tested. Our model featured dark tinted rear windows that added a sense of mystique and increased the final price-tag by a further £350.
When it comes to the day-to-day running costs, the Giulia can deliver a combined 38.2mpg, under WLTP testing, with carbon emissions of 167g/km.
That CO2 figure would result in a first-year Vehicle Excise Duty charge, or road tax as we generally call it, of £645 dropping to the standard rate of £180 after 12 months. But for anyone considering the Guilia as a company car, the Benefit in Kind rating of 37 per cent is not that rewarding due to the high emissions figure. The lack of any hybrid powertrains may also be off-putting for business drivers.
The Giulia Veloce sits in insurance group 34.
For anyone in the market for a compact saloon, the Alfa Romeo Giulia makes for an ideal alternative to the big German carmakers that dominate the sector.
It may not be quite so plush or offer all the bells and whistles as its rivals, but it has Italian flair and character that really helps it stand out in any crowd.
However, the lack of any hybrid or plug-in hybrid versions could be viewed as an issue, especially in the fleet market.