Alfa Romeo’s Giulia a sports sedan that offers exhilarating performance and beautiful design with an Italian pedigree, but what else would you expect from a vehicle named Giulia? Whether you opt for the turbocharged four-cylinder engine or the ferocious bi-turbo V6, the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia is a welcome addition to the entry-level premium midsize segment.
The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia is a premium compact sedan with seating for five passengers. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel-drive is available. Three trims are available: base, Ti and Quadrifoglio. All trim levels employ an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Giulia is all-new for the 2017 model year, and it’s the second vehicle from Fiat Chrysler America’s relaunched performance brand.
The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia evokes classic heritage while reaching for the future. From the V-shaped front grille all the way to the attractive dual exhaust, the Giulia is an Italian design combining modern and vintage elements.
Our top-trim Quadrifoglio test vehicle featured unique performance-enhancing design cues. An active aero front splitter adds downforce while braking and cornering. The carbon-fiber hood and aluminum doors reduce weight for improved fuel economy and acceleration. Our test car’s 19-inch wheels helped give it a menacing appearance. The 50/50 weight distribution reveals a balanced design inside and out, a trait found in all Giulia models.
The base Giulia arrives with bi-xenon headlamps, signature LED daytime running lights and 17-inch alloy wheels. The Giulia Ti trim enhances the exterior styling with a set of larger 18-inch alloy wheels.
If there is a drawback to the Giulia’s design it would be the disconnect from the wildly aggressive grille to the mild-mannered rear quarter of the car. From the front, very few cars can match the Giulia’s over-the-top design, but from the side and rear, the Giulia is less exciting. Of course, for some the sedate rear-exterior styling may be a selling point, but for us, it feels like Alfa Romeo could have done a little more to extend the heritage-inspired vintage vibe throughout the design.
The nicely appointed interior of the base Giulia features premium features such as leather seating, aluminum door handles and sill plates, a flat-bottom steering wheel and a six-way power adjustable driver’s seat. Front-seat occupants have plenty of legroom, and finding a comfortable driving position is a simple task. The Giulia’s driver-centric cockpit places the vehicle’s controls well within reach, and the controls are easy to use.
The Giulia’s rear seats are less enticing. Taller back-seat passengers will likely find the space constricting. For our use, with two teenagers in tow, the rear seating was adequate but uninspiring.
Additional standard features include a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, dual-zone automatic climate control, a proximity key and push button start. Ti models add genuine wood accents, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.
Our top-trim Giulia Quadrifoglio model includes eight-way power-adjustable front seats and carbon-fiber interior accents. Our test car also featured an optional Formula 1 racing-inspired carbon-fiber steering wheel with a bright-red push-button-start feature located in the middle of the wheel.
Base Giulia and Giulia Ti models are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. With the 2.0-liter turbo, the Giulia produces 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque. Zero to 60 mph is reached in an impressive 5.1 seconds and the four-cylinder Giulia boasts a top speed of 150 mph. The EPA rates the Giulia at 24/33 mpg city/highway with rear-wheel-drive and 23/31 mpg with all-wheel drive.
An eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel-drive are standard, and all-wheel-drive is available on base and Ti models.
The top-trim Quadrifoglio model features a high-performance twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 engine that generates 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. The Quadrofoglio reaches 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and has a top speed of 191 mph. EPA fuel economy is rated at 17/24 mpg city/highway.
As great as they are, the Quadrifoglio’s performance numbers don’t do it justice. The Giulia is a track-ready sports sedan with few equals in the segment. Handling is superb, and braking is inspiring. Shifting is literally lightning fast. Advanced features include torque vectoring, an adaptive suspension and Brembo brake calipers.
The base Giulia offers a nice amount of standard technology features. The standard infotainment system features a 6.5-inch touch screen, voice recognition, Bluetooth and two USB connections. The base eight-speaker audio system is simple but effective. The Ti model features a larger 8.8-inch touch-screen and satellite radio.
The top-tier Quadrifoglio model adds 3-D navigation, a feature available as an option in lower trim levels. Our review vehicle also included an optional 900-watt 14-speaker Harmon Kardon premium audio system. The premium system provides immersive sound.
While not the best system in the segment, Alfa Romeo’s infotainment technology is easy to use and works well. Our suggestion would be to opt for the larger 8.8-inch touch screen as it provides better usability and adds a premium look to the interior.
The Giulia comes standard with antilock brakes and electronic stability control. The Giulia also features a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines and rear park-assist sensors as standard equipment.
Optional safety features include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic detection and front park-assist sensors.
Pricing for the base 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia starts at $37,995, not including a $995 destination fee. The Ti model starts at $39,995 plus destination. All-wheel-drive adds $2,000 to the starting price.
Ti models can be enhanced with Ti 19-Inch Sport and Ti Lusso packages. The Ti 19-Inch Sport package adds unique front and rear fascias, 19-inch alloy wheels, gloss black window trim, colored brake calipers, a leather steering wheel and aluminum column-mounted paddle shifters. The Ti Lusso package dresses up the interior with Italian leather seats, a leather dash and a luxury-themed steering wheel. Both packages retail for $2,250.
The top-trim performance-oriented Giulia Quadrifoglio starts at $74,200 plus a $1,595 destination fee.
The Giulia’s wide price range means that Alfa Romeo provides a model for almost any luxury budget. The base model stacks up nicely with the competition. Although its starting price is a few thousand dollars more than the base Audi A4, the numbers make sense when you look at the Giulia’s performance and standard features.
The top-trim Giulia Quadrifoglio also makes a good argument for its $74,200 sticker price, offering unique styling and nearly unbeatable performance.
The Giulia lives in a segment that is crowded with excellent vehicles. While Alfa Romeo’s Giulia is undoubtedly the newest kid on the block, it is surprisingly mature for a first-year version of an all-new model.
Buyers looking for a sports sedan with unique styling and excellent performance will appreciate the Giulia’s bold design and excellent driving dynamics. Shoppers longing for incredible performance will want to step up to the Giulia Quadrifoglio for its blend of muscle and sophistication.