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2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia

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2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Expert Review

By Scott Oldham -- Contributing Editor

Alfa Romeo’s recent return to the United States market hinges on the success of the new Giulia sedan. The sexy and sophisticated 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia is an Italian alternative to popular small German sports sedans like the BMW 3 Series, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Audi A4. With rear-wheel drive and powerful engines, the new Giulia offers exceptional performance and spirited handling. Behind the Giulia’s traditional Alfa grille are turbocharged engines starting with a 280-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, while the high-performance Quadrifoglio model gets a class-leading 505-horsepower V6 that outpowers the BMW M3 and Mercedes C 63 AMG. Six trim levels are available, with prices starting around $39,000, and all-wheel drive is an available option on most trim levels for $2,000.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a sexy small-sports sedan with turbocharged horsepower, room for five and a starting price below $40,000, you’ll like the new Alfa Romeo Giulia. And if you’re looking to outrun and out-style your friend’s BMW M3, then you’ll love the 505-horsepower Giulia Quadrifoglio.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a hybrid sedan in this class, look elsewhere. BMW and Mercedes offer hybrid versions of the 3 Series and the C-Class. Also, Alfa’s reputation for reliability isn’t the best and the Giulia’s base price is considerably higher than the starting price of a BMW 320i.

How It Ranks

#6

out of 19

Fuel Economy

#9

out of 19

Horsepower
View all rankings
2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Low/wide front photo What's New for 2018

Although the Giulia was all-new just last year, updates for 2018 are extensive. Alfa has updated the interior trim on the base model and added Forward Collision Plus and a harman/kardon premium audio system to the Giulia Quadrifoglio. New available options include Apply CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Driving the Giulia
2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

The 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia has a tidy footprint. Its compact size, snug sport seats and responsive steering are the stuff of which legendary sports sedans are made. In base...

... rear-drive (RWD) form or the slightly tauter Ti versions in either rear- or optional all-wheel drive (AWD), the new Giulia provides spirited handling and a relaxed ride thanks to its 50:50 weight distribution and a willing 280-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The smooth-shifting 8-speed torque-converter automatic provides quick shifts whether left to its own devices or controlled via steering-column-mounted paddles. For the ultimate in performance, opt for the range-topping rear-drive-only Quadrifoglio trim level with its Ferrari-produced 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6, which pumps out 505 horsepower. For those lucky enough to own the Quadrifoglio (which stands for “4-leaf clover”), they’ll find a car capable of being an everyday driver if left in Comfort mode and yet has the chops to make it a track-day hero.

TURBOCHARGED ENGINES
In this class turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engines are ubiquitous, but Alfa’s version of the popular powerplant puts out 280 horsepower, which is more than the 2.0-liters in the BMW 328i, Audi A4 and Mercedes C 300. Alfa says the Giulia with all-wheel drive sprints to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds.

Q4 ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
Available on the base Giulia and the Giulia Ti trim level, Alfa’s Q4 all-wheel drive turns this rear-drive sports sedan into an all-season tourer. The system has the ability to deliver up to 60 percent of the engine’s torque to the front wheels and costs an additional $2,000.

2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Details
2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Inside, the 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia looks and feels like a high-performance Italian sports sedan. Alfa even puts the engine start button on the Giulia’s leather-wrapped steering wheel, just like its sister-brand Ferrari. It’s a cool touch. Soft Italian leather is standard and sport seats are available on the Ti trim. There are plenty of soft-touch materials and the large flowing dash is covered in a choice of real wood accents or brushed aluminum and carbon fiber for a more performance-oriented style. A 6.5-inch screen is standard, but the Ti and Quadrifoglio trim levels get a more desirable 8.8-inch screen.

Exterior
2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia photo

An ugly Alfa is like a Justin Bieber presidency, it ain’t ever gonna happen. The 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia brings much needed sex appeal to a segment brimming with attractive but safe and stoic designs. This is a provocative and powerful-looking sedan, from its traditional Alfa triangle grille to the gentle sculpting of the body surfaces, and the new Giulia gains presence as you move up to the Ti and Quadrifoglio models, thanks to larger wheel-and-tire packages. And the optional sport pack on the Ti brings the same front and rear fascias and 19-inch wheels used on the QV.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The equipment list is fairly comprehensive for the new Giulia, which includes Brembo disc brakes, 17-inch alloy wheels, leather interior, dual-zone climate control, push-button start mounted on the steering wheel, rearview camera with cross-traffic detection, park sensors, keyless entry, advanced brake assist, bi-xenon headlights, and 6-way-power seats. Step up to the Ti model and you get 18-inch wheels, heated seats and steering wheel, a larger 8.8-inch screen for the infotainment system and gray wood interior trim. The fully loaded Quadrifoglio includes 19-inch wheels with high-performance tires, 12-way-adjustable sport seats, carbon-fiber and aluminum accents, LED running lights and rear carbon-fiber spoiler.

Optional Equipment

Alfa has expanded the Giulia’s option list for 2018. Available upgrades include a premium harman/kardon audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, dual-pane sunroof and on Ti models, Q4 all-wheel drive, Sport and Lusso packages including 12-way-adjustable sport seats and 18- and 19-inch wheels as well as navigation. Quadrifoglio buyers can opt for carbon-ceramic disc brakes and power-adjustable Sparco high-performance sport seats covered in a combination of leather and Alcantara and an Alcantara-covered steering wheel. Other cool extras include navigation, and safety systems like blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors and Lane Departure Warning.

Under the Hood
2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Engine photo

There are two engines in the lineup, the base turbocharged 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder that makes 280 horsepower and the Ferrari-developed and -built 505-horsepower 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6. In keeping with their pedigree, both engines have exhaust notes that are uniquely Italian. The only gearbox offered on the new Alfa Giulia is an 8-speed torque-converter automatic transmission that provides smooth, sure and swift shifts.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
280 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
306 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/33 mpg (RWD), 23/31 mpg (AWD)

2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6
505 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
443 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg

Prices start around $39,000 for the Giulia including $995 delivery, while the better-equipped $41,000 Ti model is a very good value. The 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio stickers for about $72,000, with a higher delivery charge of $1,595. The new Alfa Giulia slightly undercuts the BMW 330i’s sticker, while besting that car’s horsepower by 32 ponies; however, the 320i is less expensive than the Alfa and the 340i is more powerful. While the Quadrifoglio is about $6,000 more than the M3, it too has a significant 80-horsepower edge in output. Check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia. Holding your own in resale value can be a challenge in this league, but the Giulia retains its very well against everybody not wearing a Lexus badge.

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