Alfa Romeo Giulia
2.1L Speciale TD
The Giulia is a great-looking family saloon. It’s brilliant to drive, comfortable on longer trips, and very efficient to run. A touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth and climate control are fitted to all models, as is advanced safety tech like automatic emergency braking.
The fastest version, called the Giulia Quadrifoglio, has been named What Car’s Performance Car of the Year for three years in a row.
Great design and high-quality materials make the Giulia’s interior feel special. The driver is the focus, with all controls placed within easy reach, and from 2019 the cars come with smartphone pairing as standard.
You can easily adjust the driver’s seat and steering wheel to find a comfortable position. There’s plenty of head and legroom for back seat passengers and the large 480-litre boot is well-shaped and will comfortably swallow two large suitcases.
With quick steering and fantastic grip the Giulia is good to drive on all roads. While the engine line-up isn’t as wide as rivals, performance is strong across the board. There’s no manual gearbox available, but the standard automatic is smooth and takes the hassle out of driving in traffic.
A quiet interior and supportive front seats help make the Giulia comfortable over long distances, while the suspension soaks up bumps better than most rivals. It’s also easy to see out of and, with parking sensors as standard, it’s simple to park.
The Giulia costs less than rivals yet offers just as much standard equipment. All versions get air con and cruise control. The engines are efficient, and if you’re a high mileage driver the diesels, which return an excellent 67.3mpg, are well worth considering. Furthermore some diesel models registered before April 2018 only cost £20 a year to tax. Maintenance costs are around the same as rivals, and there are pre-paid servicing plans available.
Owners rate the Giulia highly for reliability. It finished third overall in the Auto Express Driver Power survey and also scored strongly for quality and reliability in the JD Power Dependability Study.
Euro NCAP awarded the Giulia a full five-star rating for safety. All versions get the most up to date safety technology, with automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning fitted as standard.
Best for economy - 2.2 JTDM-2 Speciale
Best for family - 2.0 TB Super
Best for fun - 2.9 V6 BiTurbo Quadrifoglio
Equipment levels are high, with even the entry-level Super getting alloys wheels, air con and cruise control. The Speciale adds larger wheels, privacy glass and keyless entry, while the Veloce brings a sporty bodykit and bright xenon headlamps. Finally, the Veloce Ti includes all the above plus leather seats.
In late 2019 the range was revised slightly to include Super, Sprint, Lusso Ti and Veloce versions. Equipment remained largely the same, but with the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for the infotainment and a new digital speedometer.
All Giulia engines are responsive and deliver good performance, with the turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol models offering a fine blend of power and efficiency. If you plan to drive more than 12,000 miles a year, then take a look at the diesels.