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2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia

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Overview (Final Score: C-)

What We Love About the 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia

  • Potent Four-Cylinder Engine

  • Sports-Car Like Handling

  • Beautiful Design

What We Didn't Love About the 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia

  • Questionable Reliability

  • Back Seat is Quite Small

  • Frustrating Infotainment System


Exterior View (9/10)

The Giulia stands out from other compact luxury sedans with a striking look. The flowing body lines and bulging hood help generate a feeling of driving something quite special. Classic Alfa Romeo traits are here with the triangular front grille and a set of dual exhaust tips. Different trims on the Giulia can help it look more luxurious or aggressive. Our Ti Sport tester takes the latter route with slightly altered front and rear fascias; 19-inch aluminum wheels with a dark finish, and colored brake calipers.


Interior Comfort, Quality and Ease of Use (6/10)

On the surface, the Giulia's interior looks upscale with premium materials such as fine leather, the choice of either wood or metallic trim; and soft-touch plastics. But begin to poke around and that illusion begins to fade. For example, the center console is comprised of plastics that you would expect to find in a budget car, not one costing just over $50,000. Other parts of the vehicle such as the cheap feeling vents don't inspire confidence in the build quality. At least Alfa's designers laid out the controls that both driver and passenger can easily reach.

The Ti Sport comes with heavily bolstered front seats that state the sedan's sporty intentions. Some will find the side bolstering to be a bit much, not allowing their bodies to fit in place. We would recommend trying both the standard and sport seats to see which fits best. Once you do get settled in, the seats provide an excellent balance of comfort and support no matter what your drive may entail. The small diameter steering wheel with metal paddle shifters help amp up the feeling of driving something sporty. The Giulia's back seat is one of the smallest in the class, with limited head and legroom. Not helping matters is narrow opening for the rear doors, making entry and exit difficult for passengers of all sizes.

Trunk space in the Giulia measures 12 cubic feet, putting it mid-pack in the class. The rear seats do fold to allow for more cargo capacity.


Technology (6/10)

Alfa Romeo offers either a 6.5 or 8.8-inch screen for the infotainment system. The system is controlled by either a controller knob in the center console or voice commands. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available as options for the 2018 Giulia. Our particular test car came with the 8.8-inch screen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.

We were not impressed with the infotainment system in the last Alfa Romeo we drove and we're hoping our experience would better in the Giulia. Sadly, that would not be the case. Like in the Stelvio, the Giulia's system proved to be quite problematic with various functions taking a long time to load, having to go through various menus to complete simple tasks, and the system crashing on us a few times during the week. It's clear that Alfa Romeo needs to do some serious work on their infotainment system.

As for Apple CarPlay compatibility, it worked out ok. The system was able to find the iPhone 7 Plus within a few seconds of being plugged in and brought up the CarPlay interface. It is much easier to use this than the Alfa system thanks to larger icons and text. Still, it would be nice if we had a touchscreen to move around and select various functions.

Fuel Economy (8/10)

The 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti all-wheel drive has EPA ratings of 23 City/31 Highway/26 Combined, putting it towards the top of the class. Rear-wheel drive models see a one MPG increase in city and combined, and a two mpg increase for the highway. Our average for the week landed around 23.6 mpg.


Predicted Reliability, Initial Quality Ratings (5/10)

The biggest weakness for the Alfa Romeo Giulia has to be reliability. Consumer Reports gives the model a below average rating in the predicted reliability study. At the time of this writing, J.D. Power hasn't issued either a predicted reliability or initial quality rating.

Numerous outlets have reported various issues with their test Giulias ranging from a sunroof not opening to shutting down at a stoplight and not restarting. Our test Giulia had a problem with the rear brakes. There was a noticeable screeching noise coming from the driver's side whenever the brake pedal was applied. We couldn't tell if something was warped or a piece had come loose.

Safety (8/10)

Alfa Romeo equips the Giulia with the basics in terms of safety such as anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control; front and rear parking sensors; backup camera, and a full set of airbags. Optional is the Driver Assistance Static Package (blind-spot monitoring and auto dimming side-view mirrors) and Driver Assistance Dynamic Plus Package (adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, forward collision warning plus, and lane departure warning). The two packages combined add $2,150 to the price and are very much worth it for the added safety.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is the only group to crash test the Giulia where it was named a Top Safety Pick.


Performance (8/10)

The majority of Alfa Romeo Giulias will be equipped like our test car; a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder delivering 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque. This is teamed with an eight-speed automatic and optional all-wheel drive. Rear-wheel drive is standard. Those wanting more power need to step to the twin-turbo 2.9L V6 found in the Quadrifoglio as it provides 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque.

The turbo-four induces grins very easily as it gets up to speed at a rapid rate. Those who have timed the Giulia say it can hit 60 mph in just over five seconds, fast for the class. This is due to the engine being quite torquey at low rpms. It helps that the turbo-four has a snarl when accelerating which adds to the appeal. But the sporting character of the 2.0L diminishes a bit when at idle as it sounds like a diesel. The eight-speed automatic delivers smooth and rapid shifts no matter if it's going up or down the gears.

Where the Giulia truly shines is on a good road full of curves. The chassis is very playful, providing excellent body control and flat cornering in the turns. The steering provides a quick response when turning and gives good feedback of the road to the driver. Ride quality will vary on what drive setting you have the Giulia in, providing either a complaint or a stiff ride on most road surfaces.


Pricing and Value (7/10)

The 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia lineup begins at $38,195 for the base rear-wheel drive model and climbs to $73,700 for the Quadrifoglio. Our Ti Sport AWD kicks of $41,495 and with a few option packages comes to an as-tested price of $51,885. Our recommendation for most buyers is to check out the Ti lineup as it offers the best balance of features and performance for the money.


Total Score and Competitive Comparison (57/80, 71.3%)

Jaguar's XE may not have the sleek looks of the Giulia, but it can match the Alfa in handling prowess. It can also match the Giulia in terms of performance when equipped with 296 horsepower 2.0L turbo-four. But the XE also has a number of faults such as a tight back seat and an infotainment system that is quite perplexing to use. Audi's A4 is a bit plain in terms of design, but can match the Giulia's 0-60 mph time with a potent 252 horsepower 2.0L turbo. It is also quite luxurious, boasting high-quality materials and tech features that that Giulia can only dream about.

The Alfa Romeo Giulia is tough to recommend for most people for a number of issues ranging from a confusing infotainment system to very questionable reliability. That's a shame as there's a lot to like about the Giulia from a punch four-cylinder engine to a very sexy exterior. If you really have your heart set on one, be aware of what you're getting yourself into.

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
Sedan - AWD
AWD 4 Cylinder AWD 40195
Sport Sport AWD 4 Cylinder AWD 40195
Ti Ti AWD 4 Cylinder AWD 42195
Ti Lusso Ti Lusso AWD 4 Cylinder AWD 42195
Ti Sport Ti Sport AWD 4 Cylinder AWD 42195
Sedan - RWD
RWD 4 Cylinder RWD 38195
Sport Sport RWD 4 Cylinder RWD 38195
Ti Ti RWD 4 Cylinder RWD 40195
Ti Lusso Ti Lusso RWD 4 Cylinder RWD 40195
Ti Sport Ti Sport RWD 4 Cylinder RWD 40195

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