2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Review - Asian Car Guide
November 15, 2018




2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Review

2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Road Test, Review

2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia front

The Real Alfa Romeo is back!

So why all the excitement? Well ever since Alfa Romeo left us with the wonderfully thought-through 75, we have not seen a sedan from them to excite us this much. The Alfa 75 was well-planned, with front-engine, rear-drive and perfect balance, and featured transmission at the rear (sacrificing some boot space) – Alfa’s last rear-drive car.

Our test car, in red, had a turbocharged four-cylinder engine,. Compared to the 159 it replaces the Giulia boasts generous proportions, visually louder and almost-vulgar but in a very good way.

2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia rearThe Giulia retains the same super large “V” shape styled front grille of late model Alfas, inevitably offsetting the front licence plate. Honeycombed vents underline sporting intentions, whilst sleek elongated headlamps and sculpted bonnet create an aggressively scrawled face.

The visually aggressive story also finds its way to the rear, with sharply formed wing-like boot lid, and “one each side” styled tail pipes.

Being rear-wheel drive there is also an “extra bit of car” between front fender and front door to accommodate the north-south mounted engine. Visually, this little detail does wonders by adding a stretched-out sense of “premium-ness”, something not seen in the brand in quite a while… premium feel communicated throughout to the owner.

Inside, the cabin is refreshingly sporty. Front seats are supportive, though a better tilt function would be good, and while rear seats are sculpted quite well, legroom is comparable to an Audi A3.

The Giulia features a decent infotainment unit, neat and easy enough to navigate.

2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia interiorOverall quality of plastics has also been seen an improvement. I recall just two generations back  many 156 owners suffered sticky sun damaged plastics which in time attracted dust particles. In this car I sense everything will physically last a good number of years.

There are also little touches of Ferrari 488, from the “START” button situated on the steering wheel, to the fixed large column-mounted aluminium gear shift pedals. An absolute joy.

Cargo room even with rear mounted transmission is actually a very decent 480 litres.

Spiritually, the Giulia does carry some older 75 DNA in it, similarly-formatted longitudinally-mounted engine in front, sited on and behind the front axle (making this car a little more mid-engined), and prop shaft spinning at crank speed, connecting engine to rear-mounted transmission for better balance.

So obsessed with balance were the engineers they even deployed carbon-fibre drive shafts and  generous use of lightweight aluminium, to effect 55%  of suspension componentry to the front and 45% at the rear, all to ensure perfect 50:50 balancing.

2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia seatsOur test car’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine is good for 147kW of power and delivers 330Nm of torque to an eight-speed ZF hydraulic transmission. Revving this sweet four-cylinder past 3,500rpm you can hear the melodious burble from the rear. Strangely enough, the engine redlines at a very low 5,500rpm but even before delivery of maximum torque at 2,250rpm it feels willing and not at all flat.

The Giulia is pretty quick, but where it shines is how poised it is flicking into a bend, with plenty of communication coming from rear wheels, and minimal nose lift under hard acceleration. Part of this magic is thanks to the active suspension, able to work out how much damping to give wheel.

Steering feel is excellent with enough road feedback, and those large paddle shifters make it is easy to get carried away swapping cogs manually to set up turn after turn.

Switchable drive modes, with what Alfa Romeo calls its DNA, are Sport, Normal and Economy, also affecting active suspension behaviour.

Cabin noise harshness is minimal and even with 19”rims the Giulia is able to take on harsher bits of road without too much jarring.

2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia sideIt may compromise on passenger comfort in favour of driver-centric packaging, but this is what an Alfa Romeo is intended for….. That you will have a smile on your face each time you pitch the car into a turn or take the rev-counter higher with that addictive engine/exhaust note.

Alfa Romeo may be back a little late, but with a very satisfying better-late-than-never outcome.

The Giulia brings back the magic that had been lacking in the brand, in a big way. It is aggressively beautiful with all the right noises and Superb handling.

All new Giulia is covered by three-year/150,000km warranty/ road-side assist, and attached to 12-month or 15,000km scheduled servicing intervals, with the first three services priced from $345, $645 and $465 respectively.

 

2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Price: $63,900 (as tested, plus on-road costs)

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol

Power: 147kW at 5,000rpm

Torque: 330Nm at 1,750rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic

Fuel: 6.0L/100km (ADR Combined); 9.6L/100km (as tested)

Fuel tank: 58 litres

CO2: 138g/km (ADR Combined)

Safety rating: Five-star ANCAP (2016)