What is it?
A cross between Sophia Loren and Daniel Ricciardo.
A combination of slinky, sensual supermodel curves combine with tenacious roadholding.
There’s a choice of petrol or oiler up front, a super slick auto is standard and there’s a range of exterior colours to complement the choice of interior trims.
Our 2.2-litre diesel delivered 132kW of power and a very decent 450Nm of twist.
Fuel consumption is better than frugal, with a 4.2L/100km combined cycle claim, and a claimed 3.5L for the highway.
With a 52-litre tank this means a drive from Sydney to Melbourne and some way back.
What’s it cost?
The Giulia range kicks off at $59,990. Starting cost for the Super with petrol donk is $64,900 driveaway — the diesel a $2000 impost.
Metallic paint is $1300 while a “tri-coat” is $3500. There’s nine metallics available, three non, and two tri-coats.
Inside there’s a choice of five colour combinations including the beige and black our Montecarlo blue clad machine was supplied with.
It’s a beautifully sculpted interior. The seats are covered in supple leather, are supportive, and have a massage function available.
The dash itself is a sweep of black and walnut, with a non-touchscreen integrated nicely. The centre console has an Audi-esque multi-function menu button and rotary dial — it’s simple, and intuitive.
The same can’t be said for the location of the bonnet release. A good search proved fruitless, but it was later located in the driver’s footwell, sitting above the driver’s left foot.
Quirkiness is part and parcel of the Alfa heritage but that’s ridiculous.
Another quirk is the location of the push button start. This is dead simple to find as it’s front and centre on the bottom left of the steering wheel.
The gear selector is a simple affair; a trigger on the front, which is perhaps a bit soft, allows a pull back for Drive and forward for Reverse. Park is a button on top and I lost count of times this was accidentally activated by simply brushing the palm across as either of the former were selected.
The exterior design harkens to another well known Italian temptress. Maserati design cues are strong with this one, with a long bonnet, hawk-like headlights, a stubby boot of 480-litre capacity, and triangular LED tail lights.
There’s the now accepted list of safety features such as Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Active Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path Detection.
Currently Alfa offers a five-year warranty and roadside assistance package.
What’s it go like?
The diesel has a multiple personality. Thanks to a device called Alfa DNA, it can be a relative slug, relatively spritely, or related to a firecracker.
Next to the multi-function dial is another, smaller, dial. There are three settings. A, N, D — or if you will, DNA.
They stand for Advanced Efficiency, Natural and Dynamic. The first has the diesel roll on its 18 inch diameter alloys with a lack of enthusiasm.
Dial it up a notch and it’s responsive to the throttle. Dynamic is the driver’s preference. Response is tighter, driveability is improved, overtaking and off the line acceleration are enhanced.
Braking is brilliant, with just a caress of the pedal eliciting instant feedback and retardation. The gearbox is also in total sync, with swift and seamless changes.
Road holding is sublime with the Pirelli 225/45 and 245/40 rubber tenacious in their grip, while the double wishbone front and Alfa link rear absorb highway and freeway lumps, bumps, and irregularities as if they don’t exist.
Turn in is precise and the camber up front is such that the tyres feel as if they scrub at parking speeds.
What we like?
- Stunning exterior
- Stunning road holding
- A ripper range of colour combinations
What we don’t like?
- Stupid location of the bonnet release
- Fussy gear selector design
- Something this gorgeous seems unnatural
The bottom line?
The DNA system changes the rev point of the engine noticeably. D is for the driver and the other two are superfluous. Buy it and drive it in any other mode and you’re doing both the car and yourself a disservice.
The Giulia is impossibly beautiful and, looking like a smaller Maserati Quattroporte, offers supercar presence at a bargain price.
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Alfa Romeo Giulia, priced from $59,990