Verdict on Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.2 Turbo Diesel 180 bhp Super
You can immediately see the appeal of the Alfa Romeo Giulia: a smart and sexy new Italian sports saloon and refreshing alternative to the business car norm.
It’s certainly a brave move by Alfa to design and build a brand new rear-drive car from scratch to take on the ever powerful German premium brands. There again, that’s exactly what many have wanting Alfa to do for years, to restore its previous position of being effectively an Italian BMW.
And first time out of the box, the Giulia emerges remarkably complete and good to drive. This 2.2-litre Turbo Diesel Giulia Super comes over as a very equitable all-rounder. Some will miss the old 159’s looks and some interior detailing could be better. But in the big picture, the Giulia is an impressive all-new intro that covers the bases.
You might also want to look across to the Giulia petrol as the world of diesel increasingly comes under pressure. Put simply, a comparable Giulia Super petrol will be cheaper, faster and more exciting to drive. But in terms of taxes, economy and C02 emissions, it’s the diesel. So the choice is yours.
Either way, you will be getting into an appealing new generation Giulia sports saloon that’s undoubtedly the best Alfa of its kind in years. Yes, that good.
- P11D Value: £32,795
- BIK band: 23%
- 4-door sports saloon
- 180 bhp, 2.2-litre 4 cyl turbo diesel /8-speed automatic
- CO2 Emissions: 109g/km
- Economy (Comb): 67.3mpg
What is it?
Imagine a modern seductive Italian sports saloon and you have the new Alfa Romeo Giulia, the model you see here – to be precise the Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.2 Turbo Diesel 180 bhp Super.
Competing against the likes of the 3-Series and C-Class, the Giulia is a new wave junior exec, brand new from the wheels up, launched on to the UK market as of February this year.
Alfisti (Alfa fans) will know the Giulia as the long overdue replacement for the handsome 159, but there’s far more to it than that.
In Italy, the Giulia was developed from scratch around a wholly new rear-wheel-drive sports platform, with new engines, suspension, in fact, new everything, in a bid to revive the marque and return Alfa to its sporting roots.
That sets it apart and shows Alfa is serious about taking on the German premium brands. To double the effect, the Giulia arrives just as Alfa is also introducing the new Stelvio SUV. Different cars, different market sectors but beneath the skin, Giulia and Stelvio skillfully have much in common.
Both petrol and diesels are on offer with the Giulia, from the base 200bhp turbo petrol up to the blistering 510bhp Giulia Quadrifoglio at the top end.
Strongest fleet seller is expected to be this Giulia 2.2 Turbo Diesel 180bhp Super. It’s one of the most rational in terms of everyday economy and running costs and has a good mix of pace and equipment. With a P11D of just under £33k, it’s pitched above the entry level cars yet below the most expensive.
Let’s check it out…
- The Giulia is something of a groundbreaker as it sees Alfa make a welcome return to sporting rear-wheel-drive. That’s to tackle the German premium brands head on and revive its sporting heritage with stars like the original ’60s Giulia.
- The Giulia has powerful looks, with an especially purposeful front end that clearly defines the car as an Alfa. On the road, this is a sports saloon turns heads, for sure, although some will still miss the design elegance of the 159.
- Decent all round performance from the all-new, aluminum block 2.2-litre diesel which develops 180bhp (there’s also a cheaper 150 bhp edition available). It’s quiet on the move and pleasantly tractable, especially low/mid-range.
- The 2.2 diesel combines well with the Alfa’s slick 8-speed ZF auto box which is a world away from some of the more characterful Alfa autos of the past. Large, sexy aluminum steering wheel paddle shifters also feature in this Super spec.
- The Giulia feels impressively taut, precise on the road and rides well. Handling are steering are both miles ahead of the old 159. All the behind-the-scenes work that went into the new rear-wheel architecture, suspension etc has really paid off.
- The numbers: 109g/km and 67.3mpg for C02 emissions are definitely on the money and 0-62mph in 7.1 secs and a 143mph top end are pretty fair too. Yes, the Giulia petrol is more charismatic but much thirstier and with worse C02, alas.
- There are five model grades: Giulia, Super, Speciale, Veloce and Quadrifoglio. Super gets you 17-inch alloys, leather/fabric seats, steering wheel paddle shifts, Connect infotainment system and safety kit including Lane Departure Warning.
- Inside, the Giulia is snug and stylish and comes with some cool retro cues such as the twin hooded dials that recall classic Alfas of the past. Cabin space in both front and back is decent overall and that goes for boot space, too.
- In the UK, you can have any gearbox you like so long as it’s the ZF 8-speed auto. In other words, there’s no manual box option but as 75% of BMW 3-Series sales are auto, maybe the loss is not that great. Besides, the ZF auto is a honey.
- To drive, the Giulia petrol (200bhp) is the more spirited drive and that’s even before the pacier 280bhp Giulia Veloce comes on stream. The diesel is solid and sensible and wins on running costs. But the petrol will be the enthusiasts’ choice.
- Alfa has put a lot of work into presentation both inside and out but in the cabin, some of the switchgear and plastics could be better quality and that goes for the auto shift lever itself. Some say the sat nav screen is too small and poorly sited.
- Likely to be overshadowed to some extent by the new Stelvio which is new on the market at the same time and selling into the more vibrant SUV sector. Alfa is forecasting 3,900 Giulia sales per year so its impact could be limited.
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