ALFA DOES MODERN ITALIAN JOB ON CLASSIC GIULIA

Hey, it’s been a long time between Alfa Romeo automotive Proseccos. It was the Giulietta
hatchback of some vintage I last tasted, if I remember correctly, which ended its almost
decade-long run last year.

Now the iconic Italian vehicle manufacturer has turned its attention to the mid-size Giulia,
adding more sparkle to the five-seater sedan. The outwardly attractive Giulia, which first
stepped out several years ago, did lack substance.

The 2021 upgrade has come up with cutting edge engineering, a series of patented
technologies and the use of lightweight materials to deliver an exhilarating driving
experience. Mechanical specifics include a rear-wheel drive platform, 50:50 optimal weight
distribution, a cutting-edge suspension scheme and an exclusive power-to-weight ratio.

These days the Alfa Romeo comes in three variants – the Giulia Sport, selling from
$63,950; Giulia Veloce, from $71,450 and Giulia Quadrifoglio, from $138,950, all before
on-road costs. Options include twin sunroof, $2255; harman kardon audio, $1255; and
metallic paint, $1355. On test was the mid-spec Veloce.

STYLING
Little change has been made to the already lauded exterior of the Giulia, a mid-size sedan
considered by aficionados to be of rare beauty.

One of three new wheel designs on offer, the gun metal finished 19-inch wheels against
the Visconti Green bodywork, in a design that mimics the old-style telephone dial, make a
fine frame for red brake calipers lurking behind.

INTERIOR
Quality materials such as unique Alfa brown leather seat upholstery, door and dashboard
trim are matched with premium features such as wireless phone charging, power heated
sports seats and a heated steering wheel.

Cabin storage is adequate, with dual cup holders, a sizable bin under the dashboard and a
spacious centre armrest with wireless charger underneath. For back-seat passengers
there are vents, USB ports, and heated outboard seats.

INFOTAINMENT
The new infotainment system has been completely redesigned with an 8.8-inch
touchscreen controlled by a new rotary dial on the centre console.

Apple CarPlay or Android Auto on the main display of the Giulia, put useful apps on view.
These include street directions, making calls, sending and receiving messages, or listening
to music, without the driver losing focus on the road.

Modern digital instruments – dated hooded dials here – and head-up display, standard on
many premium vehicles today, are absent.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
Power in the Giulia Veloce is provided by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine
serving up 206 kW and 440 Nm through the rear wheels with limited-slip differential, taking
the car from zero to 100 km/h in a claimed 5.7 seconds.

The maker also claims fuel economy of 6.1 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined
urban / highway cycle. The test car came up with 9 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and
4.8 on a motorway run.

SAFETY
Alfa Romeo’s commitment to vehicle safety is on show, with the Giulia’s advanced safety
and security features designed to help keep the driver and passengers out of harm’s way.
Recording an overall score of 98 per cent, the Giulia achieved a five-star ANCAP safety
rating with strong performance across all key areas of assessment. Standard features
include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive
cruise control with traffic jam assist, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, traffic sign
recognition, plus driver attention monitoring.

DRIVING
Slipping into the driver’s bucket seat, I was immediately at a loss searching the dash for
the engine start button. It was on the bloody steering wheel rim, which when you think of it,
is ideal: perfectly to hand.

The Ferrari-tuned motor struck up a restrained note that was to continue throughout my
time with Giulia until urged on in any of the three Alfa DNA drive modes – dynamic, normal
and advanced efficiency – on offer via a wheel on the centre console adjacent to the gear
lever.

Dynamic delivers sharper brake and steering-wheel response for sporty performance
more attuned to the track; Natural is a more comfortable suspension setting, perfect for the
daily urban commute balance in daily driving; Advanced Efficiency maximises energy but
takes the wind out of the car’s sails.

While on the subject of transmission controls, the car carries outsize steering wheel-
mounted metal paddles, to hand no matter how much the wheel was turned. Far more
accommodating than the ‘toy’ plastic ones found on many models.

Chassis Domain Control works in harmony with a brake-by-wire system. Alfa Link
Suspension is a new patented plan which keeps the front wheels perfectly perpendicular
to the ground even in fast cornering, improving steering wheel torque linearity by 20 per
cent and reducing understeer.

The rear four-and-a-half links and limited-slip differential provide some of the best-in-class
handling while offering luxury comfort.

The mid-size five-seater is drastically short on rear leg room and the sun roof closes in on
the taller person. On the other hand, 480 litres of boot space is good to take larger pieces
of luggage, even though the narrow opening can be a squeeze.

SUMMARY
Already earning plaudits with the classic good looks of a Milan fashion model, now with its
additional tech / mech chops, and a new five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty, the Alfa
Romeo Giulia Veloce is an even more attractive proposition.

RATINGS
Looks: 8/10
Performance: 8/10
Safety: 7/10
Thirst: 7/10
Practicality: 6/10
Comfort: 7/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 7/10

AT A GLANCE

MODEL LINE-UP
Alfa Romeo Giulia Sport: $63,950
Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce: $71,450
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio: $138,950
Options: Dual sunroof: $2255
Harman Kardon audio: $1255
Metallic paint: $1355
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Alfa Romeo dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (2.0L Turbo 4-cylinder petrol, 8sp automatic, RWD)
ENGINE:
Capacity: 1.995 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders inline
Maximum Power: 206 kW @ 5250 rpm
Maximum Torque: 400 Nm @ 2250 rpm
Fuel Type: 95 RON unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.1 L/100km
CO2 emissions 141 g / km

DRIVELINE: 8 speed ZF automatic, rear-wheel drive

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4643 mm
Wheelbase: 2820 mm
Width: 1860 mm
Height: 1436 mm
Turning Circle: 10.9 metres
Tare Mass:1490 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 58 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc
STANDARD WARRANTY:
Five years / unlimited kilometres

 

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
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