Alfa Romeo Giulia is a stylish Italian sports sedan built on a rear-drive platform and
designed to tackle the market segment currently dominated by the premium European
Although the name Giulia (pronounced Julia) was around in the 1960s and early 1970s it
didn’t re-emerge until 2015 when, to the delight of Alfistis everywhere, the company broke
away from using the bland numeric names 156 and 159 and returned to such a
distinctively Italian one.
There are five models in the Giulia range: Ti, Veloce, Quadrifoglio, GTA and GTAm.
There’s a huge difference in price, starting from around $70,000 for the Ti and Veloce,
then doubling once to the $143,000 Quadrifoglio and doubling again to the track-ready
GTA and GTAm.
Our test car was the Quadrifoglio, which is Italian for four-leaf clover and has been the
symbol for Alfa racing cars for close to 100 years. In modern times Quadrifoglio, often
abbreviated to QV, indicates high-performance road cars.
Giulia Quadrifoglio is a real stunner. It’s very svelte and Italian in its shape and drew plenty
of attention wherever we went due in no small part by the rich Montreal Green version that
Indeed, one Irish colleague was so smitten by the combination of the colour and the
shamrock/clover badges (there is a difference apparently) on the sides that only my
mention of the price tag stopped him from rushing off to buy one.
The exterior is highlighted by the traditional triangular shield grille flanked by two lower-
mounted grilles in the apron. The bonnet has two cooling outlets for the engine bay
There’s a carbon-fibre splitter and large air intakes for the intercoolers as well as the
brakes. The side skirts also feature carbon-fibre inserts and there are gill-style outlets
either side at the front to allow air to escape from the wheel housings.
The “angry-eyes” headlights, narrow on the inside and swept-back over the front fenders,
add to its striking appearance.
Unlike some of its competitors, there is no wagon variant for the Giulia although the
recently-released Stelvio SUV Quadrifoglio is there if a more functional interior is needed.
Giulia is built close to the ground making entry and exit difficult for less supple occupants.
Consequently, the driving position is lower than we normally like but Giulia is a sports
sedan so that’s to be expected.
The dashboard tilts slightly towards the driver.
Our test QV came with optional black leather with Alcantara inserts and green/white
stitching. The front seats have tall rigid bolsters which will challenge ample-buttocked
occupants but do provide excellent support.
Cabin storage is adequate, with dual cup holders and a sizeable smartphone-sized alcove
at the base of the dashboard and an adjacent USB socket. There are two more USB ports
in a small centre console storage box with a wireless phone charging pad next to them.
There’s also a useful small slot in the centre console to fit the keyfob.
The rear does have three seatbelts but the centre seat is not only narrow but it sits on top
of a very high transmission tunnel that makes seating, even for children, all but impossible.
Perhaps a child seat might just be squeezed in but not much else. Otherwise the fold
down armrest, with twin cupholders, will be in place all the time.
On the plus-side the two useable rear seats are large and supportive as well as heated. As
with the front seats they are finished in leather and Alcantara. Head and legroom are
reasonable and there are twin air vents and a pair of USB ports.
Boot size is a decent 480 litres although access through the narrow opening can be a
squeeze. The latest upgrade added a powered tailgate.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
Both the Ti and Veloce are powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine with
outputs of 206 kW and 400 Nm at 2250 rpm.
The 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 in the Giulia Quadrifoglio Verde (QV) is something special with
its Ferrari-inspired 500 horsepower (375 kW) twin-turbocharged engine. That peak power
comes in at 6500 rpm with the redline set at 7000 revs. There’s an impressive 600 Nm all
the way from 2500 to 5500 rpm.
All engines are mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox with large aluminium
manual gearshift paddles.
Although the Quadrifoglio hasn’t been tested by ANCAP the lower spec Veloce achieved a
five-star rating including an adult occupation protection rating of 98 per cent.
Standard safety features in the Giulia QV include six airbags, active cruise control, rear
cross traffic alert, intelligent speed control, driver inattention alert, traffic sign recognition,
automatic high beam system, lane departure warning and lane keep assist and, forward
There’s also active blind spot assist, autonomous emergency braking, tyre pressure
monitoring, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors and rear-view mirror auto-
dimming, and Isofix child seat anchors in the outer rear seats.
Display is through a small 8.8-inch touchscreen embedded in the top centre of the
dashboard that can, and should be, operated by a new rotary dial on the centre console.
Traditionalists will be happy with the two large analogue instrument dials for the driver with
a digital speedometer in between.
As is the norm nowadays there’s a lot of learning needed to operate what is quite a
complex infotainment system including a triple split screen. As always, given that we only
have most vehicles for a week, we try to avoid being too critical of features that owners will
quickly adapt to.
There’s built-in satellite navigation, DAB+ digital radio, wireless Apple CarPlay but wired
Android Auto as well as an impressive 14-speaker Harman/Kardon system called Sound
As good as the Giulia Quadrifoglio looks it’s also a brilliant car to drive. It’s a true sports
model, with an all-new rear-wheel drive architecture giving it 50:50 weight distribution. It’s
the first Alfa sedan to be driven by its rear wheels since the early 1990s. Weight is kept
down through the use of lightweight steel and composite materials such as carbon fibre.
Like an increasing number of new vehicles Giulia comes with a start/stop button, many of
which are annoyingly tucked away out of sight behind the steering wheel. Determined to
be different, the Alfa designers have cleverly positioned the button at the bottom of the
steering wheel itself. At least it’s at the bottom once the driver gets into the habit of
parking, as we all should, with the wheels pointing straight ahead.
Once pressed the fun starts with the 2.9-litre twin-turbo engine sending out a lovely V6
burble through the four tailpipes.
Around town the Giulia QV is a little awkward with ground clearance of just 100mm
needing a fair bit of caution and angled approach around driveways and the like.
The Alfa DNA Driving Mode Selector offers four main drive modes: Advanced Efficiency
(for poor traction conditions), Normal, Dynamic and Race. Each of these changes the
settings for the dampers, torque limiter, steering, gear shifts, all-wheel drive system,
exhaust valve, throttle sensitivity and torque vectoring.
Most drivers, as we did, will spend most of the time in Dynamic rather than Normal mode
as it provided everything we required.
Extra-large piece aluminium paddle shifters are fixed to the steering column encouraging
their use – just for the fun of it.
Fuel consumption is listed at 8.2 litres per 100 kilometres kept down by the combination of
auto engine stop-start and cylinder deactivation which shutting down three of the six
cylinders when not required. We averaged a touch over 10 L/100km during our test, still
pretty good for such a sporty car.
Alfa Romeo Giulia QV is a car with the character that you expect from Italy in that
combines stunning looks with outstanding performance.
Anyone who is in the market for a mid-sized sports sedan should forget all their pre-
conceptions about Alfa and at least take it for a test drive before rushing in and buying one
of its mostly German competitors.
AT A GLANCE
2.0 Ti: $68,450
2.0 Veloce: $74,950
2.9 Quadrifoglio: $143,500
2.9 GTA: $268,000
2.9 GTAm: $288,000
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Alfa Romeo dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio 2.9-litre four-door sports sedan)
Capacity: 2.891 litres
Configuration: Twin turbo V6
Maximum Power: 375 kW at 6500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 600 Nm from 2500 rpm
Fuel Type: Petrol 98 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.2L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 189 g/km
DRIVELINE: Eight-speed dual automatic, rear-wheel drive.
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4643 mm
Wheelbase: 2820 mm
Width: 1860 mm
Height: 1436 mm
Turning Circle: 10.8 metres
Kerb Mass: 1585 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 58 litres
Front: Ventilated Cross Drilled Rotors
Rear: Ventilated Cross Drilled Rotors
Five years / unlimited kilometres