Alfa Romeo Giulia Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
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Wednesday 6th December


What is it like to drive?

Thankfully, it’s the driving department where Alfa’s engineers have hit the nail on the head and earned their keep. A good thing when it comes to cars.

Even in basic specs, the Giulia moves easily and confidently as an everyday car. Except at junctions, where the throttle lag means you lurch out of corners half a second later than you thought you would.

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We digress. The chassis is supremely well balanced and it handles well, too. Engaging enough to hold your interest, with plenty of grip, but a bit softer than its Bavarian rivals. It feels as light on its feet as that 1,429kg kerbweight suggests, so changes direction easily via its sharp, quick steering.

Sure, the standard car lacks the precise, direct steering feel of the Quadrifoglio, but you’ll never get bored of sweeping the front end into corners and blasting out the other side. It’s a proper, proper joy.

Sweet. What’s the ride like?

While it’s good at dealing with the larger scale rise and fall of a road, the 18in wheels do patter over smaller scale stuff. You do notice that it doesn’t ride as smoothly as you might hope, and that there’s enough road noise in the cabin to make you realise the standard sound system’s speakers aren’t the best. But, strangely, the QF with its trick dampers actually rides the best out of them all: it’s fluid yet composed, bettering all bone-shaking rivals. Yes, we’re looking at you, Mr BMW M3.

That said, the petrol is surprisingly refined, revving cleanly to the redline and always egging you on. In our experience the 2.0 will easily clear 30mpg if you're driving like, well, like a German rather than an Italian, and in eighth gear it's impressively hushed.

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If you want more of a riot, the twin-turbo V6 has all the Italian character you could ever want as it bangs on every upshift and burbles at idle.

Which engine and gearbox should I have?

As mentioned in the Overview, you have two engines to choose from: the 2.0-litre petrol with 277bhp and 295lb ft, or the 2.9-litre V6 harbouring 503bhp and 442.5lb ft. Both are only available with an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, although European markets get the option of a six-speed manual. Lucky so and sos.

So really, the question isn’t so much which you should have but which can you afford. The info you need to make that call falls under the Buying section.

Highlights from the range

the fastest

Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.9 V6 BiTurbo Quadrifoglio 4dr Auto [ACC]
  • 0-623.9s
  • CO2
  • BHP510
  • MPG
  • Price£66,090

the cheapest

Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.2 JTDM-2 160 Super 4dr Auto
  • 0-628.2s
  • CO2128.0g/km
  • BHP160
  • MPG57.7
  • Price£33,330

the greenest

Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.2 JTDM-2 160 Super [Xenon] 4dr Auto
  • 0-628.2s
  • CO2128.0g/km
  • BHP160
  • MPG57.7
  • Price£35,070

Variants We Have Tested

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