The Car Connection Alfa Romeo Giulia Overview
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is a compact luxury sedan that takes on established rivals from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Cadillac.
Giulia is an old name for Alfa Romeo, reaching all the way back into the 1960s. The current model is a four-door sedan and the first meaningful step for the automaker to return to the U.S.
The biggest changes for 2018 include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, and a reshuffled trim lineup including better standard and optional equipment.
MORE: Read our 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia review
The Giulia launched as the high-performance Quadrifoglio model, which is a competitor for the BMW M3, Mercedes-AMG C63, and Cadillac ATS-V. With a Ferrari-derived twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6 under the hood, the Quadrifoglio makes 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. This engine comes standard with start/stop technology and cylinder deactivation, a technology Alfa Romeo claims will result in a 15 percent improvement in real-word fuel economy. Alfa Romeo says the engine will vault the car from 0-60 mph in just 3.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 191 mph.
Base models and Ti versions are powered by a turbocharged inline-4 making 280 horsepower. An 8-speed automatic is the only transmission in all models. All-wheel drive is optional with the inline-4.
Alfa Romeo claims the Quadrifoglio offers best-in-class torsional rigidity and a best-in-class power-to-weight ratio of 7 pounds per horsepower. Several weight-savings measures are applied to arrive at that number. Carbon fiber is used for the driveshaft, hood, and roof, while the doors, fenders, front and rear subframes, mirrors, and suspension are aluminum components. An aluminum composite and plastic crossmember sheds pounds at the rear, while optional carbon ceramic brakes weigh half as much as the standard cast iron rotors and save unsprung weight at all four corners. Cast-iron brakes are also offered.
All Giulia models feature a double wishbone front suspension and a multi-link independent rear suspension. The Alfa DNA Pro drive-mode selector is standard for the Quadrifoglio, offering Advanced Efficiency, Natural, Dynamic, and Race modes that adjust the brake and steering feel, as well as the engine, transmission, and throttle response.
The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s design features a long wheelbase with short overhangs. The familiar Alfa Romeo trefoil grille is front and center, flanked by adaptive bi-xenon headlights. A carbon fiber front active aero splitter increases high-speed downforce by as much as 220 pounds. The rear fenders have powerful haunches that are reminiscent of the previous-generation M3. The coefficient of drag is a fairly slippery 0.32.
Inside, the Quadriglio has aggressively bolstered Alcantara sport seats and a small steering wheel that is home to the start button and other controls. The instrument cluster has a A 7.0-inch driver information display, and the dash is available with an 8.8-inch display for infotainment information, as well as real-time performance data and telemetry. The center console houses a BMW iDrive-style control knob. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were made optional for 2018 after not being offered in the Giulia's launch year.
The Giulia comes standard with eight airbags, including knee airbags for both front occupants, as well as hill start assist and a rearview camera. Also offered are forward collision warning with emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-path detection, front and rear park assist, and automatic high beams.