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 Alfa Giulia receives a series of interior updates 2020 that include better materials and a new 8.8-inch infotainment system that acts quicker, is less complicated, and includes a touchscreen. Automatic emergency braking is now standard, and a host of other active safety features are newly optional.
MORE: Read our 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia review
The Giulia launched as the high-performance Quadrifoglio model, which is a competitor for the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63. 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. 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.
All other 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 turbo-4.
When it was released, Alfa Romeo claimed the Quadrifoglio offered 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 E90-generation (2008-2013) BMW 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 features an 8.8-inch touchscreen for infotainment, as well as real-time performance data and telemetry. The center console houses a BMW iDrive-style control knob. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility 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. Forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking were made standard for 2020. Also new for 2020 as options are active lane control, blind-spot monitors with steering assist, intelligent speed control that adjusts the speed when the speed limit changes, a driver-attention monitor, and traffic sign recognition. Also available are adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane-departure warnings, active lane control, regular blind-spot monitors with rear cross-path detection, front and rear park assist, and automatic high beams.
After adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility for 2018, the Giulia received no significant changes for the 2019 model year.