2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia: Thrilling Performance and Exotic Style

A big reason so many people now choose SUVs and crossovers is because they like the way they look. However, if more cars were like the 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia, SUVs, crossovers, and pickup trucks would have a lot to worry about.

The 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia is one of the most stylish and impressive cars on the road right now. If you’ve given up on cars but haven’t experienced the Giulia, here’s why you might want to.

Exterior Styling

While German manufacturers feature hi-tech engineering and precision and American manufacturers feature muscle and power, Italian automakers tend to excel at styling. If you want an example to prove the stereotype, just take a look at the 2019 Giulia.

There are modern styling cues like the squinting headlights, but there’s also an element of retro chic with a shield grille that echoes past Alfas. The sheet metal has curves in all the right places, and there are lots of wheel designs and paint colors to make the Giulia as individual as you are. Naturally, the majority you’ll see on the road will be in the predictable red. But this car looks even better in white if you’re feeling adventurous.

If you want to opt for the range-topping Quadrifoglio variants, you’re treated to an even sportier look with a larger body kit. A little of that look can also be had by adding the optional Sport trim packages for the Giulia and Giulia Ti models.

Powertrain

Regardless of which version of the Giulia you go for, a sensational driving experience comes standard.

Standard Giulia and Giulia Ti trim levels come with a 2.0-liter turbo-four that develops 280 horsepower and 306 lb.-ft. of torque. That impressive amount of power is then sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. If you wish to forgo the thrills of rear-drive for the additional capability all-wheel-drive, Alfa offers you that option too.

For the full-fat, no-holds-barred Italian experience, the Giulia Quadrifoglio ditches the impressive turbo-four for an incredible 2.8-liter twin-turbo V-6. This unit traces its provenance back to Ferrari, and it shows. This sumptuous powerplant develops 505 horsepower and 443 lb.-ft. of torque, and it sends it to the rear wheels through a modified version of that eight-speed automatic. Perhaps unsurprisingly for such an Italian thoroughbred, there’s no all-wheel-drive option for the Quadrifoglio.

Performance

Like any car with performance aspirations, the Giulia’s standard suspension is firm. The optional adaptive dampers are well worth the extra investment if you want to really enjoy the Alfa’s wonderful chassis and powertrain. But there’s certainly nothing wrong with the standard setup.

Of course, if performance is what you’re looking for, the Quadrifoglio more than delivers. The steering is even quicker and more responsive than the standard model, but the Quad is just as happy in the town or city as it is on the open road or on the track.

The flagship model can be fitted with carbon-ceramic brakes from Brembo in place of the standard Brembo brakes, but they’re probably not a great idea if much of your driving is going to be in stop and go traffic where they don’t get up to the desired temperatures for optimal operation.

Interior

The Giulia may be a car with performance to spare, but it’s certainly not a stripped-down, hardcore track car. The interior of the Alfa is actually a very nice place to be for the driver and passengers. The driver and front seat passengers get comfortable seats, and there’s a good amount of rear legroom.

Leather upholstery is standard across the range, which puts the Giulia above most of its rivals with synthetic hides. To be honest, some of the knobs and switchgear aren’t of the highest quality, but the optional Nappa leather upholstery and real wood trim elevate the cabin to true luxury.

Safety

Crash-test results are good for the Giulia so far, and the 2018 model was rated a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. Features like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection are a cost option for Giulia and Giulia Ti models, but standard with the Quadrifoglio.

Features like adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beams, lane-departure warnings, and blind-spot monitors are available with additional options packages, but active lane control isn’t available with any version of the Alfa Romeo.

The Good

  • Jaw-droppingly gorgeous
  • Sensational handling
  • Excellent engines
  • Thrilling performance

The Not-So-Good

  • Steering a little sharp
  • Not much room in the back
  • Extra costs for active safety tech

The Last Word

Some cars you buy with your head. Some you buy because of your budget. And some cars you buy because your heart tells you to. There’s no doubt the 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia falls into the latter category.

It’s not the most practical four-door sedan you’re going to come across. But if you want a car to fall in love with, and a car you’ll love driving, it’s hard to beat the 2019 Giulia.

Grzegorz Czapski / Shutterstock

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