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Alfa Romeo Giulia Saloon

New from £39,915 / £384 p/m

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4 or 5 seats
4 doors
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Is the Alfa Romeo Giulia Saloon a good car?

Read our expert review

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Words by: Dan Trent

"Alfa Romeo has always worn its sporting heart on its sleeve and with, its slinky styling and low-slung driving position, the Giulia is a four-door saloon with Italian supercar blood in its veins. Dreams of sneaking it by your fleet manager may be dashed by the lack of any sort of hybrid option, though, the range now just built around a single 280 horsepower petrol engine. It’s great to drive and genuinely characterful as a result but looks a committed and expensive choice when most rivals offer tax-friendly plug-in hybrid options. But appealing to the heart rather than the head has always been Alfa Romeo’s thing. That can only sustain it so far, mind. And even with some tech and trim updates for this 2023 model year the Giulia is feeling its age."


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Running costs for a Alfa Romeo Giulia


Four-door saloons are a dying breed in this age of SUVs and crossovers, company drivers likely among the dwindling audience for cars like this Giulia. Which makes it all the more frustrating Alfa Romeo still doesn’t offer the plug-in hybrid option these buyers need to make the numbers work, the high Benefit In Kind bracket for the single petrol option now available likely ruling it out for most people. It might be slightly more palatable for a private buyer, but with all trim levels now in the ‘expensive car’ bracket for VED (or ‘road tax’ in the parlance) you can’t escape the tax man. Alfa Romeo will claim the ability to create an encrypted ‘NFT’ (the ‘Non-Fungible-Tokens’ often traded in the crypto world as works of art) with records of the car’s mileage, service history and other information will help shore up your Giulia’s ongoing value to the benefit of monthly finance costs. Whether you or anyone else will actually buy into such things is another matter, and the Giulia looks a committed choice in financial terms.

Reliability of a Alfa Romeo Giulia


While its sporting heritage is formidable Alfa Romeo also carries with it a legacy of flaky reliability from back in the day, which is a shame because the Giulia and the related Stelvio SUV have done a lot to overcome that in recent years. We’d like to say that played out on our test drive, but then the indicator warning tick in our test car went mysteriously silent for a period, before returning as if nothing had happened. A tiny thing, perhaps. But for a brand with a reputation for sometimes wobbly electrics even an apparently minor niggle like this is a cause for concern about what may lie ahead.

Safety for a Alfa Romeo Giulia


Alfa Romeo upgraded the various driver assistance technologies in the last update for the Giulia, but given the price it’s disappointing to see you still have to pay extra on all models to get it as part of the Driver Assistance Package Plus. Only then do you get stuff most modern drivers expect, like steering interventions if you appear to be drifting out of your lane or steer into a vehicle in your blind spot. To be fair, given how annoyingly sensitive the standard lane warning is with its constant squawking maybe it’s for the best you don’t have to have the rest of it. More welcome on this updated model are the sophisticated – and stylish – LED headlights, which will take the strain out of night time driving.

How comfortable is the Alfa Romeo Giulia


If you’re buying an Alfa Romeo for the sporting heritage you’ll feel right at home in the Giulia, the ability to slam the seat down to the floor, pull the wheel to your chest and shift gears with the long, tactile shifter paddles making it feel more like an Italian supercar than a regular saloon. The classic cowled instrument cluster is another nice touch, and the improved materials introduced on the last update help lift the ambience. It lives up to the promise on the road as well, with sharp and responsive steering, a sporty suspension set-up that makes the most of the rear-wheel drive handling without feeling too harsh and perfect weighting to the controls. It’s a delight to drive, and exactly what you’d want out of a car with such an evocative badge. Top of the range Competizione models even get a more sophisticated adjustable suspension system but the standard Veloce felt pretty good to us. Adopting the sporty driving position – and driving style – won’t win friends among your passengers, especially those in the somewhat cramped rear seats. But with the possible exception of the Jaguar XE there isn’t another regular saloon out there that drives as nicely as this.

Features of the Alfa Romeo Giulia


While the central 8.8-inch screen is physically the same as before the system powering it has had some upgrades, with an expanded range of features available via the connected app and potential for over the air updates to keep the functionality fresh. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard if you prefer to run things through your phone instead, revised connected services offering additional support even when you are away from your car. While the screen isn’t the biggest the tile-based interface is pretty logical, and we appreciated the retention of a physical dial on the centre console to control it without taking eyes off the road. In an age of distracting touch-screens this isn’t to be sniffed at. More obvious is the adoption of a full-sized digital instrument cluster beneath that signature double cowl, with various different graphical configurations according to your tastes. All Giulias are well equipped as well, with Veloce and up getting leather upholstery and extra trim elements to make it feel a bit more luxurious. This version also adds a limited-slip differential between the rear wheels for improved handling, the significance of which will be lost on all but the keenest of drivers but signals Alfa Romeo’s dedication to its sporting values and will be welcomed by the more petrolhead inclined.

Power for a Alfa Romeo Giulia


Fire-breathing, Ferrari-engined Quadrifoglio aside the regular Giulia range is now based around the same, Veloce-spec 280 horsepower turbocharged petrol engine. No bad thing, either, given it feels the perfect balance of power and performance for the car and we won’t be shedding any tears over the lower-powered petrol and clattery diesel that were part of the range before. It drives the rear wheels in the traditional fashion through a wonderfully slick eight-speed automatic, which works well left to its own devices but is also very satisfying in manual mode thanks to the tactile click-clack of the big, supercar-style shifter paddles on the steering column. Select ‘Dynamic’ from the three-position DNA driver mode switch, knock the shifter sideways into manual mode and the Giulia transforms from sensible saloon and into a true Alfa Romeo. With no fuel-saving hybridisation it feels a bit of a guilty pleasure in this day and age. But on the right road it’s a blast.

Lease deals

These deals are based on terms of 8,000 miles, for a 36 month lease with a 6 months initial payment.

Standard equipment

Expect the following equipment on your Alfa Romeo Giulia Saloon. This may vary between trim levels.

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Your questions answered

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