Alfa Romeo Giulia Review & Prices
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is a sleek, stand-out saloon car that’s spacious and enjoyable to drive. Audi and BMW alternatives beat it on interior quality, though
Find out more about the Alfa Romeo Giulia
If you’re looking for a mid-size saloon car, but don’t want to lose it in a corporate car park among all the BMWs and Audis, the Alfa Romeo Giulia is a solid contender. Its characterful looks are joined by efficient engines and pretty good practicality.
It's a bit like wearing a flashy suit to a wedding. Sure, it still has all the same pockets as the black and blue numbers, but it turns more heads in the process.
Unlike similar alternatives such as the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series, the Alfa Romeo Giulia has a much bolder exterior design that looks fantastic even if you don't go for one with all the bells and whistles. And an update for 2023 saw things subtly improved, with new headlights and a slightly curvier lower bumper.
It's not quite as flash inside, where the design is a touch plain, but it's well presented as the cockpit is slightly angled towards the driver, giving you better access to all the knobs and buttons. That said, some of the plastics you touch, such as around the centre console, are a step or two behind what you’d find in a BMW or Audi.
Unfortunately, the Giulia’s infotainment system is also well behind what you'll find in the German options. The smaller 6.5-inch infotainment display has been ditched for 2023 so now all models come with an 8.8-inch screen. Even so, it's frustratingly, unforgivably slow to respond to inputs, and the display isn't particularly clear.
The Giulia claws back some points thanks to its great driving position that puts you low down, a bit like in a sports car. There’s a good amount of space up front and it's a similar story in the back – once you’ve manoeuvred around the protruding rear wheel arch, that is. Headroom in the back is better than in German alternatives, but the middle seat is too narrow for an adult passenger.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is a car you buy mostly with your heart, but there's more than enough practical reasons for your brain to be happy too
Disappointingly, there's no fuel-sipping hybrid option, which makes the Giulia less appealing as a company car option. What you do get is a 2.0-litre petrol making 280hp, which offers decent performance and can return up to 39mpg. There’s also a 510hp Quadrifoglio performance model, but the regular engine should serve you well unless you really want supercar-baiting power.
Arguably the Giulia’s best feature is the way it drives – put simply, there isn’t an alternative that can match its agility around fast corners, the directness of its steering wheel or the planted feel you get on twisty roads. The Jaguar XE comes close, but can’t quite match the Giulia in the overall joy of driving. If there had to be a criticism, it has to be towards the ride, which is a tad unsettled over bumpy roads.
There's no Performance Pack upgrade anymore, but keen drivers should look to the Veloce model and above, as this gets the limited-slip differential as standard. This helps put the car's power to the road during enthusiastic driving, making the car more capable and more fun.
All this adds up to a car that’s an absolute joy to drive with head-turning looks and an individualistic interior design. Yes, German alternatives beat it on quality and technology, but by looking at our Alfa Romeo Giulia deals, you can treat yourself to a level of equipment that may be out of budget on a BMW, for example. Or you can check out some used Alfa Romeo Giulia stock from our network of trusted dealers. You can also browse other used Alfa Romeo models, and when it's time to sell your current car, you can do that through carwow, too.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia has a RRP range of £39,996 to £44,995. However, with carwow you can save on average £2,053. Prices start at £38,067 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £438. The price of a used Alfa Romeo Giulia on carwow starts at £15,995.
Our most popular versions of the Alfa Romeo Giulia are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|2.0 Turbo Sprint 4dr Auto||£38,067||Compare offers|
Because of it's desirable looks and fantastic driving experience, it's perhaps no surprise to learn that the Alfa Romeo Giulia is one of the pricier options in the executive saloon car class, especially given the lack of lower-powered engines. The Jaguar XE is the most affordable option, with entry-level Giulias costing about the same as a top-spec XE.
It's a bit closer with the German alternatives. You can get a BMW 3 Series for less than a Giulia, but you can also get a top-spec model for considerably more. An Audi A4 is more comparable price-wise, but you can still have one of the lower-spec trims for a good chunk less than any Alfa Romeo.
There are three trim levels available, with even the base Sprint model getting some decent kit, such as 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control and wireless smartphone charging. Step up to Veloce and you get slightly sportier styling, 19-inch alloys and a limited-slip differential. Top-spec Competizione versions add a Harman Kardon sound system and lashings of leather around the interior.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is very much a car for the driver, with plenty of fun to be had from behind the wheel, but the ride can be a touch unforgiving, especially on urban roads
The Giulia is one of the last bastions of the traditional sports car design and in the eyes of many is all the better for it. However, this can take its toll during urban driving, as it sits low and the rear-view mirror takes the full brunt of retina-burning LED lamps from taller SUVs.
It’s also an Alfa Romeo, and that means wonderfully sharp and direct steering at the expense of manoeuvrability, though the rear-drive layout means it has a better turning circle than Alfas of old. Watch those gorgeous alloys on the kerbs, too.
The Giulia is a sporting car and that means it has a pretty firm ride – fabulous on the right road, but on the rutted and broken Tarmac of the urban jungle it can get a little tiresome – it’s not a car that likes broken road surfaces.
On the motorway
Cruising refinement has taken on a new meaning for Alfa Romeo in recent times, as although it’s something that German cars always did much better, the Italian brand has upped its game. It’s the most civilised Alfa Romeo ever.
Wind noise is minimal and the ride very stable, whilst the excellent driving position means you get to your destination feeling fresh. The only real downside is the limited visibility through the Giulia’s narrow rear screen, but blind spot monitoring is standard-fit, which is a nice extra.
Also standard is the adaptive cruise control system, which helps you keep up with traffic ahead of you. The Giulia isn't cheap, but both these bits of kit are generally optional extras elsewhere, so they help you feel like you're getting value for money as well as taking the strain out of long drives.
On a twisty road
Here’s where the Alfa Romeo Giulia really comes into its own. Put simply, it’s probably the most exciting saloon car on the market to drive, with fabulous agility and impressive performance from its petrol-only engine range.
Then there’s the steering. It twists and turns like a cheetah chasing its prey, with instantaneous responses. It’s a wonderfully balanced, rear-wheel-drive sports saloon that can out-BMW the best of BMWs.
What's more, you don't have to go for the mega-pricey Quadrifoglio version to enjoy the drive, either. This model is naturally better if you want a hardcore performance car, but even the regular Giulias are great fun to pilot down a twisty road, and the 280hp engine has enough poke to be fun when you want it to be.
For once, an Italian car with a great driving position, but the boot is still an awkward shape
The Giulia is comfortable and spacious inside but it isn’t the easiest car to get into thanks to its low roofline and seats.
It’s easy to get comfy, though, and the leg and shoulder room is very good overall, even in the rear.
Veloce models and up get sports seats as standard. These are comfortable but the bolsters sit quite proud and can get in the way when you're turning the steering wheel. You can work around this thanks to plenty of adjustment in the steering wheel and seat itself.
Forward visibility is great, though the view out of the rear is limited by a narrow window. All of the controls are pretty intuitive, though the gearshift paddles behind the wheel are unnecessarily large making them feel a little clumsy in operation.
There's a useful storage space beneath the arm rest and a couple of cupholders ahead of the gear lever, with a further small storage area behind. The door bins let the side down a bit, though, as they could be a bit bigger.
Space in the back seats
There’s a decent amount of space in the back of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, with wide-opening rear doors making it easy to get children in and out, providing you don’t mind contending with the low roof line. It's a bit less spacious than a BMW 3 Series, but not enough to be a dealbreaker.
Practicality is merely okay overall, with the door bins being pretty small so larger water bottle will have to be squeezed in. A pair of USB slots are positioned between the front seats, which is better than forcing those in the back to fight over one slot to keep their devices charged.
There are two ISOFIX mounting points and the rear bench itself is firm but not unsupportive.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia has a pretty capacious boot offering 480 litres of luggage space with the back seat up, and drop-through access to the rear seat for carrying large, flatter loads. The downside is the boot aperture, which is quite narrow and awkwardly shaped, with a high load lip.
That's an identical capacity to the BMW 3 Series, and a bit more than the 460 litres you get in the Audi A4. The Jaguar XE lags some way behind this lot, though, at just 370 litres.
The Giulia has a functional interior that feels well put together, but it doesn't quite have the style to match the exterior and the infotainment is sluggish
There was a time when Italian cars were miles behind their rivals when it came to interior quality, but those days are long gone and the Giulia is now almost a match for its German rivals.
We say almost, because there are still one or two areas where the quality isn’t as sharp as it could be and although the plastics are soft-grained and of decent quality, they’re still not quite as good as you’ll find in an Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz. That said, it’s still an impressive and well-made cabin that you sit in.
It doesn't quite have the sophistication of the German options but it does feel somehow special in being a bit different. A good example is the wheel-mounted start/stop button, which just feels a bit sportier and fun than prodding a button on the centre console.
It has fairly intuitive controls – traditional rotary switches for the heating and ventilation (which many people will welcome) and the central screen, audio and general driving controls are handled via a rotary knob behind the gear selector.
That's about where the infotainment positivity ends, though, because the screens themselves aren't as crisp as most other options, nor as intuitive to use. It's not helped by the fact that the system is painfully slow to react to your inputs, which really grates when we've all become used to instantaneous responses from our tablets and smartphones.
You do at least get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard, and once these systems load up you don't notice the laggy input response quite as much. That said, they can take a while to kick in, which is frustrating when you want to input your destination into the maps app.
Despite this, you do get some good kit as standard, such as a wireless smartphone charging pad and leather-wrapped steering wheel. New for 2023 is a digital instrument display for all models, which works really well. Music fans will want to lean towards the top-spec model, which gets an excellent Harman Kardon sound system (which is also offered as an optional extra on the Veloce trim).
There's just the one engine option in the regular Alfa Romeo Giulia, which is a 2.0-litre petrol unit making 280hp. It's pretty brisk, dispatching the 0-62mph sprint in 5.7 seconds. Power goes to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
CO2 emissions are up to 169g/km, which means your first-year road tax cost falls around the middle of the tax bands, so it's not cheap but could be much more expensive considering it's sportier than most of its alternatives. That said, you do have to pay a little extra in years two to six because all versions cost more than £40,000.
On the flip side, the Giulia falls into the top band for company car tax, so it will be much more expensive to run than alternatives that have hybrid options.
There is a separate high-performance version of the Giulia for those who really want to maximise the car's handling abilities. The Quadrifoglio has a 2.9-litre V6 developing 510hp. The 0-60mph dash is dispatched in a devilish 3.9 seconds, but emissions fall into the top banding at 227g/km and it averages just 28.2mpg.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is as good as its key rivals for both safety and security, with a five-star Euro NCAP rating and driver assistance systems including AEB, lane assist and adaptive cruise control.
All models can also get some extra assistance kit in the form of a £1,000 package. This adds some useful kit such as lane-keep assist, traffic sign recognition and a more advanced semi-autonomous cruise control system that can also keep you moving in heavy traffic.
Alfa Romeo doesn't have a great reputation for reliability, but in recent years it does seem to be improving. Fortunately, you get a three-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the Giulia including breakdown cover and recovery. The body warranty is eight years. There have been two UK recalls, one for micro cracks in the rear brake discs and another for fuel line deterioration.
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.