Editor: Jason “The Bok” – Date: 05 July 2017

It has been a decade since we started hearing hints about the much anticipated Alfa Romeo Giulia. At the time, Sergio Marchionne, the FCA group CEO discussed the possibility of the new Giulia being based on the Dodge Dart, thankfully that original idea was sacked and a small team know as the “Skunks” at Alfa began working on the all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia.

The vehicle responsible for causing all the fuss around the new Giulia model is the Quadrifoglio Verde edition, basically, the super hot car built to take on the likes of the BMW M3 sedan and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. The vehicle I have been testing, however, is the far more sensible Giulia base spec model.

What Does The Base Offer?

2Standard out of the box, it rides on some rather basic 16-inch alloy wheels. While the wheels may look out of place, they certainly don’t detract too much, when you consider its painstakingly beautiful body and the shining revival this sedan represents for the iconic brand.

Apart from the styling, the Giulia base comes equipped with a 2.0-litre four cylinder petrol motor. The engine develops a very healthy  147 kW with 330 Nm of torque and that makes for 0-100 km/h achievable in just 6.6 seconds. I thought they said “base” spec Alfa!

The seats can be had in either cloth (as on review) or the option of leather trim and media is delivered through a large colour display at the centre of the dash, which is controlled via a central jog dial. Unfortunately, Alfa Romeo doesn’t include standard PDC or the use of a reversing camera, a nice to have especially considering the rear visibility is pretty limited in the Giulia.

5Now on to the meat and bones:

Italian Performance

Even in base spec, the Alfa Romeo Giulia delivers impressive performance. The 2.0-litre four cylinder petrol motor feels alive and on its toes. In typical Italian style, the Alfa is very performance focussed and even with the base spec motor, it manages to dish up really impressive performance.

The 8-speed automatic transmission shifts well and 0 – 100 km/h is achieved in just 6.6 seconds, a simply incredible claim for a base spec family sedan.

Does It Drive Dynamic?

1This maybe the base spec Giulia, but I can honestly say this is by far an away one of the most composed vehicles I have ever driven within this segment. I expected this being an Alfa Romeo to be planted and dynamic, however, the drive delivered in the Giulia simply puts the Alfa ahead of its competitors in terms of it dynamic chassis.

This may be the first rear-wheel driven Alfa in over the last 20-years, but all it leaves you saying is: “Welcome Back Alfa.”

At low speeds, it is light and easy to manoeuvre, while at higher speeds and on tight winding roads, you really can feel what your wheels are doing at all times.

Is It Refined To Live With? 

The executive compact family sedan market space proves an increasingly tough space to be positioned with a fierce fight among the likes of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Jaguar XE and Lexus IS.

The Giulia puts together a strong case for itself with an array of both tactile soft-touch materials and some more plastic feeling materials throughout the cabin. Overall I would say that the Alfa is perhaps not quite as premium grade as the likes of its German rivalry, however, it manages to still offer an air of premium solidity and I love the minimalistic cabin layout and they way in which the large 8.8-inch multimedia interface incorporates into the dash facia.

3Space and comfort around the cabin is impressive, with a boot capacity which is closely in-line with others within the segment.

Multimedia and creature comforts are delivered through the likes of USB, an auxiliary audio socket and the ability to stream media from your Bluetooth-based device. You can also of course pair your telephone for Bluetooth telephony and navigation is available as an option.

Verdict

The Alfa Romeo Giulia has been very long awaited, and I am really glad to be able to report that Alfa has delivered on so many fronts. Its dynamic chassis coupled with impressive power delivery and well-appointed interior make it a great competitor to the likes of the Germans, British and Japanese.

SA Pricing 

Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.0T – R555,000 (More expensive than its base spec competitors, but with a lot to offer as base).

The Giulia is sold with a 3-year/100 000 km warranty and a 6-year/100 000 km maintenance plan.

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