Alfa Romeo Giulia
Take it or leave it?
The Giulia is not only the last model with a combustion engine without any form of electric assistance. It is also one of the last models to be developed independently of its new parent company. Therefore, the Giulia does not use standard parts from the parent company and that makes the car unique, however also expensive to customise.
The changes for the 2023 model year are therefore extremely limited. The shape of the headlights has remained the same, but within that housing there are now three lamps. With this, Alfa Romeo refers to legendary models from the sporty past, and that is exactly what the Giulia is all about. This is because the demand for large sedans has fallen sharply, which is why the Giulia is now presented as a true enthusiast's car.
This is also the reason for the new "Competizione" version. It can be recognised by matt metallic paint in light grey, red brake calipers and 21-inch rims. The dashboard and seats have red stitching. Besides the "Veloce Pack", the Competizione is equipped with an audio system by Harman Kardon.
The space up front is still good, with the dashboard built around the driver and co-driver. The opulent shapes and materials used provide the exclusive look that makes a car like this. The space in the back is just enough for adults.
The new headlights not only look good, they are also smarter than before. The beam is adjusted according to speed and conditions. When using high beam, part of the beam is dimmed to avoid blinding oncoming traffic. The instrument cluster has been replaced by a display, allowing the driver to choose his own layout to display the speedometer and tachometer.
The infotainment system and safety features are unchanged since 2016. Therefore, the display of the audio, communication and navigation system is now perceived as small, while the controls are slow and cumbersome. The Giulia's ability to assist the driver with braking, steering and acceleration is limited, but for car enthusiasts, that might be an advantage.
For what characterises the Giulia is the purely mechanical feel, which has been virtually lost with the advent of electric cars. Even when driven calmly, it is noticeable that the 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine has an abundance of power. The slightest movement of the right foot is enough for instant acceleration. That acceleration becomes increasingly fierce as the revs increase, and only when it is really necessary does the automatic shift to a higher gear.
Thereby, the Giulia is quick and powerful, but always civilised. That changes, however, when the dynamic mode is chosen. Then a hefty dose of aggression is released. Once the engine then gets free rein, this big sedan is just a plaything of the 280 horsepower. Moreover, the two exhausts now let out a sporty hum for extra fun.
Keep in mind that this powerful yet hybrid-free engine needs a lot of fuel to perform. According to Alfa Romeo, consumption is 8 litres per 100 km. During the test drive with a mostly calm driving style, it was 10 litres per 100 km. Add to that the tax that comes with a car like this and it is clear that the price will only be paid by true enthusiasts.
The Giulia is a traditional, low sedan and that is a huge advantage compared to modern SUVs. The centre of gravity is low and the weight is relatively low, making the Giulia inherently dynamic and stable. SUVs can only approach such a feel with a sophisticated chassis and lots of electronics, but even then it is still noticeable that it is artificial stability.
In addition: the Giulia is not a computer on wheels, but a mechanical car that communicates optimally with the driver and therefore gives him/her complete control.
Take or leave Is the Alfa Romeo Giulia for model year 2023? That is purely personal. Modern electric cars are quieter, (even) faster, more comfortable, cleaner, more economical and make life easier and safer thanks to smart electronics. Those who see a car merely as a means of transportation would therefore rather leave the Giulia.
The perfectionism, however, makes electric cars sterile and characterless for the traditional car enthusiast. That is why Alfa Romeo still sees opportunities for the Giulia and has given the model a new face and (slightly) richer equipment for 2023. Business sedans are almost extinct and by emphasising its purist and mechanical character, the Giulia manages to stand out more than ever. So for the true enthusiast, the Giulia is definitely a last chance.
- Good performance
- Excellent handling
- Authentic mechanical feel
- High consumption
- Outdated equipment
- Moderate space in the rear