What is it?
The Giulia is Alfa Romeo’s rival to the benchmark BMW 3 Series. It is a turbocharged sport sedan that brings some much needed Italian style and flavor to this popular segment in the entry-level luxury market.
|Specs||Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.0T (952)|
|Vehicle Type||Midsize Sport Sedan|
|Engine||2.0L I4 Turbo|
|Transmission(s)||8 Speed Auto|
|Drivetrain||RWD or AWD|
|0-60 mph||5.1 sec|
|0-100 mph||14.1 sec|
|¼ Mile||14.1 sec @ 100mph|
|Top Speed||149 mph (governed)|
|MPG (US)||23/24 city / 31/33 hwy (AWD/RWD)|
In terms of dynamic driving satisfaction, the Alfa Giulia Ti stands head and shoulders above its direct competition. I’d even go as far as to say it drives better than any of the non-M BMW’s I’ve driven, despite essentially being the equivalent of a 330i. The Alfa accelerates quite briskly but doesn’t quite have the power of a 340i. That said, its handling and the way it connects with the driver is unparalleled by anything south of an M3. In a way that is reminiscent of modern Ferraris the Giulia feels like it connects directly to your brain stem. When the pace is fast, you get the sensation that you’re just thinking your way through the corners rather than piloting a machine that is separate from yourself.
As any true sports car does, the Giulia rewards you for pushing it harder and harder. With the pace it can hold on back roads, 280hp is more than enough to get yourself in some serious trouble if you ever come across the authorities at an inopportune moment. Make no mistake, the Giulia is genuinely a sports car with 4 doors.
One area the Giulia does fall short compared to some of its rivals is in not offering a manual gearbox. This car really would be magic with a slick shifting gear lever in the middle. That said, it does have one of the best paddle shift automatics I’ve experienced in a sport sedan. They really nailed the programming, and it behaves close to the way paddle shifts do in proper exotics. The shifting experience is very engaging, and you don’t just feel like you’re pressing a slightly glorified button like you do in most cars in this segment.
In terms of build quality, the Giulia is nice and its design is beautiful, but it gets out-classed by most of its competition in terms of materials. This is really a car for people who place their major emphasis on the driving experience and are good with everything else so long as it’s “nice enough.”
Prices and Market
New Range: $38,000 – $60,000
Used Bottom: $25,000 (updated Nov 2018)
Max Depreciation Rate: -25.5% per model year
Outlook: Values will continue to drop, likely leveling off a bit in the 10-20k range depending on miles and condition. CPO models will likely be in the 18-25k range. The higher you buy, the more you stand to lose, but in exchange, you’ll have a car that is truly enjoyable in ways that its competition is not. An extended warranty is a good idea on this car, and if you’re buying brand new, you should really be smart with your choices of options. (Do be sure to get the sport options, though)
Tuning and Modification Potential (all numbers are entirely approximate)
Stock – 280bhp (~230whp) | 306ft/lbs (~280wtq)
Stock Tune, Intake, Cat-back Exhaust – ~300bhp (~250whp) | ~330ft/lbs (~300wtq)
Stage 1 Tune, Intake, Cat-back Exhaust – ~360bhp (~300whp) | ~390ft/lbs (~340wtq)
Stage 2 Tune, Intake, Turbo-back Exhaust – Rumored 400bhp+
Any Italian car needs to be purchased with a realistic set of expectations. It will not be a Lexus, but it also may not be as bad as you think.
Most of the problems with these cars you’ll find were early on in their production in 2017, and most of them have been solved with software updates. Fiat-Chrysler models seem to require a lot of software troubleshooting and updates to really get things right during the first year of production, but once those updates are implemented things go much more smoothly. Because of this, you should make sure to keep your car’s software up to date at the dealer, making an appointment every few months.
Long term, I don’t think the Giulia 2.0T will be any worse than its German rivals in terms of running costs.
The Italians have given us a proper Italian-style sport sedan. For a lot of better, and maybe just a little bit of worse. The Giulia is really an enthusiast-focused machine, and those buying one with an enthusiast mindset will be much happier with it than those who buy one just wanting a mere car.
MoM Score: Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.0T
Primary Function: Driving Experience: 2
Secondary Functions: Luxury(1) Practicality(2) MPG(2): 2
Visual Appeal: 2
Build Quality: 1
Value for Money: 2
Final Score: 9 /10
- Driving pleasure
- It’s like Ferrari made a BMW 330i (supposedly their engineers did help develop the Giulia platform)
- Good looks
- Serious style points
- Something you’ll look forward to every single day
- You can say “I drive an Alfa Romeo” and that will either be a non-starter or a door opener.
- No manual tranny
- It may spend more time in the shop than other cars (historically, at least)
- Heavy depreciation if you buy brand new
2 thoughts on “The Enthusiast’s Guide to the Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.0T (952)”
Enjoyed the review! Very thorough! Would love to test drive one of these!
Excellent, thorough review! I’d like to test drive this one!