Beneath the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia's seductive sheetmetal lies a sharp-handling sports sedan with Italian heritage. The Giulia is one of our favorite entry-luxury sedans and its driving character is the number one reason why we put it on our Editors' Choice list for 2019. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 280 horsepower provides snappy acceleration and sounds great doing it. An eight-speed automatic is standard, as is rear-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive can be had as option. The cabin is upscale and well appointed, particularly in the upscale Ti Lusso and Ti Sport models; touchscreen infotainment, ambient interior lighting, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, and a steering-wheel-mounted ignition button are all standard. Want an even more hot-blooded Italian sports sedan? Check out the Giulia's high-performance Quadrifoglio variant, which we review separately.
What's New for 2020?
Alfa Romeo has revamped the infotainment system in the Giulia (and its sister, the Stelvio SUV) and has replaced last year's 6.5- and 8.8-inch non-touchscreen offerings with one, 8.8-inch touchscreen interface that's standard across the range. All models also receive a new 7.0-inch display between the speedometer and tachometer in the gauge cluster. SiriusXM satellite radio is now standard and several connectivity features are available for 2020, including a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. Alfa is making automated emergency braking and forward-collision warning standard for 2020 and is adding a host of new driver-assistance features as options, including a semi-autonomous driving mode. Interior refinements include a redesigned center console with more storage, a wireless smartphone-charging pad, and more premium knobs and dials. Three new colors are available: Anodized Blue, Lunare White Metallic, and Verde Visconti Metallic.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Since the Giulia's best trait is its crisp driving dynamics, we'd double down and go with the mid-range Ti model and spec the Performance package, which includes an active suspension and a mechanical limited-slip rear differential, both of which elevate the Giulia's handling performance. The Ti comes standard with leather-upholstered seats with heat and 10-way power adjustments for the driver and front-seat passenger, a heated steering wheel, wood interior trim, aluminum doorsill protectors, 18-inch wheels, and front and rear parking sensors.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Giulia's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder makes 280 horsepower, sounds intoxicating, and feels gutsy when driven hard. The Giulia pulls away from stoplights with zeal while singing soaring Italian arias. Our rear-wheel-drive test car's 5.7-second zero-to-60-mph time and an all-wheel-drive model's time of 5.5 seconds places the Giulia midpack in its segment in our acceleration testing; the Audi A4 did it in 5.2 seconds and the four-cylinder BMW 330i managed 5.4 seconds despite the fact that both cars have less horsepower than the Alfa. All Giulias come with a drive-mode selector with three unique settings: Dynamic, Natural, and Advanced Efficiency—cleverly making the acronym DNA—each of which alters the car's transmission, engine management, and steering feel. Agile and lively at all times, the Giulia is a driving enthusiast's sports sedan. The front tires are very responsive to driver inputs and speak clearly to the driver through the leather-wrapped steering wheel. Body roll is well controlled, and in hard corners the Giulia remains flat and predictable. It's easy to drive quickly and aggressively, but it's equally comfortable when driven sedately.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Among its turbocharged four-cylinder rivals, the Giulia has competitive fuel-efficiency numbers from the EPA, just shy of class leading. All-wheel-drive models see a slight deficit, but that's common in this class. In our real-world highway fuel-economy test, our rear-wheel-drive Ti test vehicle nearly delivered on its EPA number with a 32-mpg result.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The interior of the Giulia features soft-touch plastics, fine leather, and either textured metallic or genuine wood trimmings. It's an elegantly styled cabin, with a wide, sweeping dashboard that acts as a visor to shade the integrated infotainment screen from the sun. The seats are comfortable and well bolstered, especially the optional sport seats. Pack your sunnies, though: The Giulia's sun visors are laughably small and ineffective when driving head-on into the sun. The Giulia managed to fit five of our carry-on cases inside its trunk; with its rear seats folded, it managed 14, lagging segment leaders by one carry-on. Giulia and Giulia Ti models have a split-folding rear seat that folds flat easily to expand cargo-hauling capability.
Infotainment and Connectivity
All Giulias feature Alfa Romeo's new 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system tucked in between the dashtop and the central climate-control vents. Three USB ports, an auxiliary input jack, and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity are all standard. The infotainment interface is relatively intuitive and offers customization options, but we found the navigation to be occasionally slow to update at crucial times during turn-by-turn directions and several of the on-screen icons are small and difficult to activate while driving. Although the new system has incorporated a touchscreen, Alfa Romeo has retained the auxiliary rotary knob controller on the center console. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are standard and a 14-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system is optional.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn't released a safety rating for the Giulia, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has and it performed admirably in that agency's battery of crash tests. Unfortunately, its standard headlamps scored Poor, which cost the Giulia a Top Safety Pick nomination. Alfa has included automated emergency braking as standard for 2020, but more advanced driver-assistance technology is still optional. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Warranty coverage may be an important issue to keep in mind when buying an Alfa Romeo; the brand's reputation for reliability is among the worst in the business. Alfa Romeo's warranty coverage follows the same convention as most of its rivals, although Jaguar bucks the trend here with lengthier warranties. Giulia owners are treated to complimentary scheduled maintenance for the first year, but the 3-series and the Jaguar XE both offer better value here.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for 1 year or 10,000 miles