2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia was new.


Performance: 9.4

Performance is where the 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia stands out most amongst its peers. Handling is incredibly sharp and responsive, with powerful engines ready to spring to life at your command. Tuning falls completely on the sporty side of the spectrum, and while the ride may not be as smooth as some prefer, it is never abrasive.

  • "The 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia has a tidy footprint. Its compact size, snug sport seats and responsive steering are the stuff of which legendary sports sedans are made. In base rear-drive (RWD) form or the slightly tauter Ti versions in either rear- or optional all-wheel drive (AWD), the new Giulia provides spirited handling and a relaxed ride thanks to its 50:50 weight distribution and a willing 280-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Clearly, and certainly more than the typical mid-lux 4-door sedan, the Giulia emphasizes and even fervently celebrates the driving experience." -- New York Daily News (2017)
  • "Second impression after only a few miles out on the road: the QV is a car overflowing with character. It's fast, melodious, and thrilling on its feet—even when you're tip-toeing through the NoCal rain. Among its rivals, there isn't anything else quite like it." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)

Acceleration and Power

Shoppers with a heavy right foot often need to skip over the base engine in this segment, but that won't be necessary with the Giulia. Its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (rated at 280 horsepower) launches you quickly from a stop and comes with a refined eight-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is about average for the class, at 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

The high-performance Giulia Quadrifoglio comes with a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 that's also paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. With this 505-horsepower engine, you can launch to 60 mph in as little as 3.8 seconds. Its EPA-rated gas mileage is 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway.

  • "The smooth-shifting 8-speed torque-converter automatic provides quick shifts whether left to its own devices or controlled via steering-column-mounted paddles. For the ultimate in performance, opt for the range-topping rear-drive-only Quadrifoglio trim level with its Ferrari-produced 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6. … For those lucky enough to own the Quadrifoglio, … they'll find a car capable of being an everyday driver if left in Comfort mode and yet has the chops to make it a track-day hero." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The base Giulia's turbo 2.0-liter engine feels responsive and generates ample torque from low rpm. The Quadrifoglio's smooth-revving turbo 2.9-liter V6 packs a beastly 505-hp punch. Alfa says it's good for a sprint to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, which seems realistic based on our seat-of-the-pants feel." -- Edmunds
  • "The Giulia's standard engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine pumping out an impressive 280 horsepower. … It's good for a zero-to-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds according to Alfa Romeo, so even the base car is seriously quick." -- Cars.com (2017)

Handling and Braking

Rear-wheel drive is standard in the Giulia and Giulia Ti; Alfa Romeo offers all-wheel drive for both trim levels. The Giulia Quadrifoglio only comes as a rear-wheel-drive car. As a legitimate sports sedan, the Giulia has very precise steering and powerful brakes. Its suspension system is firm enough that you can take corners aggressively without body roll. You can soften the ride quality somewhat with the Alfa DNA Drive Mode Selector (Dynamic, Natural, and Advanced Efficiency driving modes come standard), though this isn't a buttery smooth cruiser.

  • The ride quality with the adaptive suspension in the Quadrifoglio is on the firm side but offers a decent amount of comfort. The ride in the standard base Giulia is not exactly plush either, but it strikes a pretty good balance between sport and comfort." -- Edmunds
  • "What really sets the Alfa Romeo apart from the competition is its steering. … Ride quality is excellent on the optional 18-inch wheels, and the structure is as solid as any in the segment. Alive and graced with some of the rawness of the 4C sports car, the Giulia steers with a precision and purity that BMW has retreated from and Audi and Mercedes-Benz have yet to figure out. In the Giulia's segment, the Cadillac ATS's steering comes closest." -- Car and Driver (2017)
  • "It's also a lot of fun to drive, too, with outstanding handling due in part to its perfect 50/50 weight distribution. This gives the Giulia a poise and neutrality that you can feel - whether you're on the track or on the street, it's easy to toss the car around on twisty roads or just make some rapid lane changes with zero drama or discomfort. The steering is beautifully weighted even in the base model, with an emphasis on driver involvement and sporting feel. This is what BMWs used to feel like." -- Cars.com (2017)

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