Used Alfa Romeo Giulia Review (2016-present) MK1

Independent review by Peter Hayward from Driving Force

4-minute read

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa Romeo Giulia (2016-present)

The Alfa Romeo Giulia is a high-performance executive saloon that will undoubtedly have heads turning when on the road

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  • High-performance
  • Stand-out styling
  • Plenty of equipment
  • Performance sacrifices comfort
  • Engine range is limited
  • Rivals are even more luxurious
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What's the Alfa Romeo Giulia like?

Alfa Romeo has long been at the forefront of all that’s exciting about cars, and that still holds true today.

The Giulia saloon might be out of sync with the high sales of SUVs, but it’s not trying to compete with them.

It's aimed straight at the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Audi A4 in the executive class, and it drives as well as any of them.

Driving Experience

Overtaking in these cars is simply a matter of thought, and it’s easily done whenever a straight piece of road appears.

Add that brilliant performance to the most fluid and agile handling and grippy roadholding, all helped by the Alfa’s brilliant 50/50 weight distribution front and rear, and you have a car to be seriously reckoned with.

The direct and positive steering is a joy to use most of the time, although that very directness can be disconcerting at high speed on rougher surfaces, as the wheel turns into a live thing in your hands.

Alfa Romeo seems to be on a mission to put every one of its cars at the forefront of performance and handling in their class, and they've certainly got this one right.
Peter Hayward

Most of the time, however, it’s absolutely perfect, and fits beautifully into this sports saloon’s wide range of positives.

It rides well over almost all surfaces above 40mph, and only gets a little more unsettled in town.

The Giulia is only available with an 8-speed automatic gearbox, but this has superb fixed paddles behind the steering wheel to make the changes, and they're absolutely perfect.

In full auto, the gearbox handles everything superbly, and you only need the paddles occasionally when really pressing on.


Since 2021, there have only been three engine options – all petrol. But up until then, there were also two versions of the same 2.2-litre turbo diesel.

The petrol engines are superb, with excellent power and a delicious soundtrack that’s among the best on the market.

First comes a 2.0-litre turbo with 197bhp, and this dispatches the 0 to 60mph sprint in a very good 6.4 seconds while still managing a government economy figure of 47mpg.

Next up is the same unit boosted much further to give no less than 280bhp and this knocks almost a second off its stablemate, but also rates 40mpg.

Finally, in the fire breathing Quadrifoglio comes a Ferrari designed 2.9-litre V6 engine that boasts 510bhp and still manages 28mpg. This one is a true supercar, reeling in the horizon and reaching 60mph in just 3.8 seconds.

Prior to 2021, diesels were also included in the mix – both 2.2 litres. The more cooking version of this JTDM unit has 150bhp and is rated at an excellent 67mpg while covering the 60mph sprint in 7.9 seconds.

Finally, comes a 190bhp version, which cuts the 60mph sprint time down to 6.9 seconds and still rates 67mpg.

Equipment and Practicality

There are a number of models and special editions when bought used, so make sure the one you go for has all the accoutrements you'd like to have.

All Giulia models are fitted with Alfa’s DNA system, which uses electronics to changes the driving character of the car.

The Normal setting is perfect much of the time, but Dynamic sharpens accelerator response and ushers in a louder exhaust note, while Advanced Efficiency is aimed at improving economy.

All equipment and driving settings are marvellous, and many will be prepared to accept a compromise on comfort.

Find your Alfa Romeo Giulia your way with CarStore

Stylish, refined, and packing a serious punch out on the road, the Alfa Romeo Giulia possesses a charm that many car enthusiasts will be more than impressed by. And with a range of used models to choose from, you'll be spoilt for choice with the selection of hi-tech equipment and safety features on offer.