2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Review
Edmunds expert review
Audi. BMW. Mercedes. These are the popular brands people reflexively shop when looking for a luxury sedan. But what if you find them to be a bit boring or complacent? That's where the 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia comes in. This luxury sedan newcomer isn't well-known, but once you see it, it's hard to ignore.
On the outside, the Giulia looks like nothing else on the road thanks to its taut styling and classic Alfa Romeo grille. The beauty is more than skin-deep, too. The underlying hardware is competitive, with the base Giulia and Giulia Ti receiving a lively 280-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine driving the rear wheels through a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission.
It's the top-of-the-line Giulia Quadrifoglio trim, however, that truly makes its presence known by aggressively gunning for top performance honors of the class. It comes outfitted with a powerful Ferrari-developed turbocharged V6 engine, weight-saving carbon fiber, articulating aerodynamics, and a whole host of other speed-enhancing features to win over the hearts and wallets of performance fans.
That said, the Giulia has its work cut out for it. Alfa's dealer network is small, and the jury is still out regarding the model's reliability. But if you're looking for a small luxury sedan that brings some passion to the segment, the Giulia could very well be your car.
Notably, we picked the 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio as one of Edmunds' Best Sport Sedans for this year.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Giulia comes in six trims: the entry-level Giulia and Giulia Sport; the midtier Ti, Ti Sport and Ti Lusso; and the high-performance Quadrifoglio. The Giulia and Ti models come with a nice amount of standard equipment and are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (280 horsepower, 306 pound-feet) that puts its power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is also available for all 2.0-liter cars. The Quadrifoglio demonstrates the full potential of the car, including a Ferrari-derived turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 engine (505 hp, 443 lb-ft).
Some of the key standard exterior features on the base Giulia include 17-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires, Brembo brakes, xenon headlights, automatic wipers, rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. Inside, you'll find remote keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone climate control, adjustable drive models, a driver information display, Bluetooth, a 6.5-inch central display, voice commands, three USB ports and an eight-speaker audio system.
This year Alfa Romeo introduces the Giulia Sport trim, which is essentially the Sport package from the previous year. The Sport trim adds unique front and rear fascias, 18-inch wheels, gloss black window trim and painted brake calipers. The Sport Interior package is still an option that includes aluminum trim, huge column-mounted aluminum paddle shifters, a leather steering wheel and sport pedals.
If you're looking to upgrade the infotainment system for either of the above trims, the Navigation package includes an 8.8-inch central infotainment display, navigation, a rotary controller and satellite radio. A complement to this would be the newly available 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity is a stand-alone option on all trims.
A Cold Weather package is specific to the Giulia and Giulia Sport models, and adds heated seats, a heated steering wheel and heated washer nozzles. There are two levels of active driving assist packages. The Driver Assistance Static package includes front parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and auto-dimming exterior mirrors. The Driver Assistance Dynamic Plus package adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams and a heat-reducing infrared reflective windshield.
The Giulia Ti comes with everything the Giulia model has, plus 18-inch alloy wheels, the front and rear parking sensors, the 8.8-inch display (navigation is an option), satellite radio and the aforementioned Cold Weather package. Adaptive xenon headlights are a stand-alone option.
The Ti Sport adds 19-inch alloy wheels, sport front seats (a worthwhile upgrade) and everything from the Sport trim and Sport Interior package mentioned above.
The Ti Lusso trim is more luxury-oriented and has different 18-inch wheels, comfort-oriented front seats, upgraded leather interior trim, an upgraded steering wheel and an interior air quality system. If you just wanted a leather interior, it's available as a Leather package.
The Ti Sport Performance package provides an additional step toward Quadrifoglio performance on the Ti Sport trim with adaptive suspension dampers and a mechanical limited-slip rear differential. And if you'd prefer just the performance package items without the Sport trim's aesthetics and interior bits, Alfa Romeo offers Ti Performance package, which also includes the column-mounted paddle shifters. The Harman Kardon premium audio system is an option as well.
The Giulia Quadrifoglio is the star of this show with its 505-hp V6 engine. It comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and features fuel-saving cylinder deactivation. Sadly, the six-speed manual transmission available in Europe isn't available in the U.S.-market models at this time.
The Quadrifoglio's list of standard equipment is lengthy, which is good news for buyers. There's a high-performance Brembo brake system and a torque-vectoring rear differential that can transfer 100 percent of available power to either rear wheel. A two-mode exhaust with bypass valves offers varying levels of engine music depending on your mood, and a carbon-fiber active front splitter adjusts for more aerodynamic downforce at speeds above 75 mph. An adaptive suspension and 19-inch wheels with super-sticky Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires round out the big hardware items.
Looking over the Quadrifoglio, you'll be able to pick out the aggressive model-specific details such as the front fascia, grille, carbon trunk spoiler, bi-xenon adaptive headlights, and rear diffuser with quad exhaust tips. But beneath the painted surfaces hides a lightweight hood and roof made of carbon fiber. Moving inside, you'll find carbon-fiber trim, additional drive modes, and almost all of the features that are optional on the less expensive Giulias.
A few options are available at the Quadrifoglio level. They include the Driver Assistance Dynamic Plus package mentioned earlier, leather and simulated-suede ultra-high-performance Sparco carbon-fiber racing seats (driver and front-passenger seats with two-way and four-way power adjustments, respectively, and no heat), a carbon-fiber-detailed steering wheel and an ultra-high-performance Brembo carbon-ceramic brake system.
Noise & vibration5.0
Ease of use7.5
Getting in/getting out6.0
Child safety seat accommodation6.0
Audio & navigation6.0
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.