2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Review
2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Director, Vehicle Testing
Jonathan Elfalan has worked in the automotive industry since 2005. As a director of vehicle testing at Edmunds, Jonathan has tested and reviewed thousands of cars and written thousands of car-related articles over the course of his career. Jonathan got his start testing cars for Road & Track magazine as a newly minted mechanical engineer grad from University of California, Irvine, and has also contributed to Motor Trend and the Associated Press. He likes to say he learned to drive a manual transmission in a rear-wheel-drive mid-engine vehicle but often omits it was his family's 1991 Toyota Previa minivan.
- Strong turbocharged engine lineup
- Sleek interior cabin styling
- Quadrifoglio model is the performance leader of the segment
- Infotainment system has an easy user interface
- Rear-seat space is tight for the class
- Base-model seats are flat and uncomfortable
- Small trunk and no folding rear seats on the Quadrifoglio model
- Manual transmission not available for the U.S. market
For 2018, Alfa has revised some of the Giulia's options packages and created some additional trim level names. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity is now available this year.
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.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.93 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$175/mo for Giulia Base
Avg. Midsize Car
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.
Edmunds' Expert Rating6.9 / 10
With a focus on flair and performance, the 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia will likely appeal to buyers who romanticize owning an Italian-born luxury sport sedan over one of the more familiar segment offerings.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our first drive of the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).
|Overall||6.9 / 10|
To be the least bit competitive, a sport sedan must perform well across most categories. Thanks to its electronics and uninspiring tires, the Giulia can be a little bit hit-and-miss when it comes to handling but not so much than you don't look for any excuse to go for a spirited drive.
This motor offers quite a bit more excitement than the on-paper specifications would lead you to believe. It's snarly, torquey, low-revving and full of character. It's a good match for the quirky Alfa. During testing, 0-60 mph came in 5.3 seconds with quick shifts and no wheelspin from the AWD.
Braking force is very easy to modulate with a smooth, linear response through the pedal stroke, but panic-braking tests revealed a pedal devoid of any feedback. Stability is excellent but the long-ish 124-foot stopping distance from 60 mph can be chalked up to the low-grip all-season tires.
When driven in Dynamic Mode, the way a sporting Alfa should be driven, the weighting is spot-on. And when you combine that just-right amount of effort with the accuracy, steering quickness and the near-perfect steering wheel, you can't help but go hunting for the perfect line through every corner.
The lackluster all-season tires are only partially to blame, but their use is puzzling on a sport sedan. Offering more noise than grip, they take the fun out of a spirited drive. But the non-defeatable stability control is the real buzzkill, allowing only a tantalizing glimpse of fun.
Of the driving modes, Dynamic makes the most sense in the Alfa, though a case can be made for Natural in light traffic in which you still have quick shifts and access to decent power. The Alfa is always engaging, even in town, but it needs to be driven on a good road to be truly appreciated.
The front passengers will no doubt be more impressed with the Alfa than those in the rear, but that's not too different from any other sport sedan. While tire and wind noise can fade into white noise, various creaks and groans can be distressing to people on board.
Firm but comfortable and aggressively supportive, the front seats in the Giulia are some of the best available in an already strong class. Both driver and passenger seats are heated and offer six-way power adjustability. The rear seats lack significant legroom for adults.
The Giulia is supple when it needs to be but well-controlled when you want it, especially at higher speeds. The sensible 18-inch wheels give you some tire sidewall to absorb imperfections, though the run-flat tires can be a little harsh on rough roads.
Noise & vibration5.0
Road noise isn't unusually high, even with the run-flat tires, but wind noise is a bit elevated at the front roof pillars and the front of the sunroof. Unfortunately, squeaks and creaks were prevalent and worrying, especially when coming from structurally important things such as the side pillars.
With three knobs and only a few buttons, the basic manual controls are clear and easy to use. Air flow is good from the horizontal center vents, but the auto setting had a tough time keeping the temperature and fan speed under control. Manual adjustment is the best bet.
Since this is a driver's car, it should be no surprise that the driver comes out well ahead in the interior of the Alfa Romeo. Rear passengers won't have much room to get in or get comfortable, so it might be a bit of a fight for the shotgun seat position.
Ease of use7.5
Most of the controls in the Giulia are familiar and and intuitive, even when they might be in a slightly different location, as with the start button. The multimedia control knob falls readily to hand and helps make easy use of the primary interface. There's a multitude of tedious menus.
Getting in/getting out6.0
Front passengers won't notice anything unusual about getting into the Giulia even with the slightly aggressive seating. Rear passengers aren't as lucky. The door openings are very small due to intruding rear wheelwells, and they don't provide a lot of room to get in.
The driver sits upright and close to the windshield in a very classic '80s European sport sedan style. It can be a bit foreign at first, but it's easy to adapt. And when you're driving enthusiastically, the driving position offers confidence, connectedness with the car, and a feeling of safety.
It's safe to say there's not a lot of room in the front of the Giulia that you don't need. If it's possible to be snug but spacious, the Giulia carries it off. The rear seat lacks the legroom we're accustomed to finding in much smaller cars. Adults may become uncomfortable in well under 30 minutes.
Because of the upright seating position and close proximity to the windshield, forward visibility is excellent. The reasonably narrow front pillars are welcome on tight and twisty roads. But that seating position did cause the side pillars to consistently obstruct over-the-shoulder lane checks.
Modern and definitely stylish at first glance, the Giulia makes a good first impression, but some materials have a distinctly preproduction feel and give the car an unfinished look. Numerous creaks and electronic gremlins cast a shadow of doubt on long-term integrity.
Style claims another victim as the Giulia lacks the generous trunk access and interior storage of most midsize sedans. But if you travel with little clutter and only basic luggage, the Giulia can still be a fairly practical proposition.
There's a bit of wasted space around the shift lever and multimedia interface knob, and that's a shame since the Giulia isn't flush with interior storage. The door pockets are especially narrow, and it's best if rear passengers can keep everything in their pockets.
While the 13 cubic feet of cargo capacity is similar to capacity in its Audi and BMW competition, the Giulia has a high and slightly narrow trunk opening, making it difficult to put anything large and square into the trunk. The rear seats are split 60/40 and fold, lying relatively flat.
Child safety seat accommodation6.0
LATCH points are easy to find and easy to access, but the lack of rear seat room might make it difficult to squeeze in larger child seats.
Buyers not looking for a technological tour de force might be happy enough with the Giulia's stout audio system and functional navigation. Beyond that, the Alfa Romeo has a lot of catching up to do, especially on the reliability front — tech gremlins were a constant annoyance.
Audio & navigation6.0
The optional Harman Kardon sound system is solid and easy to use, but the navigation system lacks sophistication, especially when compared to the one in its Audi rival, the A4. The graphics are more of an outline than a realistic rendering, and live traffic information is not available.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not supported, which is a bit disappointing. Connecting via Bluetooth is fairly straightforward but seems to take an eternity to load every time you start the car. Connection issues also plagued the Giulia with system lockups and the disappearance of paired phones.
The optional Driver Assist Dynamic Plus package includes a well-sorted adaptive cruise with stop, lane keeping assist, and a somewhat sensitive forward collision warning system. Blind-spot and cross-path detection are also optional. Sadly, the conservative stability control cannot be disabled.
Voice controls make a good case for using the manual controls that fall quickly to hand. Word recognition wasn't particularly good, and sorting through the help menu took much more time than simply making the required change manually.
Which Giulia does Edmunds recommend?
The turbo 2.0-liter engine in the Giulia and Ti models packs some punch, but the model we'd recommend getting is the top-shelf Quadrifoglio since the Giulia prioritizes performance so much. Consider the Driver Assistance Dynamic Plus package if you want the latest in advanced driver safety aids, such as forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. We've found the standard Brembo brakes and heated sport seats more than adequate, so there's little reason to get the pricey carbon-ceramic brakes and less adjustable (and non-heated) Sparco racing seats.
2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia models
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.
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
I have 7k miles on my 2017. There have been two recalls for software updates but no mechanical issues whatsoever. This is a great small sedan, agile, comfortable, fast and beautiful. Best steering, shifting and suspension of any non sports car that I have owned. Flat out beats the 7 and 5 series BMWs I have owned as well as the Jaguar XKR, and MB E cars I have owned. One minor complaint- … the front seat a bit to short but understandable from a design viewpoint. Again, no mechanical issues at all. I love this car.
5 out of 5 stars
Review by Actual Owner
2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
I see a some reviews by people who decided not to buy. I did lease one, and here's what I think. I have 3,500 miles of flawless performance on mine. This car turns heads. People stop to chat and ask about it. If you want to blend into the background, maybe it’s not the car for you. From every angle, it looks properly proportioned. The interior is beautiful, and is there a more … striking logo than Alfa’s? I say “No” Best for last. Driving it. It’s not a weekend toy. I commute interstate, NY to NJ every day. Forty five miles each way. Hence the need for the adaptive cruise and forward collision warning. This allows the car to stop and go on its own in bumper to bumper traffic. Nice. When the roads are open, and that happens even in NY, it is wonderful. The chassis feels carved from stone, yet is somehow compliant over rough patches. It is inexplicably able to take curves flat at speed yet still be comfortable. This is not a big car. It is in looks and feel more like sports sedans before they became heavy and bloated. The Giulia is light and quick and instantly responsive. My 2002 BMW 3 series 5-speed was something like that, but this has that beat. Get an Alfa.
5 out of 5 stars
The real real on TI sport 2018
2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
So many positives on this car. Looks, fantastic; had doubts about red leather, on silver. Dark 5 hole wheels with yellow calipers upgraded to qv wheel and Michelin tire package- fantastic. Also chip tuned to 350hp. After 4 bmws, 4 Mercedes, 3 Porsche’s, 5 AUDI’s— this is the most fun car in ages. Last 5 AUDI’s, great luxury, safety, marginal handling including last S6. Alfa is a joy to … drive. It’s one of those ,”take the long way home cars.” Or let’s just take this drive to , “wherever” just “ because.” The AUDI has greatest info and technology ever, but I don’t drive the info screen. So for kicking back, cruising, sleepy drives- get the AUDI , MB, BMW. To DRIVE , Alfa has no competition. Finally; was concerned about reliability; 7,500 miles— just gas and air pressure checks; that’s it. Oh; and did I mention that grown , mature men just stop and drool over the thing; sometimes I embarrassingly have to squeeze through admirers to get to the car and leave. Also doesn’t hurt that my grandson is convinced it’s a Ferrari.
5 out of 5 stars
Any Excuse to Drive
2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio 4dr Sedan (2.9L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
I have passed 10K miles on the car with zero problems (other than a minor glitch with radio presets fixed with software update). This is effectively a four door Ferrari for a remarkably reasonable price. The acceleration and handling are nothing short of supercar stunning. You look for any excuse to drive it: the most mundane errands are just a blast. The comments and stares at every … parking lot add to the exotic car ownership experience. And yet the car is completely comfortable and civilized as an every day driver. My spouse was an exec for a Japanese car company so I was spoiled with new primo quality cars every two years and we also have other Hondas, Nissan/Infiniti's and a Lexus in the family and the Alfa is every bit their equal in build quality, fit and finish. And, oh by the way, the Montecarlo Blu on my Quadrifoglio has a depth and sparkle beyond any other blue that I've seen on any other car on the road -- again more like a super-exotic than others in the class, and the comments of strangers confirm this. I had apprehensions because of the exaggerated unreliability reputation, the truth has been, instead, bulletproof to date.
2018 Giulia Highlights
|Combined MPG||27 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$175/month|
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
Our experts like the Giulia models:
- Adaptive Cruise Control with Full Stop
- Maintains a set interval from the vehicle ahead and can bring the vehicle to a full stop without driver intervention.
- Forward Collision Warning Plus
- Warns of an impending collision and, in some circumstances, brings the vehicle to a full stop if a collision appears imminent.
- Lane Departure Warning
- Provides an audible buzzing noise to alert you if you're drifting out of your lane.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestGood
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood