If you’ve been shopping around for a midsize luxury performance sedan and haven’t tried out the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia, you’re shortchanging yourself. You know the Audi A4/S4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class are all sure bets, as are the sedans from Lexus, Cadillac and Jaguar. But there is something truly original about the Giulia — more than just a few extra horsepower here or a few dollars less on the bottom line there.
This is a true driver’s car, and its styling and interior features match the uniqueness of its engines, suspension and overall performance abilities. In its most basic guise, the Giulia is a rear-wheel-drive sedan powered by turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine pumping out a very respectable 280 hp. And with five more trims above the base car, it only gets better the more you’re willing to spend.
Of course, because it was only introduced in 2017, it’s difficult to know how the Giulia will hold up in the areas of long-term reliability and resale — fair questions given parent company FIAT‘s own struggles in these areas. Then again, the Ferrari-derived 505-hp engine in the stunning Quadrifoglio trim may be enough for some buyers to justify the risk. The rewards certainly do.
What’s New for 2020?
For 2020, the Alfa Romeo Giulia gains a new 8.8-in touchscreen display with a host of new connectivity features, such as a Wi-Fi hotspot and mobile apps with remote operations. A new 7-in information display is placed between the speedometer and the tachometer, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking is made standard. The Giulia’s optional driver assist systems are enhanced this year with level II autonomous driving capabilities. Other features include adaptive cruise control, blind spot assist, active highway assist, traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist and a driver attention monitor. Finally, the Giulia’s interior gets some upgrades with a newly designed center console and steering wheel. See the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia models for sale near you
What We Like
- Gorgeous exterior
- Potent engine choices
- Impressive road manners
- Insanely precise steering
- Supportive seats
- Excellent crash test scores
What We Don’t
- Some generic interior bits
- No hybrid or diesel offering
- Unknown long-term reliability and resale
- B-pillar blocks side vision
$40,640-$90,000 (includes the $1,295 destination fee)
In the base Giulia and Giulia Ti, the standard engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder good for 280 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic is the only transmission offered, though both cars offer the option of RWD or all-wheel drive. The RWD models earn an EPA estimated 24 miles per gallon in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, while their AWD counterparts net a slightly lower 23 mpg city/31 mpg hwy.
The RWD Quadrifoglio trim is powered by a Ferrari-designed twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 that produces an astounding 505 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy estimates come in at 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy.
Standard Features & Options
The Alfa Romeo Giulia for 2020 is offered in six trims: Base, Sport, Ti, Ti Lusso, Ti Sport and Quadrifoglio. All but the V6-powered Quadrifoglio offer the option off all-wheel drive.
The base Giulia ($40,640, RWD; $42,640, AWD) comes with a sport suspension, 17-in alloy wheels, Brembo front disc brakes, bi-xenon headlights, power-heated side mirrors, automatic headlights, rear fog lights, leather seating, 6-way power driver’s and passenger seats with 4-way power lumbar support, a 7-in LCD information screen, an 8.8-in infotainment audio with SiriusXM, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Bluetooth, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control and rear seat vents. Also standard are passive entry with Keyless Go, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, a rear backup camera, forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, rear parking sensors and hill-start assist.
The Giulia Sport ($42,090, RWD; $44,090, AWD) adds 18-in wheels, a choice of brake caliper colors, sport front fascia, a rear diffuser and gloss black window surrounds.
The Giulia Ti ($42,640, RWD; $44,640, AWD) brings 18-in polished aluminum wheels, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated washer nozzles and front parking sensors.
The Giulia Ti Sport ($45,640, RWD; $47,640, AWD) adds 19-in alloy wheels with black brake calipers, 12-way power sport leather seats and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The Giulia Ti Lusso ($45,140, RWD; $47,140, AWD) adds 18-in Lusso aluminum wheels, luxury leather seating with Cannellioni Design, 12-way power front seats, a leather-wrapped dash and upper door trim, and a choice of Light Walnut or Dark Grey Oak interior trim.
The Giulia Quadrifoglio ($76,040) brings a more powerful twin-turbocharged V6 engine, a carbon fiber front spoiler with an active splitter, high-performance HID headlights, 19-in alloy wheels, active suspension, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, Brembo performance 4-wheel disc brakes, quad chrome exhaust tips, a torque-vectoring differential, headlight washers, and a carbon fiber roof, hood, rear spoiler and interior trim. Other features include the DNA Pro Drive Mode selector, 14-way power sport front seats with power front bolster, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, navigation and a 200-mph speedometer.
Popular equipment packages are available on most models, including the base car. These include the Cold Weather Package (heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated washer nozzles), Active Driver Assist Package that includes adaptive cruise control with stop/go, automatic high beam assist, lane-departure warning and level II autonomous driving with active highway assist, traffic jam assist, active blind spot assist, driver attention alert and highway traffic sign recognition, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, an infrared windshield and the 8.8-in navigation audio system. The Ti performance package adds adaptive suspension, paddle shifters and a limited-slip differential.
Standalone options include the Harman Kardon audio upgrade, a dual-pane sunroof and a range of wheel and paint color upgrades.
Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has yet to crash test the Giulia, the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has. In the IIHS’ crash tests, the Giulia performed exceptionally well, scoring the highest rating of Good in every test and a Superior in the crash avoidance and mitigation tests. The results were good enough last year to earn the Giulia a Top Safety Pick rating.
Behind the Wheel
It’s not uncommon for a car to get talked up by the media and its manufacturer, so much so that when you finally get a turn behind the wheel, there’s a bit of letdown. However, after just a few minutes in the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia, any such notions quickly evaporate. Simply put, the Giulia is one of the best-performing, best-handling luxury sedans on the market, and that accounts for head-to-head comparisons with the segment’s gold standard: the BMW 3 Series.
Our 2020 Ti Sport proved to be everything the brochure promised and more. The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is responsive and smooth, the 8-speed transmission is without flaw, and the steering is so precise that it makes even a novice driver feel like a track-tested veteran. The car corners with utter confidence, yet the suspension never feels stiff or jarring. Some in our test group did find the seat bolsters a bit snug, but all agreed that overall, the Giulia’s interior is a rolling testament to the superiority of Italian design.
As not to gush too much over the Giulia, we did find a few nitpicks, the most glaring being the large B-pillar. For taller drivers, the pillar’s placement directly beside the driver’s head creates an enormous blind spot. Even with the seat moved up a bit, the pillar’s presence still made itself known. And, in a car this expensive a full suite of driver assists should not be part of the optional equipment list. Get past these minor complaints, and you’ll find a sedan that will make you fall in love with driving all over again. The Giulia is really that good.
Other Cars to Consider
2020 Audi A4 — Although it’s not as powerful as the Giulia and is pulled by its front wheels, the A4 is nevertheless a formidable performance sedan. We also think the Audi’s interior is more upscale with better quality materials, but its exterior styling is rather conservative.
2020 BMW 3 Series — The 3 Series is every bit the Giulia’s performance equal, but it can get expensive as options are added on. The 3 Series, however, has a long service and resale history that the Giulia can’t match.
2020 Infiniti Q50 — Infiniti’s sporty Q50 sedan has a shapely body, impressive handling and a lower base price. Its twin-turbocharged V6 produces more hp than the Giulia’s standard engine, though the 400-hp Red Sport falls about 105 horses short of the Quadrifoglio.
From an enthusiast’s standpoint, the sweet spot in the Giulia lineup is the Ti Sport with a few options packages added on for good measure. Even if you can’t afford the $75,000 Quadrifoglio, ask your dealer to let you take one for a test drive. You may end up taking out a second mortgage to make the payments, but you’ll never regret it. Find an Alfa Romeo Giulia for sale