2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Review: Heart Over Head

by Karl Furlong

When it was first introduced a few years ago, the Alfa Romeo Giulia immediately charmed us with its seductive styling, exceptional handling, and an interior that had more substance to it than many Alfas in the past. But as impressive as the Giulia was, it still wasn't as polished as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3 Series - rear-seat space was more restrictive, interior storage wasn't great, and the technology felt a step behind. The latest model gets a few updates to remedy some of these issues, with a new center console and a larger central touchscreen. Its agile nature and strong engines make it one of the most rewarding cars to drive in this segment, but it isn't the most comfortable and both the rear seat and the trunk are less than accommodating. If you don't need acres of space, though, the Giulia provides more allure than the clinically efficient German competitors that have come to dominate this segment.

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Changes: πŸš™What’s the difference vs 2019 Giulia?

Alfa Romeo has made quite a few enhancements to the Giulia range for this year. The cabin has been restyled in places with upgrades like a new center console, a new leather-wrapped shifter, a revised steering wheel design, and laminated front glass. The infotainment system now uses a larger 8.8-inch touchscreen which is claimed to have a quicker processor, better graphics, and standard SiriusXM radio (with a 12-month complimentary subscription).

On the safety front, an Advanced Driver Assistance package is now available and comprises features like active lane departure warning, traffic jam assist, and drowsy driver detection. There are new exterior metallic colors as well.

Pros and Cons

  • Charismatic design, inside and out
  • Interior now has improved storage and materials
  • Enhanced available safety specification
  • One of the most entertaining drives in the segment
  • Strong turbocharged engines
  • Comfortable and supportive front seats
  • Magical steering and front end feel
  • Back seat and trunk space are below average
  • Still not as solidly screwed together as the Germans
  • The ride is quite firm over imperfect surfaces
  • The best safety features are costly extras
  • Brakes don't inspire confidence

Giulia Exterior

Other than the addition of some new exterior colors, the Giulia's design is unchanged. That's no surprise, really - this remains one of the more evocatively imagined three-box sedans on the market. The base model has 17-inch alloy wheels, but these grow to 18- and 19-inch items on upper trims. LED taillamps, LED daytime running lights, dual-tip exhaust outlets and silver brake calipers are standard on the base model, while more expensive trims get unique front and rear fascias. A dual-pane power sunroof is available. The Ti Sport Carbon model has carbon fiber mirror caps, carbon fiber side skirts, and dark exhaust tips, among other upgrades - it is easily the sportiest-looking model in the range.

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Front Angle View Alfa Romeo
2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Front Angle View 1 Alfa Romeo
2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Headlights On Alfa Romeo
See All 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Similarly sized to a BMW 3 Series, the Giulia is marginally shorter but wider than its German counterpart. The wheelbase measures 111 inches, overall length is 182.8 inches (2.9 inches less than the BMW), width is 73.2 inches excluding the side mirrors, and height is either 56.5 inches for RWD models or 57.1 inches for AWD versions. The Alfa's curb weight is also similar to the 3 Series, working out to 3,522 pounds for the RWD and 3,622 lbs for the AWD.

Exterior Colors

Three new metallic colors have been introduced for 2020: Anodized Blue, Lunare White, and Verde Visconti (green). All of these cost an additional $600. The standard shades are Alfa Black, Alfa White, and Alfa Rosso (red) - the latter looking as good as it ever has on the Giulia's sultry bodywork. Other metallic shades that will also cost an extra $600 each are Vulcano Black, Vesuvio Gray, Stromboli Gray, Silverstone Gray, Montecarlo Blue, and Misano Blue. Those with deeper pockets may want to shell out on Rosso Competizione Tri-Coat or Trofeo White Tri-Coat at a hefty $2,200 each, although these colors are only available on the Giulia Ti and up.

Besides the red being an obvious choice for anything coming out of Italy, we think the Alfa's design works best with more flamboyant shades like the Montecarlo or Misano blues.

  • Anodized Blue Metallic
  • Lunare White Metallic
  • Montecarlo Blue Metallic
  • Silverstone Gray Metallic
  • Stromboli Gray Metallic
  • Vesuvio Gray Metallic
  • Vulcano Black Metallic
  • Misano Blue Metallic
  • Verde Visconti Metallic
  • Rosso Competizione Tri-Coat
  • Trofeo White Tri-Coat
  • Alfa Black
  • Alfa Rosso
  • Alfa White

Giulia Performance

The standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot endows the Giulia with spirited performance. With 280 horsepower and 306 lb-ft of torque, it's a more powerful motor than the comparable unit fitted to the BMW 330i and allows the Giulia to run from 0-60 mph in comfortably under six seconds. The AWD models are marginally quicker than the RWD versions, but both feel responsive and, impressively, Alfa has even managed to make a four-cylinder turbocharged engine sound properly sporty. The eight-speed automatic transmission is equally up to the task and shifts gears quickly, allowing the driver to extract the best out of the engine. While other cars in the segment may ultimately be quicker if specification sheets are compared, the Giulia feels like one of the most engaging from behind the wheel.

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Side View Driving Alfa Romeo
2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Taillights Alfa Romeo
2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Brakes Alfa Romeo

Engine and Transmission

The spritely 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood of the Giulia produces a strong 280 hp and 306 lb-ft. It's paired with a brilliant ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic gearbox. The combination makes light work of the Giulia's weight and the car feels energetic and eager right from the start. Traffic light blasts are often hard to resist, although the RWD model can initially spin the tires if you're not careful with the throttle. Mid-range grunt is excellent, too, and allows drivers to execute safe passing maneuvers on the highway. As impressive as the surge of power is, the engine's sporty character really sets it apart from the competition, as it makes an addictive snarl that is rare for four-cylinder powerplants, especially those with turbochargers. The auto 'box comes with available tactile paddle shifters that provide snappy shifts when you're in the mood to take more control, but even when left to its own devices, the transmission never misses a beat.

  • Engine
    2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Complementing the peppy engine is a fast steering system that immediately makes the Giulia feel more engaging than many class rivals. Together with the quickest steering rack this side of a go-kart and a feeling that the car is always light on its feet, the Alfa is a joy to thread through the corners. There are three driving modes to choose from: Dynamic, Natural and Advanced Efficiency. In Dynamic, the steering exhibits ideal weighting, feedback is good, and body roll is kept at bay. Even the AWD versions feel more RWD-like, and the rear end will step out occasionally if encouraged - only for the overly aggressive stability control to rein things back in rapidly. The only issue is the fitment of all-season tires - their grip limits are easier to expose that you'd want.

Although reasonably refined on smooth roads, the Alfa is ultimately tuned to prioritize sportiness over comfort, so it doesn't glide down the road with the sophistication of an Audi A4 and, for some, the ride will be too firm. That said, we think the Alfa's entertaining driving experience is a fair trade for a slightly firmer ride. Wind noise and a few squeaks from the cabin are noticeable, though. The braking system is powerful and effectively brings the Alfa to a controlled stop.

Giulia Gas Mileage

That energetic engine has a practical side too, delivering economy figures that are above-average in the segment. Models equipped with RWD return EPA-rated numbers of 24/33/27 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles, whereas AWD versions are a bit heavier at 23/31/26 mpg. With a 15.3-gallon gas tank, the RWD versions should be able to achieve a mixed cruising range of around 413 miles on a tankful of premium gasoline. The BMW 3 Series is even more efficient, however, with the RWD 330i returning 26/36/30 mpg.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    15.3 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 24/33 mpg
* 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sport RWD

Giulia Interior

With a new center console featuring a revised leather-wrapped shifter, premium rotary knob and dial materials, improved in-cabin storage, and a larger infotainment screen, the Giulia's interior is certainly an improvement. The sporty dials, stitched dashboard top, and one of the best steering wheels in the business are other neat Alfa touches that add some flair to the sporty, driver-focused environment. Still, the standards in this segment are exceedingly high and the Germans can teach the Italians a thing or two about quality and detailing - funny, since Alfa Romeo uses the same suppliers as BMW and Audi for the Giulia. The Alfa also doesn't have an especially spacious rear passenger compartment. Among the list of standard features are leather upholstery, keyless passive entry and a backup camera with rear parking sensors.

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Dashboard Alfa Romeo
2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Central Console Alfa Romeo
2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Air Vents Alfa Romeo
See All 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The driver and front-seat passenger will be a lot happier than the three passengers at the back. In front, the seats are comfortable and have supportive side bolsters, while headroom and legroom are also good. Ingress and egress are also simple in front. The driving position is a bit different to some other modern sedans as the windscreen is closer to you than is typical, but once you adapt, it feels sporty and snug. Only side pillars slightly hinder visibility when executing a lane change.

Occupants at the back won't be nearly as happy. Legroom is in short supply and the tiny door openings make it much more difficult to get into and out of these seats.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

As with many Italian cars, the Alfa's cabin features a curious blend of appealing materials (such as the smart leather upholstery) and a few bits of plastic that feel more lightweight than those in an Audi A4. All models get leather-upholstered seats, with interior colors including plain black, along with two-tone combinations like black/red, black/tan, black/ice, and the lighter ice on its own. A leather-wrapped shifter is standard, while the Ti Sport Carbon model gets carbon fiber trim and its interior color options are limited to black or black/red.

An available Sport Interior Package adds aluminum interior trim, a black headliner, bright aluminum pedals and a perforated leather shift knob. On the Ti models, an optional Ti Leather Package clads the dash and upper doors in leather for a classier look. Overall, the mix of colors and materials are visually appealing, even if the standard of build quality isn't class-leading.

Giulia Trunk and Cargo Space

The Giulia's form-over-function approach continues when you pop the trunk lid - there's just 13 cubic feet of space back there, making the trunk much smaller than the one in the BMW 3 Series, which offers 17 cubes. Fortunately, cargo space can be expanded by folding down the 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats.

In-cabin storage for smaller items has been improved thanks to a new center console design with larger cupholders, open front storage and improved space for your phone when using the available wireless charging pad. The door pockets are not especially accommodating, though.

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Interior Overview Alfa Romeo
2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Interior Details Alfa Romeo
2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Rear View Alfa Romeo

Giulia Infotainment and Features

Features

Alfa has done well to equip even the base Giulia with enough standard gear to keep most people happy. The standard specification includes dual-zone automatic climate control, ten-way power-adjustable front seats (including a driver's memory system), a power release for the trunk lids, a backup camera with rear parking sensors, 12-volt in-dash power outlet, passive entry and keyless go, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding exterior mirrors, and automatic headlamps. As you work your way up the various trims levels - or peruse the options list - you get access to features like a 14-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. Full-speed forward collision warning and hill-start assist are among the standard safety features and rear cross-path detection is available.

Infotainment

Alfa has improved the Giulia's infotainment system this year, with the previous 6.5-inch display being replaced by a new 8.8-inch touchscreen - the system is faster than before and the bigger screen size is appreciated, plus the driver gets key information displayed on a seven-inch TFT screen within the instrument cluster. The infotainment system features voice recognition, AM/FM radio, Bluetooth and a rotary controller. Other multimedia features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM radio with a complimentary 12-month subscription, and a media hub located in the center armrest which houses USB inputs and an auxiliary audio input. An additional USB charging port is located at the back. Audio is channeled through an eight-speaker sound system, but you can upgrade to a ten-speaker premium audio system (on the Giulia) or a 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system (on the Giulia Ti). Navigation is available, as is a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Giulia Problems and Reliability

The bugbear of many Italian cars has always been reliability, and although the Giulia hasn't been awful, its J.D. Power rating (for both 2019 and 2020 models) of 73 out of a maximum 100 is some way off that of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (85/100). There were two recalls for the Giulia in 2019, one for an adaptive cruise control system that may deactivate, and another for a fuel gauge that may read higher than the actual fuel level, but the 2020 model is clear so far of any issues.

Alfa Romeo's basic warranty extends to four years/50,000 miles and includes coverage for the powertrain. Corrosion perforation is also provided for 12 years/unlimited miles, while roadside assistance is provided for four years, regardless of mileage covered.

Giulia Safety

The Giulia is a safe car, and although it missed out on the IIHS' Top Safety Pick award, it still achieved a spread of Good ratings for crashworthiness. Only its standard headlights were rated as Poor. The NHTSA hasn't yet evaluated the Giulia.

Key Safety Features

Every Giulia model gets front, front-side, side curtain, and driver and front-passenger inflatable knee airbags, taking the total to eight. An all-speed traction control system is fitted, along with electronic stability control, hill-start assist, full-speed forward collision warning, rear park-assist sensors, a rear backup camera with dynamic guidelines, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

The Guilia Ti additionally has front park-assist sensors. Available safety features encompass adaptive cruise control, a highway assist system, active blind spot assist, lane departure warning, traffic jam assist, lane keep assist, driver attention alert and traffic sign recognition. Most of these features are bundled together in the optional - and expensive - Active Driver Assist Package.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia a good car?

Mass market vehicle production makes it easy to fall into the cookie-cutter trap, whereby cars in the same segment all seem to do the same things in a similar fashion. This is not a problem that even slightly affects the Alfa Romeo Giulia, and it's this originality that is probably the Italian luxury car's greatest achievement. It looks like nothing else in this class and also provides an engaging driving experience that sets it apart. We love the powerful, rorty turbocharged engine and the way that the steering feels more alive than in most other modern vehicles. Of course, Alfa's single-minded approach to stimulating your senses means that the Giulia isn't as polished as an Audi A4 or BMW 3 Series, cars that we imagine must first pass a rigorous, encyclopedia-long checklist before they ever reach the showroom floor. The Giulia's development brainstorm session likely concluded with less of a perfectly constructed checklist and more of a scattered vision board, and the result is a flawed but undeniably beguiling machine. So, while you may moan about the small trunk, the sometimes creaky cabin, and the limited rear-seat legroom, it's not a car that will ever leave you bored.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia?

The Giulia range starts at an MSRP of $39,345 for the base model. This excludes tax, licensing, registration, and the manufacturer's destination charge of $1,295. Next is the Giulia Sport at $40,795, followed by four Ti models: the Ti at $41,345, the Ti Lusso at $43,845, the Ti Sport at $44,345, and the range-topping Ti Sport Carbon at $48,345. All models are rear-wheel-drive by default, but all-wheel-drive is available for an additional $2,000.

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Models

The Giulia range comprises six trims: base, Sport, Ti, Ti Lusso, Ti Sport, and Ti Sport Carbon.

All models are fitted with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 280 horsepower and 306 lb-ft of torque. RWD is standard and AWD is available, while the sole transmission option is an eight-speed automatic.

The base model has 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather-trimmed seats, passive entry and keyless go, a rear parking camera with dynamic guidelines, rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-folding side mirrors, and full-speed forward collision warning.

Choosing the Giulia Sport adds 18-inch alloy wheels with a dark finish, a three-spoke sport design steering wheel with Gloss Black accents and perforated leather inserts, and aluminum sport pedals. A Sport Interior Package is also available for this trim.

The Giulia Ti adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and the availability of features like a mechanical limited-slip rear differential, highway assist, traffic jam assist, and driver attention alert.

Opting for the more luxury-oriented Ti Lusso gets a three-spoke luxury design steering wheel, the availability of luxury leather seats with a Cannelloni design, an optional Crema headliner and leather-wrapped upper door panels.

The Ti Sport gets aluminum interior trim, unique front and rear sport fascias, colored brake calipers, a black headliner, along with sport leather seats with 14-way power-adjustment for the driver and 12-way power-adjustment for the front-seat passenger.

At the top of the line-up, the Ti Sport Carbon boasts illuminated carbon fiber door sill plates, a leather-wrapped instrument panel, and 19-inch dark alloy wheels.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Base
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$39,345
Sport
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$39,345
Ti
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$41,345
Ti Sport Carbon
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$41,345
Ti Lusso
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$41,345
See All 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Alfa has made several packages available to customize your purchase, although many are trim-specific. On the base model, the Cold Weather Package adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and heated washer nozzles for $800. Also at $800 is a basic safety package comprising active blind-spot monitoring, front parking sensors, and auto-dimming exterior mirrors. Also focused on safety, the Driver Assistance Dynamic Package includes adaptive cruise control, an infrared windshield, and lane departure warning for $1,200. For a sportier appearance, the Nero Edizione package costs $1,450 and adds dark exhaust tips, colored brake calipers, a Dark Miron V scudetto grille, and other embellishments to the exterior.

The Giulia Sport's trim-specific packages include the Sport Interior pack for $750 (aluminum interior trim, aluminum paddle shifters, a black headliner and more) and the Nero Edizione Sport exterior package for $950.

For the Giulia Ti, you can opt for a Ti Leather Package at $1,100, the Ti Performance Package at $1,650 (active suspension and a limited-slip rear differential) or the Nero Edizione exterior upgrade at $1,100. This trim is also available with a more comprehensive safety specification; the Active Driver Assist Package Ti includes navigation, driver attention alert, traffic jam assist, and more, albeit for a pricey $3,250. The more affordable Active Blind-Spot Package costs $650. The Ti Lusso shares these package options, although it isn't available with the Leather Package. The Ti Sport has its own Nero Edizione (exterior styling) and Sport Performance (active suspension) packages, at marginally different prices.

Among the standalone options are the 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system ($900, not available on lower trims), the dual-pane sunroof ($1,350), navigation ($1,200), and a wireless charging pad ($200).

πŸš—What Alfa Romeo Giulia Model Should I Buy?

The base model is now a more attractive proposition than before, as it gets the improved infotainment system shared with the more expensive trims. That being said, we'd still go for the mid-range Ti version that adds features like heated seats, 18-inch alloy wheels and front park-assist sensors. The Ti also opens up access to more available options, among them the Ti Performance Package. This being such a sporty sedan, it's the box we'd tick for even more dynamism thanks to the active suspension and the limited-slip rear differential, plus you get to enjoy those lovely paddle shifters. The full-on safety package is really expensive, so we'd opt for the cheaper active blind-spot package at $650 instead. All in, the total works out to $43,645.

Check out other Alfa Romeo Giulia Styles

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Comparisons

Audi A4 Sedan Audi
BMW 3 Series Sedan BMW

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia vs Audi A4 Sedan

The latest generation of the A4 continues to be a tremendous all-rounder with excellent handling, a more comfortable ride than the Alfa, and an interior that leads the way for build integrity and the presentation of materials. Although the Alfa does feel sportier, the A4 is by no means a dull car to drive, although steering feedback lags behind the Italian's talkative helm. The Audi easily has a more accommodating interior, though, with more space for rear-seat passengers. The A4's virtual cockpit and infotainment system are also more intuitive to use than the Alfa's admittedly improved system. If you don't want to think too hard about which luxury sedan to get next, the A4 is a smart choice that is also likely to prove more dependable than the Giulia in the long term. But if you're looking for a more exciting, evocative, and distinctive alternative, the Giulia is good enough to at least take on a test drive.

See Audi A4 Sedan Review

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia vs BMW 3 Series Sedan

For decades, the BMW 3 Series was the easy choice for buyers looking for a luxury sedan with sharp driving dynamics. Since then, the 3 Series has grown a lot bigger and traded some of its famed dynamic sparkle for a more well-rounded driving experience. It still handles remarkably well and sticks to the road like glue, but there's more of a muted sensation from behind the wheel, and it's here that the Alfa shines more brightly. The Giulia's engine is also more powerful than the 255-horsepower unit in the price-competitive 330i, but the BMW uses what it's got well and accelerates with just as much verve as the Alfa. The BMW is the quieter highway companion, though, and its interior - although a bit plain design-wise - is roomier, more advanced, and better built than the Alfa's. The BMW also has a larger trunk, a few standard safety features that are optional on the Alfa, and returns better economy numbers. The Giulia may tug a bit harder at the heartstrings, but the BMW is a better car.

See BMW 3 Series Sedan Review

Alfa Romeo Giulia Popular Comparisons

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