2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Review: The Italian Suit

by Roger Biermann

In a sea awash with sterile compact luxury sedans, the Alfa Romeo Giulia is a breath of fresh air. The 2019 car receives minor updates in the form of a few new paint options and an appearance package, but the mechanics remain the same. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 280 hp, outgunning the likes of BMW's 330i and the Audi A4, and delivers an entertaining rush of power to either the rear wheels or all corners, entertaining a 0-60 mph sprint as quick as 5.1 seconds. Starting at $38,545, the Giulia presents an intriguing choice - one that might not be as refined as its German counterparts, nor as safe, but it delivers an entertaining driving experience and bold styling in a market where number-crunching has taken some of the soul out of owning a car. As far as corporate rebirths go, this is one hell of a place for Alfa Romeo to start.

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2018 Giulia?

Other than a new set of 19-inch wheels on the Ti Sport and a few added color and feature options, the Alfa Romeo Giulia, part of the first generation launched in 2017, goes into 2019 without any significant changes. The Nero Edizione package is a new appearance package that's available across the Giulia range and adds darkened wheels, exhaust tips, headlamp bezels, and other exterior trim pieces. The carbon fiber package will only be available on the Ti Sport, adding carbon fiber bits to the exterior and interior where the dashboard gets covered in leather and carbon fiber. Other notable additions are three new wheel designs, a new interior theme, and two new exterior colors. The options list also grows with the addition of a car alarm system and heated rear seats.

Pros and Cons

  • Impressive infotainment system
  • Nice grunt from the turbocharged engine
  • Italian design flair
  • Excellent road manners
  • Superbly neutral handling balance
  • Exceptionally quick, intuitive steering
  • Cramped back seat
  • Small trunk
  • There's no manual option
  • Still fighting the reliability stigma
  • Some trim panels not assembled brilliantly

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Base
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$38,545
Sport
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$38,545
Ti
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$40,745
Ti Lusso
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$40,745
Ti Sport
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$40,745

Giulia Exterior

There is no doubt that Alfa Romeo has been behind some of the most stunningly beautiful car designs since it got its start back in 1910, and despite some faux-pas in the latter half of this century, they have resisted conformity, and still design cars that intrigue and delight. The Giulia is one of the brand's most handsome cars, and for 2019 it receives more paint and styling options. Standard exterior features include 17-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust tips, xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights, and full LED taillights as well as aluminum window surrounds. The front and rear fascias change as you go up in trim levels, as do the available wheel sizes, all the way up to 19 inches.

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Front View Alfa Romeo
2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Front View Driving Alfa Romeo
2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Rear View Driving Alfa Romeo
See All 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Officially classed as a compact executive sedan, the Giulia measures in with similar numbers to those of its German rivals the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. Total length comes in at 182.6 inches, shorter than both Germans, and it stands 56.5 inches tall in standard guise, while Q4 AWD models see that figure increase by 0.6 inches. The Giulia is 73.7 inches wide and rolls on a 111-inch wheelbase, while the BMW's is 1.2 inches longer. This gives the Giulia shorter overhangs and a more planted look, which fits in perfectly with its sporty attitude. Its curb weight starts at 3,521 lbs on rear-wheel-drive models, while all-wheel-drive derivatives tip the scales at 3,632 lbs, putting the Giulia in the middle of the pack.

  • Length 182.5 in
  • Wheelbase 111.0 in
  • Height 56.5 in
  • Max Width 73.7 in
  • Front Width 61.3 in
  • Rear Width 63.9 in

Exterior Colors

The color palette for the 2019 Giulia screams racing heritage, not only in the colors themselves but in the way Alfa Romeo named them. There are 14 colors in total, some of which are exclusive to specific models. Colors such as Montecarlo Blue, Silverstone Gray, and Monza Red are direct tributes to the racing successes of one of Italy's most beloved brands. More traditional colors include Alfa White and Black. Rosso Competizione Tri-Coat is the one to go for if you want the Guilia to truly pop, but you'll have to get a Ti or above, as the Guilia and Giulia Sport aren't eligible for the fiery red paint job, likewise Trofeo White Tri-Coat.

  • Montecarlo Blue Metallic
  • Silverstone Gray Metallic
  • Stromboli Gray Metallic
  • Vesuvio Gray Metallic
  • Vulcano Black Metallic
  • Misano Blue Metallic
  • Lipari Gray Metallic
  • Monza Red Metallic
  • Imola Titanium Metallic
  • Rosso Competizione Tri-Coat
  • Trofeo White Tri-Coat
  • Alfa Black
  • Alfa Rosso
  • Alfa White

Giulia Performance

At its price point, the Alfa offers brilliant performance, especially when compared to the BMW 330i and Audi A4 2.0T. The Giulia is a more powerful car, and you can feel it on the road; a zero to sixty time of 5.1 seconds is blisteringly quick, especially coming from an entry-level compact premium sedan, and beats the BMW by 0.3 of a second. The Giulia has been set up for confident driving with, perhaps, a leaning bias towards the sporty side, which is made evident when pushing the car a bit harder around town. The overall experience gives a glimpse at what the car is capable of, but to truly experience the full might of the Giulia, you'll have to get in the 505-hp Quadrifoglio. Still, with standard rear-wheel-drive and optional rear-biased all-wheel-drive, the Giulia is a sports sedan in its truest form.

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Front View Driving 1 Alfa Romeo
2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Rear View Driving 1 Alfa Romeo
2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Rear Badge Alfa Romeo

Engine and Transmission

A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine powers the Giulia range, and unlike most other modern small capacity turbocharged engines, the one in the Giulia actually has some character. Power is measured at 280 hp and torque at 306 lb-ft. All models are fitted with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission - the same as the one used by BMW - that offers quick shifts in dynamic and sport modes, but settles down nicely when puttering around at city speeds. Where most entry-level to mid-range turbo engines sound like muffled sewing machines, the Alfa's engine emits a raspy snarl when you press down on the accelerator pedal, and shoves all 306 lb-ft of torque in your face low down in the rev range. In all-wheel-drive guise, the Giulia will show no signs of wheel slip, but in rear-wheel-drive, it'll want to get the tires lit up, even if the traction control prohibits it.

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

Handling and Driving Impressions

The chassis balance and suspension setup naturally lends itself to spirited driving, and the Giulia is eager to please even when driving around town. Switch to Dynamic mode, and the Giulia finds its feet, and then some; the gearbox becomes more responsive, and the steering feel weighs up perfectly, which in combination with a great steering wheel and the sharpest steering ration this side of a Ferrari makes for an engaging driving experience. The only let down is the all-season tires, which make sense for the average driver, but will be a significant disappointment for Alfa enthusiasts who like to enjoy their cars closer to the limit. The traction control system which cannot be disabled is another gripe that most owners won't even consider to be an issue, but will bug drivers who want to get the most out of the Giulia. Considering the Giulia's default tendency is towards oversteer, a little bit of play would've been appreciated. At least the brakes are top-quality, with standard Brembo four-caliper brakes making light work of heavy breaking without fade.

Giulia Gas Mileage

Class-leading power comes with a price; the Alfa Romeo Giulia will use slightly more fuel in base trim than the BMW 3 Series or Audi A4. The RWD Sport, the most efficient in the range, will return 24/33/27 mpg city/highway/combined, not bad for a car that can accelerate to sixty in the low five-second range. Both the BMW and Audi will see 30 mpg on a combined cycle. Opting for the Q4 AWD version sees the Giulia's figures drop to 23/31/26 mpg, while the BMW 330i xDrive will get 28 mpg combined and the Audi A4 Quattro 27 mpg. The Giulia is fitted with a 15.3-gallon fuel tank, giving it an estimated combined range of between 436 miles in mixed driving on a base RWD model.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    15.3 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 24/33 mpg
* 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sport RWD

Giulia Interior

The Italian sports sedan puts the driver first when it comes to the layout of the interior. Most of the controls, including the infotainment display, are all angled towards the driver, and the traditional analog speed and rev counters add to the overall sporty feel of the cabin. Getting inside isn't an issue for front-seat occupants, but getting in the rear is more tricky due to a smaller door entrance. Once inside, visibility is excellent, with the only issue being blind spot checks, which are impeded by thick B pillars. Standard interior features on all Giulia cars include power-adjustable front seats and a beautifully tactile flat-bottomed steering wheel, while a range of leather qualities and colors gives the Giulia impressive levels of customization. It's arguably the best built Alfa Romeo interior in decades, but it still lags behind the premium German brigade for overall fit, finish, and tactility - except for the aluminum paddle shifters on higher trims that feel as if they were lifted straight out of a Ferrari. Those are simply sublime.

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Infotainment System Alfa Romeo
2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Interior Overview Alfa Romeo
2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Shifter Alfa Romeo
See All 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The seat style, driving position, and overall space favor the front seat passengers, and more specifically, the driver. The standard seats in the Giulia are comfortable, and are power-adjustable in ten ways, include four settings for lumbar support, and have a memory function. For everyday use, they are comfy and supportive enough, but the sportier seats in the Ti Lusso offer better support overall and an extra four adjustments. The driving position is upright and forward in the cabin, which most Americans will find off at first, but connects you with the car in a way most other executive sedans don't. Front-seat legroom measures 42.4 inches, more than both the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, and the headroom is also good at 38.6 inches. Rear seat legroom measures a tight 35.1 inches as does back seat headroom at 37.6 inches.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.4 in
  • Front Head Room 38.6 in
  • Rear Leg Room 35.1 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.6 in

Interior Colors and Materials

The base Giulia, Giulia Sport, and Ti trims are all upholstered as standard in leather and share four leather seat color options of Ice White, Red, Tan, or Black with dark gray accent stitching. The Ti Sport can be had with Black, Red, or Tan performance sport leather while the Ti Lusso adds Crema luxury leather to the list. Interior trimmings range from contemporary black gloss to old-world wood, and no matter the choice, the Giulia's interior looks fresh and beautifully designed. The newly added Ti Sport trim shares genuine carbon fiber inserts with the high-performance Quadrifoglio while the Giulia Sport, Ti, and Ti Sport get aluminum trimmings. Light Walnut and Dark gray Oak are the two natural options.

Giulia Trunk and Cargo Space

Trunk space in the 2019 Giulia is surprisingly good, mainly because the car is shorter than most rivals. Alfa Romeo has made the most of the 12 cubic feet of space by designing a deep trunk that will swallow up suitcases. The only hindrance is a liftgate opening that's at the smaller end of the scale, and the fact that the new 3 Series offers nearly 50% more trunk space. If you're a light traveler or use the car around town most of the time, you'll be satisfied with the space on offer, and if the need arises, the rear seats can fold down to offer even more space.

But small-item storage is disappointing, especially considering the fact that a lot of space around the shift knob is wasted with only small center console bins available. The door pockets in the front offer a slither of space, and back seat passengers get even fewer options.

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia In Motion Alfa Romeo
2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Rear View Alfa Romeo
2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Rear View Driving 2 Alfa Romeo

Giulia Infotainment and Features

Features

As a compact luxury sedan facing stiff competition from a wide range of international rivals, Alfa Romeo made sure that the Giulia, even in humble base trim, would impress when it came to the features list. Standard features on the base model include ten-way power-adjustable leather seats with memory function, upgraded to 14-way seats on higher trims, a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel, as well as push-button start. The list continues with dual-zone climate control, remote start, rain-sensing auto wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a rearview camera, rear park sensors, and the option to equip a dual-pane sunroof, and heated front and rear seats. Higher up in the range, you can expect to find a heated steering wheel and rear seats, and front park sensors. Driver-assistance systems are available but not standard with the base models boasting availability to full-speed collision warning, blind-spot warning, lane departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Infotainment

Use the words electronics and Alfa Romeo together in the same sentence and watch most car fans develop a migraine, and unfortunately, this reputation for unreliable electrical systems lives on in the Giulia's infotainment system. The infotainment system on the 2019 Giulia consists of a 6.5-inch display that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, Bluetooth, and four USB ports. Menu scrolling is taken care of via a centrally mounted rotary controller. Sound is channeled through an eight-speaker system that delivers impressively clear tones. The overall functionality is acceptable, but small gremlins rear their heads now and then, and the voice controls are clunky. Optional features include 2D navigation, a larger 8.8-inch display (standard from the Ti), SiriusXM satellite radio and a premium 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

Giulia Problems and Reliability

Despite their notoriety for breaking down and leaking oil all over your newly paved driveway, modern Alfa Romeos manage to stay on the road a bit longer than their predecessors. The Giulia has been recalled twice as a 2019 model. Certain Giulias were recalled due to the adaptive cruise control failing to deactivate, while in the second recall, the fuel gauge may read higher than the actual level. The folks over at J.D. Power gave the Giulia a score of 75 on their reliability rating scale, not bad for a sporty Italian. Alfa Romeo covers the 2019 Giulia with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which includes a 12-year/unlimited-mile corrosion warranty, as well as a four-year drivetrain and roadside assistance warranty, matching that of the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles

Giulia Safety

The Giulia isn't a large volume production car in America, which could explain the fact that it hasn't been tested by the NHTSA. The IIHS, however, has put the 2019 Giulia through its paces and the results were impressive. The Giulia didn't manage to scoop a Top Safety Pick award, but it managed to score Good in all crashworthiness categories and Superior for the optional crash prevention systems. The only disappointment was its headlights, which was to be expected, considering the fact that some models come with xenon lights, instead of LEDs.

Key Safety Features

If it weren't for its poor headlight performance, the Giulia would surely be one of the safer cars in its class, despite its relatively short safety features list. Standard safety features on the 2019 Giulia include stability control, hill start assist, rain-sensing window wipers, advanced braking assist, torque control, and an eight-airbag system including front knee airbags. Optional packages add blind-spot and rear cross-traffic assistance as well as more advanced systems such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assistance, lane change warning, forward collision avoidance, and more. The Giulia can't match the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 when it comes to standard safety, with both offering more as standard and picking up Top Safety Pick + and Top Safety Pick awards respectively.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia a good car?

The age-old stereotype of the leaky and unreliable Alfa Romeo holds true to this day; perhaps not as bluntly, but Alfa has managed to create a car that, unlike so many modern premium sedans, has a distinct personality and feels as Italian as having a cigarette and a shot of espresso in the morning. From the chassis and suspension setup through to the driver-focused interior and characterful turbocharged engine, it's clear that while the Giulia will carry people and their stuff in comfort, it begs to be pushed every now and again, something which can't really be said about a FWD Audi A4, for example. Some interior build quality issues and a temperamental infotainment system hurt the Giulia's chances of being a class leader, as do its limited safety features, but with a starting price of $38,545, the Giulia offers great performance, a competitive features list and warranty that is hard to ignore. Get one if you have a flame for driving in your heart, but you still need to promote some semblance of corporate responsibility.

🚘What's the Price of the 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia?

Considering the amount of car you get, the base model Giulia, starting MSRP of $38,545, excluding a destination fee of $1,295, is a bargain of note. Opting for an AWD model will add $2,000 to the asking price. The Giulia Sport starts at $39,995, followed by the Ti, which breaks the $40k mark with an asking price of $40,745. Next up is the Ti Lusso at $43,245, the Ti Sport at $43,445, and finally the Ti Sport Carbon at $48,245. The Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series might be benchmark cars in this class - and highly accomplished ones at that - but in this price range, the Alfa delivers a more engaging driving experience. Not to say it's faster around a track, but it stirs the soul in a way the Germans simply can't.

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Models

You can have your 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia in six different flavors before you even start looking at the options list, despite some of the trim levels only differing slightly in terms of appearance. The base model is simply named "Giulia" and is followed by the Sport, Ti, Ti Sport, Ti Lusso, and finally, the Ti Sport Carbon.

Standard issue items on the base model include17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, a 6.5-inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, an eight-speaker sound system, leather seats, ten-way power-adjustable seats, rear park sensors, and a dual-zone climate control system.

Moving on to the Sport adds 18-inch wheels, sportier exterior fascias front and back, as well as red-painted brake calipers.

The Ti adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, front park sensors, wood interior trim, and an 8.8-inch infotainment display with satellite radio.

For the Ti Sport, 19-inch wheels with performance tires are included, as well as sport leather seats with 14-way adjustability, and aluminum interior trimmings.

Ti Lusso cars come standard with aluminum foot pedals, a leather-covered dashboard, and exclusive wood trimming.

Lastly, the Ti Sport Carbon adds a carbon fiber appearance package that includes darkened exterior features, blackened alloy wheels, and a carbon-fiber trimmed interior.

See All 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

The 2019 Giulia can be optioned out with appearance, tech, and performance extras at surprisingly affordable prices. Take, for instance, the Ti Sport Performance package, which adds active suspension and a limited-slip differential all for only $1,350, or the $1,500 Driver Assistance Dynamic package that features adaptive cruise control, forward collision assist, lane departure warning and more. A fantastic-sounding 14-speaker Harman Kardon system can be yours for $900, or perhaps you'd like to include a dual-pane sunroof for $1,350? The added cost of the active driver safety features leaves a sour taste in the mouth, but the rest of the available options are sensibly presented and priced.

🚗What Alfa Romeo Giulia Model Should I Buy?

With such a wide variety of trim levels to choose from, the task of selecting the best option might seem intimidating, but upon closer inspection, the trim levels can be divided into those that add a substantial amount of features, and those who focus mostly on offering more appearance options. For this very reason, we would go for the Giulia Ti, which gets 18-inch alloy wheels, 14-way powered and heated front seats, sporty aluminum interior inserts, and most importantly, the upgraded 8.8-inch infotainment system with SiriusXM satellite radio and front parking sensors. On top of that, you could add the $1,500 driver assistance package to gain access to forward collision assistance, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control, or you could go with the performance package which adds active suspension and a limited-slip diff, for a total price of around $43,000.

Check out other Alfa Romeo Giulia Styles

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Comparisons

BMW 3 Series Sedan BMW
Audi A4 Sedan Audi
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Alfa Romeo Giulia280 hp24/33 mpg$39,400
BMW 3 Series Sedan 255 hp26/36 mpg$40,750
Audi A4 Sedan 188 hp27/35 mpg$37,400

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia vs BMW 3 Series Sedan

The BMW 3 Series is the traditional benchmark against which all other auto manufacturers have to pit their compact luxury sedan models. The 2019 3 Series comes off of a fresh redesign, which means it is better than ever. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four in the 3 Series has received a bump in power, but still can't match the Giulia, and will lose a 0-60 race by a few split seconds - at least until the six-pot-powered M340i steps up to the plate. The BMW is more fuel-efficient, however, beating the Alfa Romeo by three mpg on the combined cycle. The BMW is a safer and more practical car with a larger trunk and a more spacious interior - and is put together better as well. In terms of driving dynamics, both cars offer a sporty experience, and although the BMW might be technically better, it can't match the Giulia's flamboyance. Sticking to the script isn't a bad thing at all, especially when it reads BMW 3 Series.

See BMW 3 Series Sedan Review

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia vs Audi A4 Sedan

Right from the word go, the differences between the A4 and Giulia are clear to spot: from the outside, the A4's reserved styling stands in stark contrast to the flare of the Giulia. The same can be said for the Audi's powertrain, which does what is asked of it, but without the attitude of the Alfa Romeo. The Giulia is a more entertaining car to drive, especially when considering that the Audi isn't available in rear-wheel-drive. Everywhere else, the Audi starts clawing back territory: its cabin offers supreme comfort and build quality, it provides better gas mileage and is the safer car to drive. If getting around in comfort is your main concern, get the Audi. If you have some spark left in your middle-aged middle-management soul, then get the Alfa.

See Audi A4 Sedan Review

Alfa Romeo Giulia Popular Comparisons

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Video Review

$38,545 - $42,745
Price Range (MSRP)
Alfa Romeo Giulia
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