Will there always be a place on our roads for a driver’s car? With all the talk of autonomous electric cars cruising down the motorway at 50mph, what future does a thoroughbred sporty saloon have? – writes David Murray
The new Alfa Romeo Giulia is a true driver’s car, a wonderful blend of almost animal instinct and technical sophistication. It is a joy to drive because it is responsive, beautifully balanced and fast enough to keep the driver engaged in the process.
I have yet to drive the flagship Giulia Quadrifoglio, but whether you try the 200bhp or 280bhp more standard saloon, you will be thrilled to be in an Alfa that is simply streets ahead of any previous saloons from this evocative marque – still, by the way, one of the world’s best-loved brands despite some seriously average cars in the past.
The Giulia handles so well, and has an excellent weight-to-power ratio – through the use of some ultra-lightweight materials – so that it charges along the road with great purpose, eating up the miles in a satisfying manner.
A new brake system, which has record-breaking stopping distances; a new DNA selector which allows the driver to select the driving mode required – from dynamic to efficient; a responsive eight-speed automatic transmission; and the advanced suspension all ensure that the Giulia is a quick but safe car. It has lots more gadgets – from lane departure warning to forward collision warning – which add to the driver’s sense of security.
As for the interior, it is a step up from some previous Alfas. Mine came with leather upholstery, sat-nav with 8.8 inch screen, push-button start (on the steering wheel), and decent audio. The cockpit has been designed around the driver – but there’s enough space in the back to satisfy a family’s needs.
From the outside, the car – mine was a lovely deep blue – looks stunning.
No wonder the Giulia was named a Game Changer at the 2017 Autocar Awards – with judges stating: “the Giulia is everything you’d want an Alfa Romeo to be.”
It may not be quite a BMW M3 – although in Quadrifoglio guise it certainly is – but the Giulia is a steal when you realise that the line-up starts at £29,875 on-the-road.