Four trim levels of Super, Sprint, Lusso Ti and Veloce are available in the new Giulia. Of the aforementioned trims, Super, Sprint and Lusso Ti are available with either a 200PS (147kW) petrol or 190PS (140kW) diesel rear-wheel-drive powertrain, while the flagship Veloce can be specced with either a 280PS (206kW) petrol or 210PS (154kW) diesel, both all-wheel-drive. Under the bonnet, very little has changed since the previous iteration – in fact, so little that it didn’t even warrant a mention in the pre-drive press conference.
Having tested out the 280PS petrol in the new Stelvio the previous day, I went for the more conservative 200PS petrol. Understandably, after the previous day’s more powerful Stelvio, the Giulia hit with a bit less punch, with the 330Nm (244lb ft) of torque peaking early at 1,750rpm and peak power of at 4,500rpm. It isn’t slow – performance is still quite reasonable, with a 6.6-second 0-62mph time – but once you’ve had the extra power it’s hard to settle for less.
As before there are three driver modes: Dynamic, Natural and Advanced Efficiency, or ‘DNA’. Dynamic mode, which tightens up the electronic dampers, sharpens the throttle and gearbox response, and adds more eight to the steering, remains the mode for an enthusiastic drive. N is a happy compromise around town, while A dials everything down to dull.
Unlike the Stelvio the previous day, the Giulia feels low and connected to the ground, handling with aplomb at high and low speeds. Unfortunately though, there remains no way of turning the ESP off, a crying shame in a rear-wheel-drive Alfa – you just can’t adjust the car the way you want to, as at the slightest hint of slip the systems kill the power.