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Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce quick review

By Cameron Kirby, 13 Dec 2017 Car Reviews

Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce quick review

The most potent four-cylinder Alfa Romeo Giulia is a piece of Italy that won’t leave you wanting

What is it?

The Giulia Veloce is Alfa Romeo’s luxury mid-spec, mid-size sedan, which sits below the raucous twin-turbo V6-powered Quadrifoglio. Packing the most powerful iteration of the Giulia’s four-cylinder engine, the Veloce is a disruptor in what has become a somewhat stale luxury sedan segment. With a sticker price of $71,985, can it stick it to the established German and Japanese players, as well as leverage the hype of its more hardcore sibling?

Strengths

  • Engine – The 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is punchy and tractable, with a rorty exhaust note that encourages the use of higher revs. With 206kW and 400Nm, its outputs are more than sufficient for sporty driving, while also remaining civilised and flexible enough to deal with city traffic.
  • Gearbox – The Giulia Veloce’s only transmission choice is a ZF eight-speed automatic. While occasionally stumbling at low speeds, it is otherwise smooth when shifting gears and delightfully sharp and decisive when you twist the drive mode selector to ‘Dynamic’. Column mounted paddle shifters are there for when you want to change gears on your own, and their large metal ‘ears’ are a tactile highlight of the interior.

  • Steering – The dynamic masterstroke of the Giulia range is its steering, and it’s no different with the Veloce. The wheel is light in your hand, yet the quick steering rack (2.3 turns lock to lock) and its alertness around dead-centre makes the Veloce feel exceptionally nimble. Turning into corners, whether it be on urban streets or winding back roads, feels almost telepathic – and virtually effortless.
  • Ride – Despite rolling on 19-inch rims (which look stunning), the ride in the Veloce is impressively supple. Even with the adaptive dampers in their sportiest setting, the ride is refined and controlled over bumpy roads.

Weaknesses

  • Brakes – The one major letdown of the Veloce is its unpredictable and wooden brake feel. The stopping power of the Giulia is below average, taking just 38.5-metres to come to a standstill from 100km/h, while the pedal feel doesn’t instil confidence. The brake-by-wire system is wooden in feel, and requires some brain recalibration to use smoothly. Owners will adapt, but it’s not up to par with the rest of the vehicle.
  • Infotainment screen – While neatly integration into the dash, the 8.8-inch screen for the infotainment fails to fill entire unit, leaving large black spaces around its edges. Leaving room for a mid-cycle infotainment upgrade? Maybe, but for now Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring aren’t available, while the reversing camera image is on the smaller side. While it isn’t touchscreen, the menus are reasonably easy to navigate – though the its centrally mounted dial interface isn’t as intuitive to operate as BMW’s iDrive system.

  • Headrest – This is extremely nit-picky, but the cushioning in the headrests for front passengers is very firm. It’s far from a deal breaker for an otherwise well-sorted and comfortable car, but worth noting.
  • Rear seats – Room in the back seats is slightly cramped compared to rivals, however a pair of sub-six foot adults would comfortably fit.

Any rivals I should consider?

Audi A4 2.0 TFSI quattro, Jaguar XE 25t, BMW 330i, Lexus IS 350 F-Sport, Mercedes-Benz C300