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Alfa Romeo Giulia review – has the compact exec segment got a new leader? - Engine and gearbox

In such a competitive marketplace, the Giulia holds its own and represents Alfa’s best effort in years.

Evo rating
Price
from £30,000
  • Keen engines, enjoyable handling
  • Firm low-speed ride, option packs soon add up

Engine and gearbox

Traditionally a strong point for Alfa Romeo, the Giulia has been launched with a range of five engine choices, including the Quadrifoglio super saloon’s twin-turbo V6. Standard Giulias get the option of a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine and a 2.2-litre turbo diesel, each in two states of tune.

For private buyers and those less concerned with CO2 numbers, the entry 2.0-litre petrol Giulia produces 197bhp, putting power through the rear wheels. The new all-alloy engine features MultiAir technology – hydraulically actuated variable valve timing – along with direct fuel injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger.

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Peak torque of 243lb ft is available from just 1750rpm and is deployed through an eight-speed torque-converter transmission, Alfa UK having opted for an all-auto range.

For those wanting a bit more punch, Alfa offers a more powerful 268bhp version of the same 2.0-litre engine, although it is only available in high spec Veloce trim.

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The diesel options are expected to make up a majority of UK sales though; with 150 and 180bhp options split across 2 trim levels. The all-new JTDms are impressively frugal as we’ll get to in a moment, but crucially they feel different to other diesels, offering a more linear torque curve, encouraging a sportier driving style. The flip side of this is that despite the numbers, both engines lack the plateau of torque, which give rivals like the 320d that feeling of effortless shove. 

Despite offering manual gearboxes elsewhere in Europe, Alfa Romeo has kept the Giulia an automatic only proposition in the UK. The 8-speed ZF unit on offer though is a good one, offering fast concise shifts that are immeasurably improved when summoned on the optional column mounted paddles. 

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