Alfa Romeo Giulia review – has the compact exec segment got a new leader? - Ride and handling
In such a competitive marketplace, the Giulia holds its own and represents Alfa’s best effort in years.
Ride and Handling
On the move, the car is nicely refined and instantly likeable. The £1950 Performance Pack brings variable dampers, paddles behind the steering wheel for manual shifting, and a limited-slip differential. The damper modes are selected via the now-familiar Alfa DNA switch, which also affects other attributes such as the throttle and steering. In its regular setting the suspension gives a ride that’s firm but very well controlled, and there’s a sense that the taut shell is allowing it to get on with the job at hand.
With the optional 18-inch alloy wheels there’s an unyielding quality to the Alfa’s low-speed ride around town that a more generous tyre sidewall may mitigate, but it’s not something that anyone interested in a sports saloon would baulk at, and it’s more comfortable than a Jag XE.
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What really gives the Giulia its own personality is its quick steering. It takes a period of acclimatisation, but it has a natural weight and feel and it’s not so extreme as to make the car feel nervous. You soon learn to make small, precise inputs, entirely in keeping with the inherent poise and fine balance of the chassis. It’s the sort of car that encourages a brisk, enthusiastic driving style almost everywhere.