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Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce – Driven! ‘Nowhere else i’d rather be’

It’s fair to say that the Alfa Romeo Giulia made people sit up and take note when it was launched a couple of years ago, a return to rear wheel drive, the Giulia was carrying a great weight on it’s shoulders, the burden you might say of almost has been’s, front wheel drive Alfa Romeo’s that looked good but never quite managed to deliver what you hoped was an Alfa Romeo in the true sense of the word.

The headline grabbing M3/M4 bashing Quadrifoglio model was of course the one everyone went crazy over, quite right too, finally the Italian’s had delivered the kind of sports saloon you could only previously get from the German’s. However the Quadrifoglio was only half the story, after all only so many people can afford a 60k sports saloon, it is the models in the rest of the Giulia range which would really tell us if Alfa Romeo had a success on their hands.

We tested the 2.0 Petrol in ‘Super’ guise a few months back – https://enzari.com/2018/11/alfa-romeo-giulia-2-0-super-petrol-driven/ and we were suitably impressed, however what we really wanted was something with a bit more power, a bit more of a drivers car, in truth well a bit more Alfa Romeo, so when the call came through did we want to road test a 280hp Veloce model. our friends at FCA didn’t have to ask us twice.

Blue Is Good

Arriving in Misano Blue you certainly couldn’t miss this Italian stallion as it drove up, Blue can be a good colour for a car depending on the shade, and there is no doubt the Giulia suits Misano Blue, it simply looked fantastico! Sat on optional 19″ alloy’s the car has a real presence about it, looking as smooth as blue velvet on wheels, it made you think that when you climbed into the cabin it was only interested in a good time.

The Giulia might not quite grab you looks wise like a 4C but it has it’s competitors beaten in the style and design department, with the heart shaped grille proudly wearing the recently redesigned Alfa Romeo badge, it’s sculpted lines following the flow from the front bonnet around to a rather tight rear it mixes both an almost masculine and slightly feminine form. It also every slightly has hints of it’s predecessors the 156 and 159 about it, you just know this car is Italian, no German car could look this good.

Tanned Interior

Within seconds of signing for the Alfa Romeo and admiring it’s looks it was time to step into the cabin and see what the Veloce had to offer. What our press car offered up was Tan Sports Leather, I like Tan leather, it reminds me of Italian cars from years gone by, a certain P.I in his red supercar with tan interior (the car not the P.I?!). The Fiat 124 Spider we road tested last year had Tan leather and I thought it looked great but would it look good in a saloon car, especially since all the Veloce model’s I had seen seemed to have gone for Black.

Well I liked it although opinion seemed divided, when we had the car on our stand at the Cumbria International Motor Show, we seemed to get almost a 50/50 split for either Tan or Black, but regardless I liked it and that was that. The Tan leather effect also carries on across part of the dashboard, mixed with swathes of Black leather with a bit of carbon fibre here and there.

The quality of the cabin certainly feels good and knowing that this press car had been used by several other motoring journalists it showed no sign of damage, loose fittings or anything else that might make you question the build quality. Leather seats with various different adjustments, memory settings and so on meant you easily and thankfully very quickly found the perfect driving position. My only criticism would be the optional extra electric sunroof that our car had, at 6ft tall there where times when I felt it was a little intrusive on the headroom but as it is an optional extra and most people probably wouldn’t opt for it then I wasn’t going to let it bother me either.

The Drive

The advantage of having a car on test, long or short term is you get to drive it in the real world. Track days and driving events are great to introduce new models to the motoring world but driving round a track or predetermined road route for 20 minutes very rarely tells you that much about a car to make an accurate assessment on it. It is driving it on a day to day basis, in various traffic conditions, on long and short trips across different kinds of roads, that’s when you really get the feel of a car. Our Giulia Veloce was with us for a week, the truth is it wasn’t long enough.

Not long enough because it was so good, not because I didn’t get that connection with the Giulia because I did, boy did I. With it’s 2.0 litre petrol engine producing 280hp it had enough about it that you could enjoy the drive rather than it being a commute, hitting 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds the Veloce is no slouch, it has a claimed top speed of 147mph, we never put that to the test but unless we get chance of a drive to the Autobahn’s in Germany we are unlikely to need it. The Giulia has a lovely subtle ‘burble’ about it so you know this is not just a normal junior executive saloon car, in fact I hate that phrase because the Giulia isn’t that at all, it is a sports saloon. That there is no doubt, it’s steering is precise and accurate, it rides really well, you feel completely connected to what is happening not just through the steering but with the car.

On 19″ alloys I was a little concerned it might be a bit crashy, road noise might be a little, well too noisy, but the truth is neither of these things occurred. Whether it is on the school run or motorway the Giulia is comfortable, drive’s well and feel’s good. Feeling good is what the Giulia does in bucket loads, so many admiring looks I hadn’t seen since driving a Ferrari 488GTB a few months ago. Of course the Giulia is not a common sight on the UK roads, mainly due to parent company FCA’s poor dealer network, but that’s a conversation for another time.

Living with Giulia

Day to day living with the Alfa Romeo is good, it tick’s all the boxes needed from a saloon, plenty room for two, and on occasion, three kids (one 6ft and another not that far off!) in the back. A large enough boot to do the weekly shop or ideally pack in some suitcases and head for a cross continent road trip. With an average MPG of 33/34 showing on our trip computer a visit to the local petrol station wasn’t very frequent either.

The Alfa infotainment system works well, I have mentioned it before in previous reviews but it is so easy to use, quite why some car makers insist on putting more complicated systems in I will never know. Our test car had the optional Harman Kardon Sound Theatre which I would say is definitely worth it if you love your music when driving, although drive the Giulia in manual mode and it can make quite nice music itself plus those steering wheel paddle shifters are good when you want a bit more fun factor driving.

Verdict

It can be quite easy to get carried away when you drive a new car, everything feels so new and special, sometimes even driving what turns out to be a complete dog can on first impressions seem good. Not so the Alfa Romeo Giula, the sports saloon actually does feel special and it actually really is damn good, even more so the Veloce model. It is all things to all petrolheads, a fairly fast, comfortable, stylish car.

The Giulia is such a good car that there should be one on every housing estate, in every staff car park, why anybody would go and buy something else is beyond me the Giulia is that good. The Veloce model is a brilliant car, and as we say goodbye to it (yes we did try and keep it longer!) I can honestly say hand on heart when I was driving it there was nowhere else I’d rather be…

Key Features:

18″ 10-spoke alloy wheels • 25W bi-xenon headlamps and
• 40/20/40 split rear seat LED DRL
• 7″ TFT colour cluster display • 6-way power front seats
• AlfaTM D.N.A. driving mode • 8 speaker audio system
selector • Aluminium door sills
• 2.0 Petrol 280 hp Engine • Aluminium shift paddles on
• Aluminium sport pedals steering column
• and footrest • Aluminium tunnel cover and
• Automatic windscreen wipers • Automatic headlights
• Automous Emergency Braking
(AEB)

• Black brake calipers
• Black gloss window surround
• Dimming rear view mirror • Cruise control
• Dual-zone climate control • Dual chrome exhaust tip
• Engine start button on steering • Electric parking brake
wheel • Fog lamps
• Front & Rear Parking Sensors • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
• Headlamp washers • front door mouldings
• Heated sport leather steering • Heated front seats
wheel • Heated washer nozzles
• Integrated Brake System (IBS) • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
• LED tail & brake lights • panel availability
• Power folding mirrors • Rotary Pad
• Run-flat tyres • Sports front & rear bumpers
• Sports leather seats • Sports rear diffuser
• Start&Stop • Two Tone dashboard and door
• Uconnect 8.8″ Navigation (USB,
MP3, Bluetooth®, TMC Pro, DAB
Radio, Aux-in)

• Upgraded braking system

Options/Upgrades:

• Metallic Paint – £695
• 19″ Alloy Wheels – £995 + Mixed Fitment Tyres – £160
• Brake Calipers, Yellow – £325
• Performance Pack – £1,950
• Harman Kardon Sound Theatre – £950
• Lighting Pack – £900
• Leather Dashboard – £795 + Convenience Pack – £450
• Driver Assistance Pack – £550
• Climate Pack – £250
• Electrically Operated Sunroof – £1,250

Pricing:

Starting OTR Price:                                            £ 38,265.00
Options / Accessories:                                       £ 9,270.00
OTR Price including Options / Accessories: £ 47,535.00

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