Alfa is just about

best example yet

Alfa Romeo Giulia, 2017, nose
Alfa Romeo Giulia, 2017, front
Alfa Romeo Giulia, 2017, side
Alfa Romeo Giulia, 2017, rear, action
Alfa Romeo Giulia, 2017, rear
Alfa Romeo Giulia, 2017, interior

EVERY so often a car slots perfectly into a task without having to arrange something special for the journey and today's Alfa Giulia is one such happy accident.

There was a time when Alfas were eye catching mainly because everything else on the road was designed using a brick for a template.

Now with so much sheer loveliness available they stand out because they are just that bit different in an oooh sort of way.

But before we come to the nuts and bolts of that, a car hack's lament.

Here is my advice when driving from Lancashire to Cardiff.

Don't.

Go by balloon or Chinese lantern, take a luxury coracle or swim but whatever else do not drive.

Such places as Ross-on-Wye and Usk are gently unspoilt because no one can actually get past junctions one and two on the M5 and having lost the will to live. Settle for Walsall-on-Sea.

There is a reason why much of Monmouthshire is actually located in 1956, the 21st century is stuck in traffic.

Normally men see stopping en-route as a waste of time, better to pack a length of washing machine hose and a bucket.

Except on this journey where it is actually a pleasure to be robbed blind at the services.

If this is the road to hell it most certainly is the biblical damnation without relief.

I could have flown from Liverpool, the route is three hours via a stop in Northern Ireland but the return journey takes 23 hours suggesting that overnight Belfast has been moved to the USA.

Travelling by train involves more changes than being principal boy in Cinderella.

Therefore I spent a very long time contemplating the inside of a rear-wheel drive Giulia Q2 Super which is reference to differential technology, a proper saloon which can be yours for a not unreasonable £30,354.

Because it is an Alfa the Giulia sets out to test the depth of your commitment to passion.

It is, initially, quite an annoying car.

I don't really want to turn off stability systems so the fact that you can't is by the by but the sat-nav screen is not up there with the price bracket, the wipers are inconsistent and I was not awfully delighted with how soon the petrol warning light came on, a feature dominant enough to be part of Blackpool illuminations, with the computer showing 90 miles left in the tank.

But then you think hey-ho, look at the exterior lines, everyone else is and inside there is a lot of driver-friendly kit in what is the most competitive and likeable Alfa for many a long year.

The driving position is flawless, even during prolonged motorway torture comfort was not compromised and there is plenty of room for five adults.

The ride quality diminished Britain's rumble-strip roads and when you can get the car into cruiser mode the miles are gobbled up.

Choose the 197bhp two-litre petrol and not only is there fun in them there Welsh hills but very reasonable costs with the Super eight-speed auto knocking out 62mph in under seven seconds while having returned over 47mpg with 138g/km of noxiousness.

There are 2.2-litre diesels available.

Rear wheel drive won't be fresh in the memory of many of today's drivers but handling is predictable and a reminder of pleasures past.

For the money Giulia level offers 16-inch alloys, cruise control, rear parking sensors, autonomous braking, lane departure and forward Collison warning dual-zone climate control and infotainment system and USB-Bluetooth connectivity.

For the extra couple of grand the Super adds an inch to the alloys, part leather seats, sat-nav, larger display and alloy door sills.

The boot, for those who need to know, is cavernous.

There you are then, the attractions of Alfa enthusiasm, reasonable cost and peace and quiet over long distances with a lot of sheer style thrown in.

Should you with to push on for the sheer pleasure of it I recommend the Evo Triangle rather than the Black Mountains on the grounds that the former is in Snowdonia and nowhere near the M5.

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