Alfa Romeo Giulia

Super 2.0 Turbo

Alfa Romeo Giulia, full front action
Alfa Romeo Giulia, front action
Alfa Romeo Giulia, front action 2
Alfa Romeo Giulia, side action
Alfa Romeo Giulia, overhead action
Alfa Romeo Giulia, dashboard
Alfa Romeo Giulia, rear action
Alfa Romeo Giulia, rear action 2
Alfa Romeo Giulia, rear seats

IT'S almost law in motoring circles that you start an Alfa Romeo review with some reference to its sporting prowess or its looks.

Well, not this time. Let's concentrate instead on some features that might turn a stand off admirer of the marque into an owner.

How about a warranty that stretches for five long years and 75,000 miles? Yes, that might hint at reliability woes in the past but surely shows true belief in the future now.

A belief, you'd have to say, that's backed up with a car that still manages to drip with the Latin charm that separates an Alfa from anything German and more clinical.

Then there's the matter of economy. The gap between the mileage figures of a diesel and a good, new petrol powered car are narrowing and the Giulia driven here proved the point.

It's 2.0-litre petrol powerplant provided punch aplenty when needed and felt decidedly sporty (there we go!) when provoked in the most dynamic of its three driving modes - and still showed 37.2mpg after 500 mixed miles.

If your commute takes in long stretches of temporarily speed limited motorway that figure could top 40mpg without trying. So, more than a pretty face then.

Continuing the practicality pitch, here's a car that fits four adults (five at a pinch) into an interior that manages the trick of feeling big enough but still snug in a nicely enveloping sort of way. The boot is a practical size too.

Then, take a look at the dashboard, where Alfa has avoided moving everything to an irritating touchscreen and left the dual zone climate control to good old fashioned knobs and made adjusting the sound system simple with steering wheel controls.

The Giulia range starts at £33,595 for a Super version with either 2.2-litre diesel or 2.0-litre petrol (like the car on test) and could hardly be called an entry level car, with standard fittings that include 17in alloy wheels, satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and rear parking sensors.

You might, though, like to find another £950 for a driver assistance pack plus that includes a rear view camera and front parking sensors, along with automatic high beam for the headlights.

All very practical, unlike the £650 that brings electric adjustment for the front seats or the £975 asked for a sport pack with splashes of alloy on the interior along with sports leather steering wheel, sports pedals and bi-xenon headlights.

More practical are the heated front seats, steering wheel and windscreen washer jets of the £550 cold weather pack. Goodness, there's enough practicality on show to make you wonder just how Italian this car could be.

Until you hit the first corner and the sharp reaction from the steering wheel almost tips you on to the wrong side of the road. It's so instantly reactive you need some miles to adjust, after which you may relish its enthusiasm to do your bidding.

FAST FACTS

Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 2.0 Turbo

Price: £33,595

Mechanical: 197bhp, 1,995cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 146mph

0-62mph: 6.6 seconds

Combined MPG: 36.2

Insurance Group: 24

C02 emissions: 153g/km

Bik rating: 34%

Warranty: 5yrs/75,000 miles

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