'I can report that it's a wonderful, powerful & slick handling sports sedan,' says Wheels24's Sean Parker after a spending time behind the wheel of Alfa Romeo's new Giulia.
Cape Town - An alternative to the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Alfa Romeo's Giulia and Giulia QV has arrived in South Africa following their highly publicised international debut.
Four trim levels are available all fitted with 2.0-litre Turbo petrol with the exception of the performance-orientated Quadrafolio Verde. The Giulia Base features a high level of standard equipment such as 16” alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, cruise control as well as stop/start technology.
Next in the range, the Super, adds 17” alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control (with STOP function), paddle shifts, twin exhausts, privacy glass and decorative aluminium door sills.
The top-of-the-range Stile Pack, features all equipment available for its sibling with the addition of 18” alloy wheels, Uconnect 8.4 CD/DVD/MP3/Nav, Sports Pack and Convenience Pack for added uniqueness in the range.
READ: Sneak peek! Alfa Romeo show racy Giulia editions in SA
A Sport Pack includes a sports steering wheel, aluminium inserts on the dashboard, central tunnel and door panels, as well as Xenon headlights.
The Luxury Pack features leather dashboard and door panels, heated front seats electrically adjustable with eight settings, genuine oak or walnut wood inserts on the dashboard, central tunnel and door panels, chrome-plated window frames and power side-mirrors.
Two new engine versions
Alfa débuts its new four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol engine in its next=generation Giulia, capable of 147kW/330Nm. The 2.9 litre V6 Bi-Turbo engine powers the top-of-the-range QV version, delivering 375kW/600Nm; top speed is rated at 307km/h, and it rockets to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds.
All Giulia versions are come with an 8-speed automatic transmission as standard.
Tabacco is a colour?
Interior finishes are available in cloth or leather on the Base model, cloth and leather combinations in single or two-tone (Black, Red and Black or Tobacco) on the Super model and full leather (Black, Red or Tabacco) on the Stile option. The QV version features three leather and alcantara combinations as well as the optional Sparco carbon-fibred seat shells.
Giulia will be available in a choice of thirteen exterior colours; three solid and eight metallic. The QV will additionally be offered with a choice two optional Tri-Coat paint colours.
READ: Alfa's hottest sedan - Meet the 380kW Giulia
All Giulia models are fitted with alloy wheels from 16” to 18” for the 2.0-litre versions and 19” on the QV model.
In terms of safety, the Alfa Romeo Giulia recently earned a prestigious Euro NCAP 5-star rating, scoring 98% in adult occupant protection.
This outstanding result was achieved by implementing two key elements: firstly, the adoption of a wide range of innovative safety systems, and secondly, the efficiency of a bodyshell that is light and rigid in equal measure, and makes extensive use of ultra-lightweight materials such as carbon-fibre, aluminium and aluminium composite.
Wheels24's Sean Parker said: "After a few laps in the Giulia QV around the 'plaaspad' track in Franschhoek. I can report that it's a wonderful, powerful and slick handling sports sedan. Did I mention it has 375kW? The 2.9-litre engine is responsive, while gear shifts are snappy via the paddles fixed to the steering column. The electric-hydraulic steering is intuitive and possibly even more direct than a Donald Trump tweet.
"Unfortunately we'll hardly see these cars as there are only 40 of them destined for SA and all have been sold. The Giulia in all derivatives offers a stylish alternative to the normal German sedans."
2.0-litre turbo driven
A decent stint behind the wheel of the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine derivative, which will make up almost all of the sales, left me feeling positive about seeing more Giulias on the road.
The engine power figure is quoted at 147kW and in compact sedan company it's too low. It felt sprightly enough on around Worcester and Bain's Kloof pass.
The perceived quality of the cabin is good and clear white dials greet the driver. An infotainment system with a large screen dominates proceedings in the middle of the dash. A rotary dial located in the lower section is used to navigate through the menu.
A knob to change the car's driving and throttle response called DNA (Dynamic, Normal and All-Weather) is placed to the right of the gear lever and when slotted into D does a good job of bringing the car 'alive'.
The styling is subjective, so I'll let you make up your mind from the pics in the story. It looks good in red and that'll surely keep the little Alfisti we have in South Africa happy.
Alfa say they are aiming to sell 450 cars per year and are likely to introduce a 2.2-litre turbodiesel model in the future.
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The Fiat Tipo will be launched in April, Fiat Panda (July), Alfa Romeo Stelvio (October) and Jeep Compass (November). The Panda, reportedly, could be the cheapest 4x4 on sale in SA.
2.0-litre Base: R555 000
Super: R625 000
Stile Pack: R695 000
Giulia Quadrafolio Verde: R1.4- million