2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce review - Toybox

By: Mark Higgins, Photography by: Guy Allen

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This latest offering from Alfa Romeo digs deep into the marque's heritage for its basic concept - and succeeds

 

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce

Alfa Romeo took a big stick to its range in 2017 with an $8 billion product investment aimed at lifting it from the doldrums and years of uninspiring front drivers that didn’t fit the brand.

We knew Alfa Romeo was up to something when it reintroduced the Giulia name after a 40-year hiatus and rear-wheel drive after 25 and combined the two, creating the voluptuous four-door sedan you see on these pages.

The Giulia is paramount to Alfa’s future success and the Veloce shapes up to formidable rivals including the C300 Mercedes, BMW 330i, Audi A4 45TSI along with Lexus IS, Volvo S60 and Jaguar XE. 

| Read next: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review

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Designed at the Centro Stile Alfa Romeo, by Marco Tencone and Andrea Loi, so critical was the Giulia’s success that the late Sergio Marchionne, then CEO of Fiat Chrysler, Alfa’s parent company, rejected initial renderings and sent the designers back to the drawing board to end up with what we have today. And it certainly was worth the wait. From every angle the Giulia is beautiful. 

We’ve already sampled the entry-model Giulia and had a lash in the stove hot Alfa Giulia QV and now we are aboard the Giulia Veloce.

The mid-spec model delivers a good dose more performance than the base model, plus it gets active suspension and a limited slip diff for around half the coin of a QV.  So is the Veloce the sweet spot in the Giulia range that has accidently upstaged the hero model?

| 2019 Market Review: Alfa Romeo 1993-2008

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The $72,900 Veloce’s extra grunt extracts more from the sublime chassis and it’s an absolute ball to punt along snaking coastal bitumen or tortuous mountain roads. But apart from the added visual appeal of its gorgeous 19-inch alloy wheels (shared with the QV), it’s looks are a little understated making it a perfect under-the-radar sleeper.

There is no doubt the Giulia’s rivals are all exceptional but none has fused the needs and practicality of a four-door saloon with the driving enjoyment and dynamics of a sports car as successfully as this Alfa Romeo.

The bottom line is if you love driving but need four doors, put the Giulia on your shopping list, at the top.

| Watch next: Alfa Romeo Giulia review - video

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The Veloce’s 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces a vigorous 206kW and 400Nm of torque, giving it a zero to 100km/h time of 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 240km/h. Its strong low-down punch and the sweet-shifting eight-speed auto box ensure it is in the meaty part of the powerband at all times.

Toggling the ‘DNA’ (Dynamic/Natural/All-weather) dial lets you select the driving mode to suit your preference and conditions.   In Dynamic, (for me the default setting) the Giulia becomes even more engaging, sharper and lighter on it toes as the suspension, steering, throttle and transmission tuning becomes razor sharp, with lightning fast responses that exemplify its personality. One of its best features, given our crap roads is the button in the centre of the DNA dial that softens the dampers so you can still press on without being shaken to death as it does a brilliant job of soaking up bumps and dips.

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Inside, the heated (in both rows) electrically adjustable, leather sports-seats are very comfortable and you can adjust the side bolsters to hold you tighter when a spot of enthusiastic cornering is in order. The leather- wrapped steering wheel (also heated) is a nice size and thickness with big shift paddles behind it to swap cogs manually.

And the driving position is easily best in class.

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The Giulia employs an 8.8-inch infotainment screen with Apple Car Play, Android auto, that play through a 10-speaker 400-Watt system that is easy to operate and sits cohesively in the dash, avoiding the last-minute add-on look. And the doors close with a solid thunk. There is a decent amount of head, leg and shoulder room in both rows, though the boot is a bit small and struggles to swallow a couple of big Samsonites. The Alfa Romeo Giulia is loaded with the latest passive-safety and driver-assist technologies – including a rear-view camera, lane-departure warning and blind-spot monitoring. These features actually add to, rather than stifle the driving enjoyment, that is central to the Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce motoring experience.

Like a Kimi Räikkönen pole-position lap the Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce certainly does hit the sweet spot for value and performance.

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2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce

Engine: 2-litre petrol turbo producing 206KW / 400Nm
0-100km/h: 5.7 sec
Top speed: 240km/h
Auto: 8-speed auto with paddle shifts
Brakes: Ventilated discs front and rear
Suspension: Double wishbone (f) multi-link (r)

 

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