2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Review and Test Drive

The attractive, sporty driver's car is not without its quirks.

Gray 2024 Alfa Romeo GiuliaChristian Wardlaw

QuickTakes:

If you've ever had the good fortune to drive the cliff-hugging Amalfi Drive or any of the countless terrific driving roads of Italy, then you'll understand the 2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia. It is a sensational driver's car with a timeless beauty marred by only a few annoying quirks.

This year, the 2024 Giulia gets a few minor but appreciated updates. New exterior lighting elements include matrix-style LED Trilobe adaptive headlights and smoked-lens LED taillights. At the same time, the interior has a 12.3-inch digital instrumentation display and updated Alfa Connect connected service plans. New Competizione limited-edition and Tributo Italiano special-edition models are also available.

Alfa Romeo adds a mechanical limited-slip rear differential to the high-performance 2024 Giulia Quadrifoglio. In addition, that far more powerful version of the car now comes in a Carbon Edition and an ultra-exclusive 100th Anniversary Edition. The automaker will build just 100 examples of the anniversary model, shipped from the Cassino, Italy, factory to dealerships worldwide.

Gray 2024 Alfa Romeo GiuliaChristian Wardlaw

2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Prices Reflect Value

This review focuses not on the Quadrifoglio but on the Giulia lineup, which includes the Sprint, Ti, Veloce, and the new Competizione and Tributo Italiano editions. Base prices range from the mid-$40,000s to the low $50,000s, including the destination charge.

For this Giulia review, I test-drove the Competizione limited edition in Southern California. It is a Giulia Ti equipped with Customer Preferred Package 22R. The test vehicle also had Moonlight Gray Matte paint, staggered-width 19-inch wheels, and an Active Assist Plus Package.

With those upgrades, the test car's manufacturer's suggested retail price came to $56,815, including the $1,595 destination charge. Alfa Romeo provided the vehicle for this Giulia review.

Dashboard in a 2024 Alfa Romeo GiuliaChristian Wardlaw

Distinctive Exterior and Peculiar Interior Details

With its unmistakable Scudetto grille and new headlights, the Giulia is easy to identify at a glance. Soft, sensual forms flow from there, terminating in triangular wraparound taillights. The car looks plain in an era of angularity, but that gives it a necessary stealthiness while the gorgeous five-hole, staggered-width wheels inject extra personality.

Those themes carry into the cabin, where distinctive outboard air vents anchor a fluid dashboard with an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment display nestled in the middle. Taut black leather with red contrast stitching covers the Competizione's sport seats, and the Giulia has that scent common to European luxury sports sedans. It smells like serious intent.

Quirks abound, from the engine start button on the steering wheel to the slender fixed aluminum paddle shifters behind it. The climate system's knobs and buttons are conventional, while the infotainment system employs touch, center console, and steering wheel controls.

It also has a voice recognition system, but forget about it unless you're using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Rear seats in a 2024 Alfa Romeo GiuliaChristian Wardlaw

Form Fitting, Like a Custom Italian Suit

Undoubtedly, the Giulia is a snug fit. Low to the ground with a carefully packaged interior, the car requires deliberate action to enter and exit. Once you're seated, however, you're comfortable.

The Competizione's sport seats with power-adjustable side bolsters and manual extending thigh supports are excellent, lacking only seat ventilation to achieve perfection. Pitch the Giulia through a series of S curves, and they glue you into a proper driving position behind the thick-rimmed, heated steering wheel.

Taller people must fold themselves carefully into the back seat, where they'll find just enough legroom and thigh support for shorter trips. Longer journeys will require frequent stops to get out and stretch, which involves acrobatics if you have large feet tucked under the front seat. Alfa Romeo accommodates your rear passengers with air-conditioning vents and USB charging ports.

Trunk of a gray 2024 Alfa Romeo GiuliaChristian Wardlaw

Small Cargo Space Suggests You Travel Light

Alfa Romeo provides just enough knickknack storage space for the Giulia to escape critique. Nevertheless, the glove compartment is the largest and most practical of them. A standard wireless smartphone charging slot lives in front of the center armrest.

Enclosed lid hinges make packing the trunk easier, but you'll only fit a little luggage into the Giulia's trunk. A 40/20/40-split rear seat allows you to pass longer items through without kicking your passengers to the curb, or you can drop part or all of the back seat to expand cargo space.

Infotainment system in a 2024 Alfa Romeo GiuliaChristian Wardlaw

Onboard Assistant at Your Service?

The 2024 Giulia has an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, SiriusXM satellite radio, a navigation system, and Alfa Connect connected services. Highlights of Alfa Connect include access to a Wi-Fi hot spot, automatic collision notification and SOS emergency calling, and an "onboard assistant."

Pairing my iPhone to the system's Bluetooth wasn't a problem. Using the voice recognition system is effectively useless even when you exactly follow the recommended prompts shown on the infotainment screen. Save yourself significant frustration and bypass the native technology in favor of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

My test car also had the Giulia's available 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system, which provided impressive sound quality.

Driver gauges in a 2024 Alfa Romeo GiuliaChristian Wardlaw

The March of Progress Claims Alfa's Classic Analog Gauges

The significant change to the 2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia's interior is the new 12.3-inch digital instrumentation display. It lives in a dual-binnacle housing and features large round digital gauges to help preserve a classic Alfa design cue. One of the three display themes offers retro-style speedometer and tachometer gauges.

You can configure the display in numerous ways. Resetting the trip computer, however, took me forever (and a YouTube video) to figure out. Though there is an owner's manual accessible through the infotainment system and a quick-start guide in the glove compartment, neither has an entry for "trip computer." None of the data panels in the infotainment system offer trip computer functions, either.

My test car lacked a surround-view camera system. It had front and rear parking sensors and a high-definition reversing camera with guidance lines, but it left me terrified for the expensive wheels when slotting the Giulia next to curbs.

Steering wheel controls in a 2024 Alfa Romeo GiuliaChristian Wardlaw

Active Assist Plus Package Offers Plenty of Safety Features

Alfa Romeo equips the 2024 Giulia with a basic package of advanced driving-assistance systems (ADAS), including forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-keeping assist. Adaptive cruise control is also standard.

My test car had an optional Active Assist Plus Package. According to Alfa Romeo's website, it's supposed to include the automaker's Highway Assist system. Highway Assist pairs the adaptive cruise control with lane-centering assist to create a Level 2, semi-autonomous, hands-on driving-assist system. However, it was absent from the test vehicle, which is another mystery. If my car had it, there would be an extra button on the steering wheel labeled with a steering wheel icon.

That left me to assess the remaining items in that package, such as the active blind-spot assist and lane-keeping assists. Each adds steering assist to prevent a driver from making a mistake, and each is decisive and effective. I used the Giulia's ADAS all week, and aside from a false collision warning related to a guard rail in a curve, it behaved as expected.

Engine bay in a 2024 Alfa Romeo GiuliaChristian Wardlaw

The 2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Is Engineered for Excitement

All Giulias except the Quadrifoglio have a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine generating a robust 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque. It requires premium fuel and should return 24/33/27 mpg in city/highway/combined driving. I averaged 22.1 mpg, falling significantly short of expectations, but I had lots of fun doing it.

An eight-speed automatic transmission turns a standard carbon-fiber driveshaft to power the rear wheels. An all-wheel-drive system is optional, replacing the Q2 badge on the trunk lid with a Q4 emblem.

The Competizione test car also had a standard limited-slip rear differential to help a driver make the best use of the claimed 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution. Alfa Romeo says the Giulia will accelerate to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. Based on my experience, that's a credible claim.

Additional engineering highlights include DNA driving modes defined as Dynamic, Natural, and Advanced Efficiency. In addition, the car has variable-assist electric steering, Brembo performance front brakes, and a sport suspension featuring a double-wishbone design in front and a multilink arrangement in back. The Giulia Competizione has a standard adaptive suspension, allowing you to soften the ride when the car is in Dynamic mode.

Gray 2024 Alfa Romeo GiuliaChristian Wardlaw

The Giulia Shines in the Corners

In typical driving situations with the DNA selector in Natural mode, the Giulia Competizione is quick and comfortable, with a supple ride bordering on too soft. Unfortunately, the automatic engine stop-start system is unrefined, but you can turn it off.

When driving in the city, the Giulia's transmission upshifts rapidly to conserve fuel without leaving the powertrain response flat. On longer highway trips, the car cruises at a relaxed pace, with effortless passing power just a push of the accelerator pedal away.

Gray 2024 Alfa Romeo GiuliaChristian Wardlaw

Where the Giulia shines brightest is on a writhing ribbon of road. Mulholland Highway in the Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu is just as thrilling to drive and as picturesque as what you'll find in Italy. Here, the Competizione's impressive power, fixed shift paddles, perfect steering, astounding grip, excellent brakes, and adaptive suspension deliver a transcendent driving experience, especially for the price.

Gray 2024 Alfa Romeo GiuliaChristian Wardlaw

Ready to Roll the Dice for Passion Over Perfection?

The 2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia Competizione looks, feels, and drives like it should cost more than it does. If you love the journey as much or more than the destination, you cannot help but adore this automobile. However, your passion for this Italian sedan could require patience.

That's because despite its four-year, 50,000-mile warranty and four-year, unlimited-mileage roadside assistance plan, the eternal question of Alfa Romeo's reliability remains. According to the J.D. Power 2023 Initial Quality Study, Alfa Romeo topped other premium brands after 90 days of ownership. Conversely, last year, Consumer Reports rated the Giulia at the bottom of its class overall and assigned it an unfavorable predicted reliability rating.

During my week with the Giulia, the left windshield washer jet refused to work, but no other problems cropped up.

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Christian Wardlaw
My first word was “car.” That’s what I’m told, anyway. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with them. The design. The engineering. The performance. And the purpose. I’m a car enthusiast who loves to drive, but I’m also most interested in the cars, trucks, and SUVs that people actually buy. Anybody can tell you that a sports car is fast. What you need to know is whether or not you should buy that new SUV, and why. My life purpose is to help you make that decision.