The new Alfa Giulia 2.1TD
For all the romance of the name and badge, all the false starts and failed promises, the Italian firm has long needed a proper vision and truly class-leading product to take the marque forward. If nothing else, Alfa has always enjoyed a strong goodwill factor among car enthusiasts even if that’s never translated into volume sales in the showroom.
And now this latest Giulia saloon has the unenviable task of going up against the likes of the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class in the notoriously fickle and snobbish company car market.
You’d be hard pressed at any level of the car market to find three tougher rivals than those.
While the Giulia’s flagship Cloverleaf model will undoubtedly catch plenty of headlines and attention with its 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 and incredible 501bhp, the reality is that it’s this turbo-diesel that’s likely to be the biggest seller in the range.
Whichever model you choose, you still get that distinctive style with the dominant front shield grille. Whether you approve of the Alfa’s looks or not, there’s no question that it stands out in a crowd compared to its Teutonic rivals.
We like the machismo of the front end but we’re not quite so convinced about the stubby boot. The proportions almost make it look like it belongs in the class below, despite being marginally longer than a BMW 3-Series.
Under the bonnet is Alfa’s 2.1-litre turbo diesel engine in its most powerful 180bhp form
There’s no question that the optional five-hole dark finish alloy wheels are worth every penny of their £750, though.
The Italian firm has long needed a proper vision
Under the bonnet is Alfa’s 2.1-litre turbo diesel engine in its most powerful 180bhp form. Also available in the range is a 150bhp version of the same engine, although this model boasts the same 67.2mpg…