Author Topic: Giulia Standard and Veloce review  (Read 1789 times)

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alfagtv100 (Biggus)

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Giulia Standard and Veloce review
« on: December 11, 2017, 01:08:24 AM »
Edited 11/12.  Added notes about the brakes, boot, digital display information, wipers and indicators.  Apologised for any colourful language.

For what its worth, here is my initial review of the Giulia – Veloce and standard variants.

Having driven the Veloce and standard Giulia, I can assure you, both are simply brilliant, with razor-sharp steering, excellent front-end grip and plenty of grunt available for sliding the rear end (until the electronics put an end to the fun).
Both are more than fast enough to 100kph.  The Veloce does get there almost a second quicker (5.7 seconds versus 6.6).  The additional punch is noticeable, though the standard car has plenty of ‘go’.
The differences between the three DNA driving modes are clearly noticeable in both cars.  Especially the immediate throttle response and improved acceleration in D mode.
I do switch between the 3 modes regularly, on a daily basis.
D – when I am hooning (25% of the time)
N – for day-to-day driving (60%)
A – for boring freeway trips in heavy traffic, so I feel like I am saving the planet (15%)

When it came time to replace my beautiful Alfa Red 159 Ti 3.2, I conducted an obscene amount of research.  I owned (still do) the 159 for 9 years and had been hoping, like many of us, Alfa would get it right this time.  The reviews indicated they had indeed done that.  More than that, apparently.
So, I decided to buy a Giulia and my purchasing criteria was:
- Being faster than my 159 V6 to 100kph.  Easy. All the Giulias are quicker than the 159.
- The sexy 19” telephone dial wheels of the Veloce/QV.
- Adaptive dampers because they must be better, right?  I simply wanted the best factory handling option available.
- It had to be Alfa Red.
- Factory sunroof.  I like a sunroof.

I went with the standard car + Veloce pack and sunroof.  So, I get to enjoy the awesome 19" wheels, adaptive dampers, very nice Veloce seats and most of the Veloce’s aluminium interior trim.  I missed out on the aluminium speaker surrounds and sill kick plates (mine are boring black plastic - vomit).

This standard Giulia+VP combo represents solid value but if your budget extends to the Veloce, it is the faster car. Period.

The extra leather and aluminium trim in the Veloce do add additional class.  The Veloce also gets a slightly sportier front-end, more aggressive rear diffuser and twin exhausts, which are a little too quiet (on both models).  I believe the second pipe on the Veloce is a non-functional dummy but the overall visual effect is much better.  Someone out there will correct me on the dummy pipe thing if I am mistaken.  Regardless, the Veloce rear end looks great.
When I bought my car, I immediately turned to Google to seek out a replacement diffuser.  There are options out there, allowing me to replicate the twin pipe (plain diffuser – ok. It is not a real diffuser) setup of the Giulia Super, more aggressive Veloce look (which is lovely) and even the 4 pipe ‘booyah’ QV look – in carbon fibre.
Right now, the single pipe rear end is growing on me.  Though I am still looking for a louder exhaust.
Give me a few months and a spare $3-4k and I might change my mind.

My car has the adaptive dampers, so in D mode, they result in a firmer ride, reducing the tendance of the Giulia to float over undulating terrain.  This is a good thing but I sincerely believe the standard setup is more than adequate.  The Giorgio platform these cars were built on is that good.

The Veloce also features an LSD. I am yet to find myself in a situation where I regret not having this.

All Giulias handles exceptionally well with some initial understeer transforming to a balanced stance on flowing roads.
When negotiating low speed turns at full lock (such as in a car park), the Giulia’s front end loses traction and ‘skips’.  This is the trade-off for how exceptionally well the Giulia handles under all other conditions and personally, I got over this – very quickly.

The auto transmission in these cars is a real winner.  Stunning in operation and surprisingly, better than any dual-clutch transmission I have tried.  The software has been well tuned to ensure the transmission changes gear at the 'right' time.  It really is brilliant and in all honesty, I don't lament the lack of a manual gearbox.  Mind you, I have another manual Alfa to play with.  I would choose the auto in the Giulia over a dual-clutch every time.
Both Veloce and standard models (in Australia) feature aluminium shift paddles.  These are a work of art.  Wonderfully tactile and a delight to operate - every time.  Pull both paddles simultaneously to select neutral. When in reverse, pull the right one to select drive, so you don't have to use the somewhat unintuitive shift lever.  It is a weird thing I struggle to describe adequately.  The shift lever, though aesthetically pleasing, has some nasty sharp edges where aluminium elements meet leather bits.  It is not the car’s best feature.  It is not crap by any means, but it isn’t as good as it could have been.

The electronic park brake took a little getting used to, but after one month of ownership, I find it to be fine.  I don’t notice it anymore but have ruled out ever planning to pull a handbreakie (handbreaky?)

The driving position is perfect, with comfortable, supportive and highly adjustable seats and steering.  The adjustable side bolsters are a great feature.

The steering wheel is like hand sex. The steering wheel mounted start button is entertaining.
Instruments are well executed and easy to read, with both analogue and digital speed readings.  I find I only look at the digital option.

When you close the door of the car, the tacho and speedo needles light up with a pulse, twice – like a beating heart.  Simultaneously, the Alfa logo located between the dials illuminates discretely.  Ahhh, the Italians.  Sometimes they just get it very right.
The digital display, nestled between the analogue dials provides 3 pages of data, switched via a press of a button on the end of the wiper stalk.  The type of information displayed, and colour theme alters depending on which driving mode is selected.
The themes are:
Red = Dynamic
Blue = Normal
Green = Advanced Efficiency
The infotainment system is good and wonderfully integrated into the dash.  3 USB ports.  I love the fact it is not a touchscreen (no fingerprints!) though feel it could do with a little more computing power. Along with entertainment, GPS (which lacks real-time traffic data) and reversing camera displays, it provides some basic information about the car.  Tyre pressure, oil level and service interval data, along with some difficult to comprehend efficient driving information.
The Giulia lacks some of the deep adjustability and options of other systems available on the market.  However, I am not an audiophile so for me, the audio quality is good enough.  The lack of a subwoofer is noticeable.  My 159 with a Bose system was better.
I did not think to test the Harmon Kardon setup (subwoofer, 400W and more speakers) in the Veloce, as I was busy pushing the right pedal.  I imagine it to be quite nice.
The indicator tic-toc is quite loud and both stalks have a quality feel.  Unlike the schizophrenic rain sensing wipers in my 159, those of the Giulia are flawless.  The wipe when they should and don’t when not required.  My 159 could never achieve either.

The climate control appears competent enough for an Australian summer and features real knobs.  The controls are a great combination of old and new school.  The fan becomes quite loud at higher speed settings.  When you start the car, the sound of the fan is like that of a jet engine spooling up.  This is very, very cool.  No pun intended.
The car includes a heated steering wheel and front seats, so I will have something new to play with next August.  I should test them before winter arrives – because its an Alfa.
The car some very nice LED lighting details.  The tell-tale LEDs on the exterior door handles are sweet.  I appreciate details such as opening the driver’s door results in all 4 door handle lights turning on.  Yet, open one of the rear doors and only the light for that door switches on.  A completely pointless yet entertaining detail.

Interior storage is 'sufficient'.  It is all there – in the glovebox, central armrest, door and seat pockets and a secret driver’s cubby.  As is the way with all Alfas, it is all a bit NQR.  Good cupholders – front and rear, and I finally own a car with a secure, convenient location for my e-cigarette. Yesss.
The boot is a decent size, though I have not yet tried the industry standard mountain bike test.
Releases for the split-fold seats are in the boot.  Conveniently located, unless the (boot mounted) battery dies and you need to open the boot.  There is a release lever located on the inside of the boot lid.  Great if you find yourself locked in the boot.  Not so, if you need to open the boot from the rear seat (for example). 2 buttons above the rear number plate allow you to lock/unlock the doors and open the boot (which opens gracefully).
In closing, I must mention the Giulia’s brakes.  Mine feature ventilated front discs and red callipers (part of the Veloce pack).  They are incredibly powerful, with decent feel via the pedal.
They are ‘grabby’ in stop-start traffic but I found I adapted to this very quickly.  Think adjusting pedal pressure with your toes, not your foot.

Selecting a Giulia, Super, Veloce or QV should be a budget-driven decision because they are all great.
Some variants are simply faster than others.

This is what happens when you combine great designers with a sh*t load of investment Euros.

Alfa Romeo has brought to market a great Alfa Romeo.  For both Alfisti and normal people.
Apologies if some of my colourful language offended.   :)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 04:15:41 PM by alfagtv100 (Biggus) »
Marco Leoncelli
2017 Giulia. Yeah, baby.
2008 159 Ti V6 3.2
1971 1750 GTV Coupe Series II

Paul Gulliver

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Re: Giulia Standard and Veloce review
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2017, 08:57:31 AM »
Marco , great review that covers where the market really is going to be in Australia with Giulia ( ie not all QV). I don't think that's been covered in much detail anywhere.
The  subtleties in all the different trim level's with add ons and deletes was interesting. Thanks for sitting up all night to write it . I too agree there should be a board for the Giulia's . 
Paul Gulliver
Present
2013 Black Giulietta  QV
1979 Silver Alfa 116 GTV Twin Spark
1973 Red Alfa 105 2.0 GTV

Past
2006 Black 159 2.2 J
1970 Dutch Blue Series 2 1750
1975 Blue Alfetta Sedan 1.8
1981 Piper Yellow Alfetta GTV 2000
1985 Red Alfetta GTV 2.0
1989 White Alfa 164
2000 Red Alfa 156 Selespee

alfagtv100 (Biggus)

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Re: Giulia Standard and Veloce review
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2017, 09:12:33 PM »
Thanks very much Paul.
Personally, I look forward to hearing about owner experiences with the Giulia, Super and Veloce.
Marco Leoncelli
2017 Giulia. Yeah, baby.
2008 159 Ti V6 3.2
1971 1750 GTV Coupe Series II

alfagtv100 (Biggus)

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Re: Giulia Standard and Veloce review
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2017, 03:09:28 PM »
With the rear seats dropped, there is loads of room in the boot. However, the height to the parcel shelf is lacking (35cm), like in the 159. Suspension intrusion is not excessive, though does narrow the effective load width at the position of the rear seats to 65cm.
I can confirm a boxed 8 foot trampoline will get in there with room to spare. I still haven't tried getting my mountain bike in there, though I am quietly confident.

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Marco Leoncelli
2017 Giulia. Yeah, baby.
2008 159 Ti V6 3.2
1971 1750 GTV Coupe Series II

Gabs159

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Re: Giulia Standard and Veloce review
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2017, 06:29:04 PM »
Nearly 4 months of ownership and 6000 Kms and I still get excited to get behind the wheel everyday. There is something about this car it just feels right. Put it in D mode and I guarantee you the inner hoon in you will surface and put a massive smile on your face.

2017 Monza Red Q2 Veloce
2006 159 Q4 JTS V6

alfagtv100 (Biggus)

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Re: Giulia Standard and Veloce review
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2017, 08:46:46 PM »
Nearly 4 months of ownership and 6000 Kms and I still get excited to get behind the wheel everyday. There is something about this car it just feels right. Put it in D mode and I guarantee you the inner hoon in you will surface and put a massive smile on your face.

2017 Monza Red Q2 Veloce
2006 159 Q4 JTS V6
Congratulations Peter.
Another friend of mine picked up his Veloce 3 weeks ago.
We went for a ride and he mentioned the fuel economy was not as good as expected. He then casually mentioned he leaves it in D all the time.


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Marco Leoncelli
2017 Giulia. Yeah, baby.
2008 159 Ti V6 3.2
1971 1750 GTV Coupe Series II

alfagtv100 (Biggus)

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Re: Giulia Standard and Veloce review
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2017, 08:48:57 PM »
Nearly 4 months of ownership and 6000 Kms and I still get excited to get behind the wheel everyday. There is something about this car it just feels right. Put it in D mode and I guarantee you the inner hoon in you will surface and put a massive smile on your face.

2017 Monza Red Q2 Veloce
2006 159 Q4 JTS V6
Congratulations Peter.
Another friend of mine picked up his Veloce 3 weeks ago.
We went for a ride and he mentioned the fuel economy was not as good as expected. He then casually mentioned he leaves it in D all the time.


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By the way, after 9 years of 17l/km from the 159 V6, I find the Giulia's fuel economy to be outstanding. No matter which driving mode I use.

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Marco Leoncelli
2017 Giulia. Yeah, baby.
2008 159 Ti V6 3.2
1971 1750 GTV Coupe Series II

Australia

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Re: Giulia Standard and Veloce review
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2017, 09:23:58 PM »
(which lacks real-time traffic data)

C'mon Alfa bring it here!

alfagtv100 (Biggus)

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Re: Giulia Standard and Veloce review
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2017, 09:25:19 PM »
(which lacks real-time traffic data)

C'mon Alfa bring it here!
Yes.  The infotainment/GPS may not be as feature rich as other. systems.  However, it is (more than) adequately functional and the integrated design, a genuine innovation in the automotive market (kudos to Magneti Marelli).The lack of traffic data is indeed a fail by Alfa/Magneti Marelli.
Some may say 'Just use Google Maps'.  I prefer to use what is in the car.
Mind you, if I am honest with myself, live traffic data really does have only limited value in Melbourne because wherever I drive, the traffic is always heavy.

The large control dial for the infotainment system features a glossy black surface, which 'feels' like a touch control panel.
If I can believe what I have read on the internet, this hardware is touch control ready.  It seems Alfa has not enabled this feature (yet).
I wonder if they will for 2017 and earlier models, or will activate it only from 2018 when Android Auto is available?  I understand Android Auto will not be available via an upgrade to earlier cars.
Same applies for Apple Carplay (does anyone still buy iPhones?)  Winky-smiley-face.
Marco Leoncelli
2017 Giulia. Yeah, baby.
2008 159 Ti V6 3.2
1971 1750 GTV Coupe Series II

alfagtv100 (Biggus)

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Re: Giulia Standard and Veloce review
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2018, 12:08:26 PM »
I just returned from a very relaxing few days of camping in Cape Otway.
Taking the inland road down to Skenes Creek on both outbound and return journeys gave me an opportunity to get to know the Giulia better.
Absolute driving pleasure.
The transmission in manual mode is brilliant, with smooth and rapid changes.  The steering and chassis are responsive, composed and comfortable.
The seats over a 3.5-hour drive proved to be not only supportive but more comfortable than expected.
Finally, over a mix of highway cruising in A mode, twisty bits in D and pottering around on the occasional sandy track in N, the car averaged 6.6 litres per 100km.  Not bad at all.
Marco Leoncelli
2017 Giulia. Yeah, baby.
2008 159 Ti V6 3.2
1971 1750 GTV Coupe Series II

alfagtv100 (Biggus)

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Re: Giulia Standard and Veloce review
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2018, 11:18:14 PM »
Hi all,
I am about to tick over 12 months of ownership of my Giulia, so wanted to write about my experience do date.
Most of my driving has involved sitting in crappy Melbourne traffic during my daily commute from Melbourne's Eastern suburbs to the CBD, with occasional blasts on curvy bits of road.
The Giulia is a great daily driver.  Comfortable, functional and practical.

The standout features of the Giulia, in my opinion, are:
1. The front end.  The size and shape of the steering wheel are exceptional.  The responsiveness and feel (nice to have 'feel' in the steering of a modern car) of the front end are razor sharp and confidence inspiring.  The steering makes every feel trip special and thoroughly enjoyable.  I think Alfa's take on steering will influence sports saloon design across the industry.
2. Brakes.  Powerful and reliable.  Awkward in stop-start traffic but ok if you pay attention to how you modulate pedal pressure.  When you are really 'on it', they are faultless.  Brakes like this are sexy.
3. The 8 speed ZF automatic transmission is equal in being able to deliver driving enjoyment as that we would expect of a manual transmission.  I know, big call, but take it from a stick ship bigot, the software tune for this auto box is as good as I could ever hope for.  And I don't like autos.  It shifts up or down ratios at the exact right moment - every single time. 
It blips on downshifts when you are pushing the car.  Creating the theatre of a manual that we all adore.
In Dynamic mode, shifts are obscenely quick.  Manual shifting via those perfect aluminium shift paddles is really quite sexual. 
Using the left shift paddle to engage drive every time I get in the car is a 'moment'.
4. Everything works.  No bugs, no annoyances.
5. The interior design is lovely but lacks a few bling elements - LED 'mood' lighting and Android Auto (on my 2017 base model). The standard (no HK audio in my car) is ok. Digital radio, Bluetooth and USB audio quality are pretty good.  Everything works for someone more interested in driving than pushing buttons or playing with a touchscreen (the Giulia doesn't have one).  I absolutely adore the integrated display - no shitty looking tablet-style display!
6. The base Giulia is plenty quick for every day and any spirited driving.  The Veloce is demonstrably better.
The Veloce package for the base Giulia represents excellent value.  Mostly for the trick suspension, but the Veloce wheels, seats (they are really very, very good) and aluminium interior trim elements make the 'base' feel sportier.
7. Quality.  No squeaks or rattles to date.  However, I have not punished my Giulia on corrugated roads.  Something tells me I shouldn't.  That might be because I have followed the Alfa brand for long enough to appreciate but know to be conservative in my trust of FCA to look after people like me - enthusiasts.
8. Dealer.  I purchased from Zagame.  To date, they have provided a reasonable customer experience.  Good, but lacking the magic touch I feel Alfa needs to attract BMW and Merc clients.  Not bad but I feel I there is more to give.  I do believe they are the one dealer in Australia who can deliver a great customer experience.  I assume it may be what their Ferrari customers enjoy.  Do a Ferrari-lite experience for Alfa Romeo customers, please.

Summary.
If you enjoy feeling engaged in your everyday drive experience; driving a modern car which provides the buzz of a classic car, with many (but not all) of the conveniences modern driving demands, the Giulia will not disappoint.

I believe it comes down to the money FCA spent on the chassis design of the Giulia.  Money well spent.

That is the overwhelming feeling I have of the Giulia in standard (147KW) form.  It is gagging for more power but completely lovely in it's current form.  For an entry-level luxury sports saloon, it is everything but entry-level.
If what we read in the press is true, Alfa created a chassis, capable of handling at least 375KW.
The normal Giulia doesn't stress its chassis.  It makes love to it.
For everyone considering buying one, that is confidence inspiring.

Marco Leoncelli
2017 Giulia. Yeah, baby.
2008 159 Ti V6 3.2
1971 1750 GTV Coupe Series II

g0nzal3s

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Re: Giulia Standard and Veloce review
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2018, 04:54:11 PM »
Hi there,

I just ordered a Quadrifoglio and I'm very excited about it.

I tried to search this forum and others in regards to apple carplay but had no luck.

Apparently the Giulia doesn't have this feature where the 2018 Stelvio does - or just the overseas models? I don't know. Does anyone know if the infotainment system will be updated/or can be updated to have this feature?

I'm not here to start an argument about the feature itself, I just would like to know the possibilities.

Alfapride

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Re: Giulia Standard and Veloce review
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2018, 08:07:52 PM »
Regarding car play I have been looking into this also for a potential purchase according to a dealership sales person 2018 built models have it but 2017 built do not and cannot retrospectively be added if you ordered a brand new one it should have it if you bought existing stock that is 2017 it won’t have it hope that helps
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g0nzal3s

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Re: Giulia Standard and Veloce review
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2018, 08:34:25 PM »
Regarding car play I have been looking into this also for a potential purchase according to a dealership sales person 2018 built models have it but 2017 built do not and cannot retrospectively be added if you ordered a brand new one it should have it if you bought existing stock that is 2017 it won’t have it hope that helps

Thanks, yea I bought a new but existing stock model, so that means I'm not gonna have this option.