The 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Group Review: If Only More Sedans Had This Much Character

Alfa Romeo's four-door may have its weak spots, but they make its many strengths seem all the sweeter. 

Alfa Romeo

Three of The Drive’s staffers—Mike Spinelli, Will Sabel Courtney, and Andrew Siceloffrecently spent time with the 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti. They discussed the finer merits and detractors of this hybrid crossover via Slack, an instant message program with a fun ability to summon random gifs based on what users type. The following is a partial transcript of that conversation.

willscourtney
So, how about that Alfa Romeo Giulia?

mikespin
I really liked it

asiceloff
Yeah same. even through the NY grime that had accumulated...still looked real perdy

mikespin
The Quadrifoglio is excellent, but I wasn't expecting the two liter to be as sharp as it is

willscourtney
Me neither. It was damn peppy
Engine didn't have a lot of character but it made up for it with that midrange

asiceloff
Definite pep

mikespin
Yeah. The engine is all midrange. It's kind of a workaday engine, but it's got decent torque at a pretty wide band. Kind of a perfect performance-commuter engine.

willscourtney
*midrange*

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asiceloff
Yeah agreed, I only had it in city driving and it seemed like a great daily

willscourtney
And those giant paddle shifters made keeping it in said midrange really enjoyable. They look like some sort of terrifying ninja weapon.

asiceloff
But if we are talking that, I'd like to talk comfort, that backseat is pretty small
one of few cars that was hard to pile in to

willscourtney
Yeah. When we crammed four people in there for that Whole Foods run, it was...tight.
Admittedly, I was one of the four. But still.

mikespin
They did their best with the space. The carveouts for the front seatbacks were enough for me, though arguably I'm only in the mid fives in height.

asiceloff
You should be able to fit four adults somewhat comfortably

willscourtney
I don't think there's anything arguable about that, @mikespin. You are absolutely in the mid-fives.
I did think the interior was well-designed. The seats, in particular, looked and felt nice.

mikespin
I was disappointed with the interior design and materials, though. Hard to get out of an Audi and into this.

Alfa Romeo

willscourtney
Was just about to say that. Well, the material part.

asiceloff
I mostly felt that in the back, seemed like they ran out of budget

mikespin
I like the gauges.

willscourtney
They did a great job blending the infotainment screen into its surroundings. All those companies that basically superglue iPads onto the dash could learn a thing or two.

asiceloff
Yeah I didn't feel that [the materials were disappointing] in the driver's seat
I'll also say that the brakes felt a little soft
But I'm also being nitpicky because I really like the car

mikespin
They have that drive-by-wire vagueness. They felt wooden to me. Not great to modulate.

willscourtney
*fly by wire*

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asiceloff
that was beautiful

mikespin
But what a great chassis. Really sharp. Quick steering.

willscourtney
No, the brakes were definitely soft at the top of the travel, too.
LOVED the steering

mikespin
That's what Alfa's doing the best right now. Even the Stelvio. Sharpness

asiceloff
Yeah you nailed it, driving around traffic was really fun

willscourtney
I would buy it for the steering and the dynamics.
Well, lease it.

asiceloff
Leasing it is the way to go
*nailed it*

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willscourtney
And then just play "Mrs Robinson" on a loop
*the graduate*

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mikespin
If it had a BMW S54 inline six it would be the perfect car

willscourtney
To be fair, most cars could be improved with an S54

mikespin
Definitely this chassis could.

asiceloff
What was the price tested?

willscourtney
$50K, about

mikespin
LOW MILEAGE LEASE

willscourtney
I really wish they had an intermediate model between this and the Quad.

mikespin
Yeah

willscourtney
Like an AMG 43 type thing.

asiceloff
YUP

mikespin
They don't have an engine for it

willscourtney
I know. It'd just wind up being an even-more-boosted four

Alfa Romeo

asiceloff
Who is this car perfect for?

willscourtney
I think, honestly, people like us. Folks who want a daily that's fun to drive, but don't need the room of an SUV

mikespin
Me in my next job as an accountant at a firm in the suburbs.

willscourtney
Haha

asiceloff
So someone who doesn't have a giant family and that needs a good, fun commuter.

mikespin
Honestly, an adult commute on nice b-roads would be pretty sweet.

willscourtney
Yeah. And clearly has to care about either a) driving fun or b) fashion and appearance

asiceloff
Yeah, architects?

willscourtney
Because an Alfa Romeo is never the rational choice
Not that that's a bad thing. Hell, it could probably be their slogan.

mikespin
Ah yes. So, marketing department at a high-end consumer goods company.

asiceloff
Definitely wears a turtleneck
(looks at Josh Condon)

Will sabel Courtney

willscourtney
hahahaha

mikespin
"Hey Jim, I got an Alfa Romeo."
Jim: "Have you seen a doctor?"

willscourtney
*clap*

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asiceloff
"It's a Lease!"

willscourtney
Mike Spinelli's Catskills Revue, ladies and gentlemen

asiceloff
nod

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willscourtney
"At least what?"

mikespin
"Hey guys, want to try out that new lunch spot. I'm driving."

asiceloff
haha wasn't that a VW campaign

mikespin
Guys: "Naah. I got car sick last time."

willscourtney
*derailed*

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mikespin
DAMN

asiceloff
So, final thoughts?

willscourtney
Would daily.

mikespin
Nice car. Good comeback.

willscourtney
It deserves to do well. Better than it is doing. Sales-wise, at least.

mikespin
Yeah.

willscourtney
EVERYONE GO OUT AND LEASE ALFA ROMEOS
OR ELSE YOU DON'T GET TO WONDER WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS

asiceloff
Totally agree, I would have liked to see interior a little better, as that's the price point, but man the car is real fun, and doesn't look like everything on the road these days

willscourtney
I still think it looks like a perturbed owl from the front.

mikespin
*owl*

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asiceloff
Will is agro towards owls

willscourtney
I do love owls
agro or otherwise

mikespin
WAIT

willscourtney
yes?

mikespin
Are the driving dynamics good enough to lure you suburban office workers away from the interior and tech of an Audi?

asiceloff
AND AUDIS DON'T DRIVE GREAT???

willscourtney
*gasp*

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asiceloff
Watch what you say next

willscourtney
Most suburban office workers, no.
Because they don't care that much.
This is a car for the 10 percent of people who do care about how a car drives.

mikespin
Split three ways between the Jaguar XE, this and the Cadillac ATS

willscourtney
Yeah. There really is this whole second tier of entry-level luxury sedans that plays more towards sportiness than the big three (of Audi, BMW, and Benz)

asiceloff
Hmm ATS is a really good comparison
That's a toughie for me

willscourtney
But I think the Alfa's handling and its style puts it ahead of ATS and XE in a lot of subjective measures. Especially if the buyer's emphasizing sportiness

Alfa Romeo

mikespin
And also having that Alfa logo on your key fob is kind of exciting

willscourtney
That key fob.

asiceloff
Casually drop my keys all day long
exclaiming that I had done so

willscourtney
Let's talk about that.
Because it's WAY TOO BIG.

mikespin
It's too big

asiceloff
*yuge*

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willscourtney
It takes up your entire pocket. I feel like they designed it for purses.
Or whatever men carry in Italy. Man-satchels.

mikespin
IT'S EUROPEAN!

willscourtney
*european*

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mikespin
*seinfeld*

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asiceloff
If you just got married and aren't ready for that SUV, and you just got a promotion, I'd say go low mileage lease it for two years.

willscourtney
Agreed.
And on that note:
*alfa romeo giulia*

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asiceloff
I see the owl thing now
*golf clap*

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The 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti, By the Numbers:

Base Price (Price as Tested): $40,990 ($50,035)

Powertrain: 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, 280 horsepower, 306 pound-feet of torque; eight-speed automatic; rear-wheel-drive

Fuel Economy: 24 city, 33 highway

0-60 MPH: 5.7 seconds (Car and Driver testing)

Top Speed: 149 mph

 Must-Have Options on Our Test Car: 19-inch Sport Package with performance tires, sport seats, aluminum paddle shifters ($2,250); Ti Performance Package with active suspension and limited-slip differential ($1,200)

Options You Could Skip on Our Test Car: Driver Assistance Dynamic Plus Package with adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning ($1,500); Harmon Kardon 

Alfa Romeo Is Adding Self-Driving Tech To The Giulia
The Drive