A car with character

Demand for mid-sized sedans has been declining steadily in recent years as more and more buyers are switching to the more functional SUVs.

But if you want some pizazz in your life, love driving and don’t need to carry lots of stuff in the back then the Alfa Romeo Veloce is well worth considering.

There are currently three models in the Giulia range: Ti, Veloce and Quadrifoglio as well as a limited-edition version of the Quadrifoglio called 100th Anniversary to commemorate the first use of that badge in the 1923 Targa Florio race.

There’s a huge difference in price, starting from around $73,000 for the Ti and Veloce, then doubling to the $154,000 Quadrifoglio with a $13,000 surcharge for the Anniversary edition.


In an effort to provide a point of difference between traditional sedans and the taller boxier SUVs there has been a clear recent trend towards lower, sleeker shapes.

So it is with the latest Guilia. It’s a stunner from every angle and looks more like an extended coupe than a sedan.

The bottom of the traditional Alfa triangular shield grille is flanked by two lower-mounted grilles in the apron. The bonnet has two cooling outlets for the engine bay.


The exterior styling is complemented by the cabin which is beautifully designed and crafted from upmarket materials.

There’s leather trim and dual-zone climate air, a heated steering wheel, heated eight-way power adjust front seats with driver memory, aluminium pedals and dash insert plus ambient interior lighting.

The leather seats feature embossed headrests with power-adjust bolsters, and preset memories for the driver.

It’s a medium-large family sedan, but has rather limited legroom in the back seats. Unlike some of its competitors, there is no wagon variant for the Giulia although the small Tonali and mid-sized Stelvio SUVs are there if a more functional interior is needed.

The dashboard tilts slightly towards the driver.

The rear does have three seatbelts but the centre seat is not only narrow and sits on top of a very high transmission tunnel that makes seating, even for children, all but impossible.

Perhaps a child seat might just be squeezed in but not much else. Otherwise, the fold down armrest, with twin cupholders, will be in place all the time.

Boot size is a decent 480 litres although access through the narrow opening can be a squeeze. There’s no spare wheel of any size but a tyre repair kit in case of a puncture.


Guilia Ti and Veloce are powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that generates up to 206 kW of power, and 400 Nm from 2250 rpm that’s transferred to the rear wheels through an eight-speed ZF automatic.

Drive is to the rear wheels through an eight-speed ZF automatic and limited slip rear diff, with large metal paddle shifts fixed to the steering column rather than rotating with the wheel.

With a 58-litre tank and auto engine stop-start, it uses a claimed 6.1 litres of 95 RON premium per 100km and generates 141g of CO2 per kilometre.


The current 2.0-litre Guilia hasn’t been ANCAP tested as yet but the previous model achieved the maximum five-star rating including an adult occupation protection rating of 98 per cent. Additional safety features in line with the new tougher standards suggest that the MY2023 Guilia would retain the top marks.

Standard safety features in the Giulia Ti and Veloce include six airbags, active cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, intelligent speed control, driver inattention alert, traffic sign recognition, automatic high beam system, lane departure warning, lane keep assist and forward collision warning.

There’s also active blind spot assist, autonomous emergency braking, tyre pressure monitoring, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors and rear-view mirror auto-dimming, and Isofix child seat anchors in the outer rear seats.


Display is through a small 8.8-inch touchscreen embedded in the top centre of the dashboard that can, and should be, operated by a new rotary dial on the centre console.

The resolution isn’t great compared to what we’ve become used to in other vehicles.

The 12.3-inch colour TFT instrument cluster features two large analogue dials for the driver with a digital speedometer in between.

As is the norm nowadays there’s a lot of learning needed to operate what is quite a complex infotainment system including a triple split screen.

There’s built-in satellite navigation, DAB+ digital radio, wireless Apple CarPlay but wired Android Auto as well as an impressive 14-speaker Harman/Kardon system called Sound Theatre.

There are USB-A and USB-C ports in both the front and rear as well as a wireless smartphone charging pad at the base of the front console.

Guilia Ti has an eight-speaker sound system with the Veloce stepping up to a 14-speaker premium Harmon Kardon unit.


Giulia is built close to the ground making entry and exit difficult for less supple occupants.

Consequently, the driving position is lower than we normally like but Giulia is a sports sedan so that’s to be expected.

The engine start button is located on the steering wheel rim, which once you get used to it, makes a lot more sense than having to hunt around the dashboard.

At take-off peak torque is available nice and low in the rev range.

There are three Alfa DNA drive modes – Dynamic, Normal and Advanced Efficiency – on offer via a wheel on the centre console adjacent to the gear lever.

Dynamic delivers sharper brake and steering wheel response for sporty performance more attuned to the track; Natural is a more comfortable suspension setting, perfect for the daily urban commute balance in daily driving; Advanced Efficiency maximises energy but takes the wind out of the car’s sails.

The ride does have a firm edge to it but not at the expense of the comfort that we enjoyed on each of the varied surfaces in which we tested the Giulia.

Rear-wheel drive with a limited-slip diff means the Giulia Veloce is sprightly and always happy to have a go at any corner you throw it at. It’s balanced and gives you excellent feedback though the wheel.

On motorways it’s happy to cruise in a sedate fashion. Theres some noise on concrete surfaces and a bit of bump-thump on the concrete joins as well as on bridges.

Smooth country roads are handled with ease, some that are in getting old and in need of repairs can cause it to bounce a bit. Keep in mind that this is a sporting model and has slightly lower and firmer suspension settings so this is acceptable.

While he large shift paddles may look a bit gawky, they come to hand easily no matter how much the wheel was turned. Far more accommodating than the ‘toy’ plastic ones found on many models.


Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce is a car with the character that you expect from the iconic Italian carmaker, combining stunning looks with excellent performance.

It’s a real driver’s car, with a punchy turbo engine and rear-wheel drive.

Anyone who is in the market for a mid-sized sports sedan should forget all their pre-conceptions about Alfa and at least take it for a test drive before rushing in and buying one of its mostly German – and significantly more expensive – competitors.


Looks: 9/10

Performance: 8/10

Safety: 8/10

Thirst: 7/10

Practicality: 6/10

Comfort: 7/10

Tech: 8/10

Value: 8/10