Word on the street is that there’s a new Italian roaming around aiming to shake thing up a bit with the establishment…and her name happens to be Giulia. Being the curious souls that we are, we had to investigate these rumors which led us to an event hosted by the amazing Peterson Automotive Museum.
The Auto Gallery was gracious enough to be sponsoring the event. The main garage had a fun display where we could go up and checkout the cars before our test drives, and should our wait time be significant, we could tour the museum or hangout on the rooftop lounge. Taking full advantage of the beautiful weather, we opted to head straight for the roof for some refreshments while we awaited for our cars o be ready. The sky was spectacular and having a gourmet spread of food made for a great atmosphere as we paid a visit to the Cappuccino Man stand for some liquid refreshments while enjoying some tunes from the DJ.
When our drive time came up, we made our way downstairs to get acquainted with our new Italian personality of interest, Giulia. From the outside, the Giulia is distinctly Italian, it has a combination of smooth and aggressive lines. The rear of the car, especially on the Quadrifogilio is strikingly similar to a combination of the Maserati Gran Turismo and Ghibli, but it looks pretty sharp. Personally, Alpha styling hasn’t been our thing, especially the front ends of their modern cars, but the design language does echo back to traditional Alpha styling ques. Either you love it or hate it, so if it speaks to you, then the Giulia is one of the most beautiful cars you can find.
The cars available for testing where the Giulia base model with sport options, the Ti model, and the Ti AWD version. Of course we inquired about the Quadrifogilio that was on display and we were promptly told that car was “off-limits for today.” So instead we decided to see what the base Giulia could do, and opted to test the sport optioned base model first. On the inside is where the real beauty to be found on the Giulia is, as the layout and materials are sleek and elegant, a true credit to Italian craftsmanship. There is adequate interior space in the car to comfortably fit 4 adults and plenty of space in the trunk to store a 5th and 6th passenger…we mean lot of luggage.
Under the hood, the base Giulia features a 280 horsepower inline 4 cylinder engine that is turbo charged. The shocking thing is that is that this engine generates 306 foot-pounds of toque. On paper, it certainly sounds sporty enough, but unfortunately that sporty feeling stays on paper. The base Giulias only come with an 8-speed automatic transmission (and also some of the largest paddle shifters on any car) which is setup primarily for economy. In Eco mode the car is quiet, subdued and very…pedestrian. When put in Dynamic mode (performance mode) there is a subtle difference in the throttle response, but not by a large margin. Pushing the car to accelerate it feels very subdued…your foot goes down, you get a little momentum before the transmission decides to give you some power, then after that the turbo kicks in for some added momentum. The problem is by the time the turbo kicks in you’re near the redline so it’s time to shift up and restart that entire process all over again.
The Giulia however has some very solid brakes and turns like a nimble compact car, so you can get a sense that the big brother Quadrifogilio has a solid base platform to really turn things up. Returning the base sport model and getting into the the Ti model, we found the Giulia’s true calling. Ti model is the more luxury focused base model. So it still has the same engine and power, but the interior and ride are more focused on comfort. Suddenly, the subdued power and lack of exhaust note are welcomed as you drive around, because the ride is pleasant and relaxing. Having the expectation of sport options is misleading, the base model Giulia is not a sports car. It’s more like an Italian Lexus IS350. From a performance stand point, this car lacks everything you’d want and you’d be better of getting base model BMW 3 or 4 Series, or an Audi A3. But for a comfy cruiser that has looks, luxury, and Italian flare, then it’s a great pickup for the money since the Giulia starts at about $40,000.
All in all it was a great day and the Peterson and Auto Gallery hosted great event. But now that we’ve gotten to know Giulia, we’re very curious to see what her big brother Quadrifogilio can do. Be sure to enjoy some other pics from the Peterson Museum (and schedule your own visit too):