ALFA ROMEO GIULIA: she’s got the look….

1432026_AR_2316SYNCHRONICITY. Some of you out there will remember that great album from Police back in 1983. And there’s a ‘Sting’ here too….

I’ve got the album in our vinyl collection but I can confirm that the Alfa Romeo Giulia is sadly lacking in it. Synchronicity, as we know it in motoring parlance, that is.

You might be able to find it somewhere in the depths of the impressive entertainment system on board, but if you’re a believer in the adage that you never get a second chance to make a first impression then this conceivably might not be the car for you.

1432051_AR_2322Around town it’s a car that makes up its own mind when to lurch forward, and when it cuts back in from the stop-start it begins to move forward when you might not conceivably want it to.

It’s not helped around town by the fact they’re fitted with an eight speed auto box, and its forward progress was frustratingly annoying at times. Around town it’s like a mischievious puppy out on its first walk and continually straining to move forward.

You desperately want it to be smooth, as smooth as a pint of John Smiths. But it turns out to be the bitterest bottle of Guinness you’ve ever tasted.

And here’s where the first impressions line goes out the window.

1432080_IMGP1808Because if you point it at a decent stretch of road and let it off the leash then the mad puppy morphs into something with a proper pedigree – as should something sporting the Alfa Romeo badge and oozing the DNA of a marque that’s steeped in motoring folklore.

What they’ve done is produced a car that is hugely frustrating to pilot around town, yet which is a sheer delight to drive at speeds which show it up to be pretty damn good.

The rub here is any car needs to be able to master all the conditions you throw it at – and the Alfa just doesn’t.

Which is a crying shame, because the Giulia itself is beauty to behold, from that big instantly recognisable heart shaped grille and the offset number plate – in itself a real motoring statement – to the sleek, low down lines of a prestigious sports saloon.

1432056_IMGP1724Inside, the cabin is pretty decent, though the seats, while comfortable, don’t offer too much in the way of side support.

Great steering feel is worthy of note and it’ll help bring a smile back to your face as you hit the open road out of town.

Dropping an Alfa keyfob on the bar years ago used to spark up instant conversations with total strangers about the merits of the pretty Fulvia, the Alfasud, and sundry others to wear the badge.

Maybe Giulia will spark interesting conversations too, but I bet ‘disappointing’ will figure in there somewhere.

On one hand the auto box (no manual is available) does it few favours. On the other, well, at speed it’s up here with the best, blending in with the smoothness of movement and latent pace that is much more up to the oft quoted aura of an Alfa.

1432047_AR_2321A car with such a truly evocative pedigree and with Alfa DNA pumping through its fuel lines should live up to the dream. Whether it’s up to taking sales way from the likes of the Audi A4 and BMW 3 series time will tell.

FOR: great looks and a viable alternative
AGAINST: chalk and cheese on four wheels

FASTFACTS: Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.0 Turbo Petrol Super; £32,990; 1995cc four cylinder turbo, 200hp, 330Nm; eight speed auto box; top speed 146mph, 0-62mph 6.6secs; fuel – urban 33.6, extra urban 61.4, combined 47.9; CO2 138g/km.

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