Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1
  • Purposeful and low-slung driving position
  • Aluminium gearshift paddles are superb
  • Cheaper plastic on touchpoints a disappointment

There are some good bits about the Giulia’s cabin, and some that lag behind the competition. Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz all build quality interiors, so this is a difficult battle to win, and the Alfa Romeo entrant falls short mainly on minutiae.

Some of the plastics around common touchpoints – such as surrounding the gearlever – and some of the switchgear itself (like the rotary multimedia controller) feel cheaper than we’ve become accustomed to in this sector.

We liked the 8.8-inch screen’s integration into the sweeping dash, but wished it was touch-controlled as well as by the rotary dial; which incidentally also looks like it has a touchpad like the German rivals, but alas not: its shiny top fooled us.

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia interior

The graphics on the sat-nav and the size and resolution of the display all feel old already, which is a shame considering how stylish the Giulia is on the outside. It’s the same with the screen between speedo and rev-counter. It just feels a few years behind.

But all that accepted, it’s a well-designed interior that looks great. We’d suggest going for a leather-covered dash as opposed to the soft-touch plastic also on offer – it looks a million pounds in comparison. We also preferred the classic motoryacht-esque wood trim from the Luxury Pack to the aluminium finishing on the Sport Pack – it seems to suit the Giulia’s style a little better.

Interior improvements in 2020

This model year update brought about some much-needed interior tweaks. Let’s be reasonable though – the Giulia’s cabin was never actively bad, it was functional and seemed well put together, but it lacked the polish and refinement of its German rivals.

While the updated car hasn’t arrived with an Audi-aping design it is much better in some key areas, such as the newly leather wrapped gearshifter, which no longer has a rough plastic edged to catch your fingers on.

A new wheel with extra buttons for the added autonomy tech (more info in the safety section) feels a bit wider around the rim, but still better than the full BMW bratwurst girth.

An updated user interface on the 8.8-inch centre screen uses drag and drop widgets rather than clunky menus, so you can set up a homepage with the functions you want on it, and is now touch-sensitive as well as being controlled by the rotary knob in the centre console. The latter also feels much less wobbly – a welcome development. Plus, the 7.0-inch driver’s screen is easier to navigate and features a screen showing you the various autonomous functions.

Finally a redesign of the centre console means you now get two (two!) full-size cupholders and space for a wireless charger too.

Comfort

  • Sporty but comfortable suspension balance
  • Low wind and road noise but vocal diesels
  • Quadrifoglio rides the best on adaptive dampers

A bit of a mixed bag here. The Alfa Romeo-tuned suspension is sportier than some rivals and that means while it’s not crashy, it can seem firm over sharp speedbumps and particularly poor road surfaces.

The lack of adaptive suspension on the standard car doesn’t help here, but we think the overall balance is so good we'll forgive its stiff ride.

The cabin is remarkably well insulated, however, with very little engine or road noise intruding. You’ll notice some wind whistling around the door mirrors at motorway speeds, and if you work the engines hard – particularly the diesels – you’ll hear a little more from them than you’d perhaps appreciate.

With the 2.0-litre petrol this isn’t much of an issue because it sounds interesting, but the diesel motor doesn’t. We thought the seats were supportive and comfortable, which helps the Giulia feel a little more premium.

The adaptive dampers on the Giulia Quadrifoglio give it a surprisingly compliant ride – there’s a button you can press in any of the car’s modes to slacken-off the dampers, just like the bumpy road setting in a Ferrari.

We found the optional bucket seats extremely supportive and grippy, while the standard fit items don’t pin you down as much, but do offer a slightly squashier base.

In terms of noise the Quadrifoglio is quite muted below about 3,000rpm thanks to a valve in the exhaust (unless you’ve got it in Race mode) and it even starts without too much of a flourish, much to the delight of you neighbours at 6am.