ALFA ROMEO GIULIA VELOCE

Read our latest review from our Content Editor Jonny Edge…

The fastest, most powerful version of the Giulia… except for the other one, of course.

It’s Saturday night outside of a large Tesco on the outside of town. Somebody has flicked the switch from ‘Summer’ to ‘Autumn’ and as this is Britain, that means it’s chucking it down. My plan for a romantic weekend getaway with Israeli actress Gal Gadot has fallen at the first hurdle – the hurdle being she doesn’t know I exist – so I’d spent Saturday night picking up some supplies instead. Thinking about it, the idea that I’d even have a weekend away with one of the world’s most beautiful woman is rather bonkers. It’s nothing more than a romantic vision. At least you Alfisti know how I feel.

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You know because for a long time, you’ve had romantic visions of your own. Dreams of an Alfa Romeo saloon that drives as well as it looks and goes like the legendary Alfa’s of the past. A car that makes all who see it envious, because it’s finally, finally the Alfa Romeo that comes back, conquers the market and leaves the likes of BMW, Mercedes, and Audi crying big salty German tears.

For quite some time now, this ‘Return of the King’ style scenario was an even grander romantic vision than that of my own weekend getaway with the actress. It seemed as if Alfa Romeo would never make another great car, not just because it appeared like it wasn’t capable, but because all its major rivals were so capable. To be the best or to even stand a chance, it had to be better than some of the finest cars on sale and that would be quite some comeback. Not quite Leicester City winning the Premier League, but not far off either…

As the rain fell heavily on the pavement outside the supermarket foyer, I decided to make a dash for the car I’d taken from the Synergy offices for the weekend – the Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce. The Veloce is the Giulia that sits underneath of the Quadrifoglio, the Giulia’s highest tier, a performance car developed with input from Ferrari. This is the car that’s more affordable, more comfortable and more useable for the average me and you. It also happens to be the romantic dream of the Alfaholic come to life.

Under its bonnet we have a powerful 2.0-litre turbo petrol. An engine that certainly lacks a little X-Factor but makes up for it by providing you with 280 horses to play with. The power is sent to the rear-wheels via a mighty ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic gearbox and what that leaves you with is a beautifully balanced, well-judged fast saloon that gives you the sporty feelings without the sporty costs associated. Over our time with the Veloce, the office has scored pretty well on the mpg front, seeing an average of 38mpg which isn’t that bad in a car that likes to encourage you to get a shift on.

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Having driven the diesel Giulia just a couple of weeks ago, we’ve got a good idea of what to expect from this Veloce. The ultra-direct steering and eagerness of the front end to move and cling on, the pushing, communicative rear that gives you lots of feedback are the same in both cars, as is the Giulia’s trait to get smoother the faster you drive it. Naturally, these characteristics lend themselves well to a powerful petrol engine and the Veloce makes for a hugely impressive drive, feeling lighter on its feet than a Jaguar XE, and more involving than a BMW 3-series. Let’s just take a moment to think about what an achievement that is for Alfa Romeo.

Alfa Romeo now produces the best handling, most enjoyable compact executive car on the market. Going through the Giulia’s gears down a twisty backroad, pulling on the aluminium paddles and feeling the car respond and move around me has been one of the motoring highlights of my year. On top of that, it’s also absolutely stunning to look at. There’s just one problem.

Here at Synergy we see a lot of exceptional offers from Alfa Romeo’s rivals. Why they can’t quite match the Giulia on the road for now, they can wield their power in the markets to offer cars that are very nearly as good for more enticing prices. In a way, this still leaves the Giulia as a bit of an underdog, even if the odds have come in.

To Synergy customers, I’d say this – the 3-series, XE, A4 and C-Class are all great cars. You’ll be very happy with them. The question is more about whether you’d like a new experience, a change of pace and a little more individuality and flair. If the answer’s yes, there’s a clear path opening to take a wander down. With the new Giulia, people passionate about driving finally have a romantic ideal that’s also a legitimate option – a beautiful Italian saloon that drives like a great. In many ways, that seems a lot like getting to know somebody new. How long’s a weekend in a dream? Maybe it’s somewhere between 24 and 48 months.

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If the fast and alluring Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce is your cup of espresso, click here to see our offers on this car.