Sunday Drive: 2019 Alfa Romeo, the mechanics of emotion

May 26, 2019

Being in business for over 107 years says something about any company, but for one that continues to make automobiles and crafts them in the way that Alfa Romeo does year after year, captures more than mere words can describe.

Maybe it is the Italian influence, or just years and years of expertise. Whatever the cause, we have come to love all of the three different models in the Italian line. The fact that they are now owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is a bonus for us all, as they have brought the line back to America so all can enjoy the craftsmanship.

It just so happened that we had a niece getting married during our week with the Giulia, and the ceremony was taking place in Cedar City. It was a great opportunity to get out on the open road with what Alfa Romeo describes as “la meccanica delle emozion” or the mechanics of emotion, by delivering race-inspired performance with a class-leading 280 horsepower four-cylinder engine.

We both like this sedan so much that we literally flipped a coin to see who would get the first chance to drive on our way to southern Utah. We also decided that it would be fun to take U.S. Highway 89 through Spanish Fork Canyon and on down to Richfield to get a good feel for twisty canyon roads and some good freeway time to finish out the day.

Our ride also included a back-seat passenger, my mom Pat, who went with us. There was plenty of room for our three suitcases, pillows and a couple of blankets along with a few dozen cookies Pat had made for the wedding. Pat spent most of the time in the rear seat being completely comfortable and happy with the ride of the Giulia.

The great news here is that each Alfa Romeo model comes with what is appropriately dubbed the DNA switch, allowing us to choose just how we wanted the sedan to perform during our drive. This is really a code name for what turns out to be a very awesome concept. It controls what is basically the DNA of the car: D stands for Dynamic, N stands for Natural and A for Advanced efficiency mode.

Dynamic gives the Giulia a more race-like feel by adding more stability through turns and on the straightway along with a quicker throttle response time. With the handling becoming less fluid, it makes us feel more in control of the sedan.

Natural would be for everyday driving around town, giving us a more in-control or natural feel to the drive. Advanced efficiency mode gave us the best economy for the long haul or road trip as we took for the weekend. The DNA control allowed us to choose exactly how we wanted the driving experience to be depending on the type of road we were on.

Going for a longer trip allowed us to try out each mode, with D making the canyons really fun, N getting us around town with ease and agility and A allowing us to get the very best fuel economy possible on the trip. Speaking of which, after almost 600 miles, we ended up at 30.1 mpg, which we felt was pretty good as I had to keep trying out the D mode!

I drew the first chance to drive through the canyon as the Giulia slid through the twists and turns down into Sanpete County, where we stopped for lunch in Mount Pleasant and a quick break. We met a great gentleman during lunch that was right at home, giving us the complete history of Mount Pleasant and the boarding school Wasatch Academy.

Deanne thought that she would never get to drive as we finally had to politely excuse ourselves to continue our journey, as Pat needed to be in Cedar City by 4 p.m. for the wedding dinner. However, it was fun to talk with a local and learn more from him and to answer a few of his questions as to what type or car it was we were driving.

The Giulia will do that, as we had folks asking at almost every stop what kind of vehicle we were in and where we got it. Italian design speaks for itself with the beautiful lines on the Alfa getting noticed by all.

The good news about the Giulia is that there are some really great features inside the vehicle that come standard, making it even more enjoyable to drive and safer. The standard Giulia comes with a nice 7-inch touchscreen display in the center console, rain-sensing wipers, power folding heated mirrors, a flat bottomed steering wheel, 17-inch tires with disc brakes all around and Brembo calipers on the front, all starting at just over $41,000.

The TI Sport AWD addition at just $2,500 would be a must-have in the Mountain West to keep the sedan going on all fours when the weather turns bad as it did on our way home when we hit a downpour coming out of Nephi. The Giulia handled it with ease, never once slipping or giving us the feeling we were in danger.

It also comes with larger 19-inch wheels, some great black exterior accents, sport leather seats, red Alfa Romeo-named brake calipers and aluminum paddle shifters.

Inside, our favorite design was the red leather seats and black trim with red stitching throughout the cabin. Alfa Romeo calls this a Black/Red interior and we liked it the best of all the different interiors offered. It was all Pat could talk about each time she described the sedan to someone else, which was often, this being her first time in an Italian car.

The Alfa Romeo Giulia would be a great addition to anyone’s vehicle library and is so much fun to drive. Did we say it is fun to drive? Well it is, and it performs just as we would expect from a vehicle designed and built in Italy.

Base Price: $41,995

Price as Driven: $51,885

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