2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Lusso Q4 – Not Just a Pretty Face

The moment I snagged the keys from the airport valet, I knew the Giulia would be an automobile of a very different nature. Thankfully the beautifully sculpted lines and supple leather are only the icing on the cake.

Giulia Ti Lusso isn’t just the pretty face we’ve all come to love with a watered down drivetrain, but rather a beautiful “entry-point” sedan that goes with gusto! The Ti Performance Package fitted to this example includes adaptive dampers, Alfa Romeo’s cleverly named dna drive mode selector, and stunning aluminum shift paddles that adorn either side of the thin rimmed steering wheel. These  paddles command the ZF sourced 8 speed automatic to execute shifts in a remarkable manner. A 2.0L turbocharged four cylinder developing 280hp and 306lb/ft of torque pushes power to all four wheels through Alfa Romeo’s optional Q4 all wheel drive system. Aforementioned figures were enough to keep us smiling all week, and are certainly more than class competitive in this luxo-sedan segment.

An attractive but reserved Lipari Grey over Crema leather is paired with a a rather unfortunate wheel choice, something we would expect from a manufacturer far more pedestrian. If I were a consumer who judges a book by its cover, I’d have absolutely no inkling of its underlying athleticism. Maybe blasé is the intent?

Typical of a European automaker, starting price for a 2019 Giulia opens at a remarkable $38,295 and very quickly soared to $55,290 on this example. Some of the goodies include the Ti Performance Package, all wheel drive, a suite of drivers assistance tech, Harman Kardon audio, navigation, panoramic sunroof and the like. Optional Lipari Gray Metallic paint to the tune of $600 is money we’d spend elsewhere. Never did I imagine the day where an Alfa Romeo is truly a cost competitive option for a luxury sedan in America.

An optional Alfa Romeo specific 8.8″ Navigation system was operated by tolerable voice commands and a center console mounted controller. Although this system is well within arms reach, the infotainment doesn’t offer a touch screen. We did report a weird occurrence where the SiriusXM radio would display information but not provide audio with an iPhone plugged into any of the three cabin USB ports.

Those looking to acquire one of these Italian pieces of art should be advised that just 163 Alfa Romeo showrooms are currently scattered to offer sales and service across the US. That dealership figure is approximately just one third of the Mercedes-Benz dealership network, and similar figures to what we’ve seen from the Genesis brand so far.

Interior appointments were quite nice, beautifully stitched leather was just about anywhere you’d look, but of course that was included in one of the multi-thousand dollar packages. Fit and finish seemed on par for a car of this caliber, and didn’t leave us much to complain about. One weird interior oddity is that the panoramic sunroof offers individual shades, the front is powered and rear manual.

The engineering team has done a splendid job infusing the Giulia with the brands motorsports pedigree, providing a level of driving excitement we’ve yet to see beneath the $60 price point.

This is the point where I’m going to very quietly tell you a story about how this glorious Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Lusso left me stranded.

On my way to the airport cruising along with traffic when a check engine light appears, immediately followed by a Christmas tree of indicator lights and pop up messages. Coasting to the shoulder while desperately trying to restart the engine is not how I anticipated my morning rush hour commute. Lots of crank and no fire left me no choice but to abandon ship on the side of the highway and sprint to my flight. The folks at Alfa Romeo/Maserati Albany diagnosed a faulty fuel pump at just 3,768 miles, something our friends at Car & Driver noted on their long term Giulia Quadrifoglio at just 4,100 miles.

A huge thanks to the folks at Alfa Romeo USA and Motus One for facilitating my time with the Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Lusso Q4.