An Italian Stallion in pony guise. The little brother of the super saloon that is the M3-conquering Giulia Quadrifoglio, affectionately known as the Veloce, is more than your average lesser sibling, tipping the all-show and no go theory on its head.
Riding on 19-inch wheels in gloss black, with some similarly attired black accents and mirrors, this saloon looks like an event from the outside. Tested here in Alfa Red, it’s a particularly beautiful example of Italian design.
That flavour transfers inside too, with body hugging sports seats, a D-shaped steering wheel with the start button mounted on its inside, with a great big Alfa Romeo emblem emblazoned on its centre.
A good sized infotainment system can be controlled via touchscreen or radio dial, and offers all the usual suspects when it comes to Bluetooth connectivity, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (both wired), as well as a wireless charging pad.
The latter can be fiddly to jam your phone in, but there’s USB ports should you have issues. There’s 480-litres of boot space if you need it too, a beautiful leather stitched shifter with the Italian flag at the base, along with two decent cup holders.
But it’s the optional Lusso pack fitted to our tester that makes this car stand out for us. It adds a dual glass roof (with the front panel being a fully working sunroof), a 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, theft alarm, and extra leather bits around the cabin.
Now back to driving. Sitting low in the cockpit (as one should in a performance saloon), it’s hard not to simply reach for the for the column mounted paddle shifters, fire it up, and punch the accelerator. We probably should do that then.
Push the start button and you’ll hear an albeit muffled exhaust note that will have you questioning whether it really is just a 206kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine under the hood. For the record, it’s paired to an 8-speed torque converter automatic.
Enough about that though, first you’ll be wowed by the fact the seat remembers where you last sat, and that it moves backwards and forwards automatically to help with entry and exit. If it had buckled us in, it would have blown our minds.
Back to that engine, and the fact that one quick blast down a straight road will tell you two things. The first is that it’s good for a sprint to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds, and the second, that it has a tonne of mid-range pickup. You will want for a bi-modal exhaust though.
As the first corner approaches, in your mind you think “okay, we are in a relatively large four door sedan, it is probably going to be pretty heavy in the bends”. And then you turn in, and the front grips up like you wouldn’t believe.
Alongside that, the rear end has this nice looseness to it, while still feeling controlled. It makes you feel involved, like you’re actually driving the car. How dare Alfa Romeo build a driver’s car as a mid-spec model.
The Veloce comes with Alfa-link suspension, which is double wishbone at the front and vertical rod in the rear. Couple that with its 1490kg weight and you have a saloon that is not only punchy, but also loves the bends.
The downside is it really doesn’t love pot hole filled roads. That aside, the brakes are excellent, and according to the car maker, so is fuel economy, at 6.1-litres/100km. We couldn’t get close to that though, at 10.1 – but that could have been how we drove it.
Alfa Romeo’s DNA drive mode system is on board too, offering Dynamic, Normal and Advanced Efficiency (aka Eco mode), to keep you on the straight and narrow, or loose and wild, if you prefer. The choice is entirely yours (Dynamic rocks just quietly).
On the safety front, the 2022 Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce comes with lane assist, lane steer, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, and a reversing camera. There’s an overzealous hard braking hazard warning too on a long list of other safety goodies too.
Should you be keen to own one, you can opt for black or red leather inside (the tan option is no more), while on the outside, there’s Alfa White, Vesuvio Grey, Vulcano Black and Misano Blue to go with the Red of our test vehicle.
Overall, the Giulia Veloce offers practicality and comfort, enough room to fit all your friends, a proper driver focused cabin and vehicle that delivers on power and handling. It’s a superb every day road warrior, that looks good and turns heads.
Priced from $72,950 plus on roads, you’ll need to spend close to $86,000 drive away to secure one in its as tested form (with the Lusso pack). That’s not bad, and means you can still have a little performance cake, without spending up big on the Quadrifoglio.
Our test vehicle was provided by Alfa Romeo Australia. To find out more about the 2022 Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce, contact your local Alfa Romeo dealer.