L’elegante Giulia Veloce

Whether it is a creamy, cold gelato or a chic piece of haute couture, the Italians are superb at creating beautiful things and the Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce is no exception. The “Veloce” moniker harks back to 1956, a graceful time when another great Italian star was making a name for herself, Sophia Loren. Since then the Veloce name has been attributed to the sporty and distinctive Alfa Romeo models.

The middle of the model range, Giulia Veloce continues this tradition with its unique exterior design including the 19-Inch five-hole dark alloys. The interior features sports leather front seats, a heated steering wheel with stylish, easy to understand controls, column mounted metal paddle shifters and Aluminium sports pedals. I really liked the mesh look on the centre console and diamond etching around the rotating selector switches for the infotainment and the Alfa DNA system.

I’m not talking the self-replicating material that is the carrier of our genetic information here, but rather the system which controls the ‘genetic’ makeup of the Veloce’s accelerator, brake, steering and engine according to your selected driving mode. ‘D’ stands for Dynamic, ‘N’ for natural and ‘A’ for Advanced Efficiency. I spent all my time driving around in Dynamic mode as it still afforded me a quiet and comfortable ride quality with the added benefit of getting the most out of the Veloce’s sporty attributes.

The stylish cabin features a leather upholstered dashboard, upper door and central armrest which add to the luxury feel of this Giulia. The leather front seats have embossed head rests, 8-way power adjustment and three memory positions for the driver. The car I drove had over 14,000km on the odometer and the leather seats were still looking good. The Veloce has heated front and rear seats and this is not something usually seen on less expensive European cars.

The 8.8-Inch central display does not have a touchscreen, which shows the system is dated, but on the upside at least you do not get finger marks on it. What you do get is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, with no on-going subscription costs like BMW are charging. The voice control system on the Giulia works well for making phone calls and setting a destination on the sat nav, handy for when you need to input an address while on the go.

Under the arm rest there are two USB ports, one 12V outlet, one Aux inlet and wireless phone charging for compatible devices. There is also another USB port at the front of the centre console near the cup holders to keep your devices charged as much as you will be while driving the Veloce.

The rear seats offer less leg and head room for adults than other similar sized four door sedans that I have driven. For children there are two ISOFIX and three rear tether child seat restraint points, but in reality only enough room for two. The centre seat folds down as an arm rest with two drink bottle holders, which you will need to use because the drink bottle holder in the door cubby can’t be accessed because the door arm rest is too low. Rear passengers get two rear air vents behind the centre console and these can be opened and closed only and below these there is one USB port. My children liked that they could open and close the rear sunroof blind themselves.

 The boot will fit the weekly shop and a stroller with relative ease, but it is narrow towards the back so if you were placing in a pram it would need to be stored towards the front of the boot. It also comes standard with four tie down points and a cargo net to keep your shopping in place. The rear seats have a 40/20/40 split folding mechanism so you can stow long items even with two children in the back seat. The Veloce comes with run-flat tyres so there is no spare wheel at the base of the boot.

The 2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that powers the Veloce produces 206kW of power and 400Nm of torque matched with an 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox. This is enough potency to propel the Italian sedan from 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds, which is a similar time to its competitors. The official combined fuel use is 6.1L/100km, but for my week I used 11.6L/100km, which is more than other similar 2.0 litre four door sedans that I have previously driven.

Active safety features on the Veloce include Lane Departure Warning, Active Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Path Detection and Autonomous Emergency Braking. It only has a standard rear-view camera with front and rear parking sensors. Passive safety includes dual frontal, side chest-protecting and side head-protecting (curtain) airbags. The Giulia has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating (2016) with an Adult Occupant Protection score of 37.4 out of 38 (98%) and a Child Occupant Protection score of 39.7 out of 49 (81%).

All new Alfa Romeos come with a 3-Year, 150,000 kilometre warranty that includes 24 hour roadside assistance as well. The service interval for the Giulia Veloce is 15,000km or 12 months and service costs range between $345 and $1,065 depending on the type of service required. Alfa Romeo does not offer a pre-paid service plan for the Giulia models.

Prices for the Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce start at $72,000 plus on-road costs and as tested my Misano Blue Veloce was $77,100 and this price included metallic paint ($1,300), dual panoramic sunroof ($2,200) and black painted brake calipers ($700). The Giulia Veloce is an elegant four-door sedan with plenty of Italian substance, just like Sophia. Visit your preferred Alfa Romeo dealer to test drive the Giulia range for yourself.

ProsCons
Stylish interior and exterior design featuresBelow average fuel efficiency
Heated front and rear seatsInfotainment not up to current standard
Good ride comfortLimited head and leg room in rear seats

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.