When Alfa Romeo first revealed it was going to be making the Giulia sedan, enthusiasts the world over cried with joy. “Finally, Alfa Romeo was going to be making a rear-wheel drive sedan that can compete with zee Germans!” they cried. It seemed like a miracle. However, the Giulia was delayed quite a bit and people started to get nervous, thinking that this was another case of Alfa getting their hopes up and then shattering them.
But then the Alfa Romeo Giulia did finally debut and it’s just as good as advertised. It’s beautiful, has a great interior and exciting rear-wheel drive dynamics. It’s just a great car overall. But can it compete with some of the best from Germany? Well, German publication, Sports Auto, has gone to find out by comparing the Giulia with the Audi A4.
Built on the brand’s MLB platform, which also underpins the Audi Q7, the Audi A4 is also brand-new. It’s built on a lightweight, scalable architecture that is lighter, more rigid and more dynamic than before. It also packs new engines and new technologies. So it’s primed and ready to take on Italy’s finest.
In terms of looks, I don’t think it’s any secret that the Giulia is the prettier car. We love the new Audi A4 for its sharp creases and sophisticated look. But it’s got nothing on the bite-the-back-of-your-hand pretty Alfa Romeo Giulia. The Audi A4 is good looking, but we’ve seen it before in nearly every other Audi for the past 10 years. The Alfa is new, exciting and attractive with curves the A4 simply wished it had.
On the inside, it’s a tough one. While the Alfa Romeo Giulia has a great cabin that looks good and has some exciting touches (like that Ferrari-inspired steering wheel), the Audi A4 might have the better interior. It’s open, airy and sophisticated with just the right amount of technology. Whereas the Giulia might be fun to spend a weekend with on the inside, because of its cool looks, the A4 is the one you’d rather own. It also has far better technology, as Audi’s newest MMI system and Virtual Cockpit are far superior to the systems used in the Alfa.
When it comes down to handling, though, the Giulia might have the Audi beat. With its rear-wheel drive chassis and superior steering feel, the Giulia is a joy to throw around corners. By contrast, the Audi A4 can feel a bit cold and disconnected. We love the new A4 and think it’s the best-driving A4 since the B6-generation, but it just can’t hang with the rear-drive Alfa. The A4’s Quattro all-wheel drive grip lets it hang on the corners and put down impressive speeds, but the Giulia simply dances through them with ease.
Both cars in this test had four-cylinder diesel engines, both of which had enough power and were smooth, but slightly gruff sounding. However, we shouldn’t be talking about these engines but instead the 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engines both cars provide. Those two engines would help both cars take each other on as both engines more suite the character of both cars.
In the end, Sports Auto gave the victory to the Alfa Romeo, but only by a small margin. It’s fresh looks, exciting dynamics and more interesting character make it the more attractive option. However, the Audi A4 is still a brilliant car and one that’d likely be the nicer to own over the long run. We are desperate to get these two cars together ourselves to find out how they get on but for now, Sports Auto claims the Alfa the victor.