Frank lets Tom take his new Giulia for a ride - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Frank lets Tom take his new Giulia for a ride

Yes, that is right and I enjoyed his write up about the event and wanted to share her with my friends too:



Frank does Giulia: Excellent write up! Would it be okay to put this on the ABB under the Giulia section? Yes!



You cannot tell it's a 4 cyl. as it doesn't sound like any four we are used to. It has an 8 spd. automatic that is the same unit that's in the wife's Genesis. You can shift it manually by moving the lever to the right (just like the Genesis). If you are in that manual position it will still shift down automatically as you slow down (so you don't embarrassingly start out in a high gear), but in the manual mode it does not up-shift - you do it by bumping the lever forward as you progress. To shift down manually you bump the lever back. All very slick but I seldom use it in the Genesis because this ZF transmission always has you in the right gear automatically. It is a wonderful transmission and I think you would like it, even though it's not a stick shift. Transmissions like this are definitely the future, and I understand Ferrari no longer offers a stick shift in any car they build. Frank's car also has up and down metal shift paddles behind the steering wheel. The left one has a big - sign on it and the right one has a big +. We both felt the paddles are too large (size of a small shoe), because when you use them you tend to use only the middle two fingers on your hand, but when steering around a corner maybe you need that extra length. Driving hard and fast these are what you would use.

The car moves off quickly and the suspension is very tight but comfortable. Steering is very quick and easy with seemingly instant response (with one exception, but more on that later). There is no lean on corners, and you can quickly be going quite fast and it rounds corners at a greater speed than you would expect. When you are driving like this you have no feeling it is actually a 4-door sedan. The brakes are outstanding (big red calipers that say ALFA ROMEO which undoubtedly was one of the options). Super Pirelli tires that I believe were 235/50-18.

The engine is not noisy but aggressive sounding with no turbo song. Does it have turbo lag? I'm not sure. It doesn't have big V8 power off the line but within 50' you are going like hell. At no time did I feel a need for more power.

We opened the hood and were surprised that you cannot tell if it's a 4 cyl. engine or a V-something. It has a big, wide black plastic cover on top the engine that hides everything. If you peer down around the engine all you can see are many hoses and electrical harnesses of different sizes going everywhere. (Battery is in the trunk.) I was able to spot the drive belt in front and the alternator on the right, but I couldn't see the air conditioning compressor, power steering or steering parts at all, water pump, oil filter, fan, exhaust manifold or turbo or intake or sparks plugs or coils or anything! There are plastic covers over everything! Could not find the radiator cap, and as hard as we looked we could never find the oil dipstick or a transmission dipstick. Apparently it has no dipsticks (we did find the oil filler cap, though). It is very obvious they want you to take it to a dealer for every little thing you think it might need. (My experience for many years has been you can't take a car to any dealership for any service and get out for less than $500. And that was noticed 20 years ago.)

Hood open, engine running you can't tell it's a four. Could just have well been a V6. Absolutely smooth all the time.

The whole car exudes quality in materials and fit and finish. (Frank says the next step up is the Ti model but he says it doesn't say Ti on the badging. He feels like he got a Ti for less money.) It sets low to the ground and feels like a performance car, and goes like hell. I don't see why you'd want the 505 hp Quadrifoglio, but that's an old fart talking.

The single exception to perceived excellence is the steering. Frank said he thought it wandered at speed on the interstate. I flicked the wheel a couple times and I told him it has the same anomaly that I discovered in the Genesis - delayed response in the electric power steering. I didn't notice it until we were at speed on the interstate (The wife has never noticed it at all - period). If traveling in a straight line at speed and you give the wheel a little jerk there is the slightest delay, a fraction of a second, before the system responds. Therefore when traveling in a straight line, and especially around a constant radius interstate bend you can constantly be making little corrections to compensate for the opposite correction you made seconds ago. It took me awhile to get used to it and frankly I don't often notice it. I tested the Giulia and it reacts exactly the same way. What it feels like is sideways looseness in the rear suspension, or under-inflated tires. Maybe you have to be thinking about it to notice it. I'll bet it has the same ZF or Bosch electric power steering as the Genesis.

Oh yes, the black plastic grill sure looks like black plastic. They should do something about that.

Overall an outstanding car, much better than I expected. The Italians are turning out cars fully as impressive and nice as any other car in that price range, and to me more exciting with all the luxury, too. My question is, why can't they make a two-door coupe version for the same money? Now that one would really sell.

TS


The car is white with a red leather interior with black and chrome accents. I do not know what constituted $10,000 worth of options but it has everything you can think of including fancier wheels, remote starting, two sunroofs, and paddle shifters on the steering wheel. But no navigation system or TV screen, no "lane change" warning, and no "following-too-close" warning system.

Like a lot of new cars today in this price range and above, the dash is busy with a lot of controls and displays and messages that I, for one, wouldn't want or need. Not only does it have a center display showing all the usual stuff like A/C operation, inside/outside temperatures, radio station info, and who knows what else, but in front of the driver square in the middle is a display panel showing you all those things again! Too busy for me. As I recall, the gauges with the exception of the speedo have no needles - instead they have a climbing cascade of black LCD dots. Tach included. There is just too much to see and take in at one time and still drive the car. Another example is the console which has 3 levers/knobs, one being the shifter (which doesn't actually move - it's more like a joy stick - and I couldn't find reverse). The other two knobs, I don't know what they're for. There's another panel overhead that has controls for the multi-position sunroof (this car has two sunroofs, one behind the other) and controls for various interior lights and I don't know what all. I sure would like to see a base model with no options.

TS

Mark

Last edited by IRONBLOCK; 04-12-2017 at 06:12 AM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 08:31 PM
Del
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Actually sounds like an ergonomic disaster, although like most things, you would get used to it, but then again, why should you have to? Most of that stuff is electronic toys for those who like that sort of gimmickry. Adds little to the actual driving of the car, which I can easily do without every day I drive my 164.

Del

Seattle

89 Milano (wife's daily driver since 1989, Shankle Sport)
91 164S (my daily driver since 1994)
94 164LS (~Q) (trip Alfa since 2000)
72 Morgan 27 (water time since 1976)

previously owned since 1964:

62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 10:05 PM
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well played... Some of us "get it". ciao, chris

Maintaining my tenuous strain on reality.
89 164 2l Twin Spark, 2011 Tonka Dump

Recently added: an 89 75 (Milano) 1.6 litre w/44K on the klok.

Past loves:
79 Alfetta GTV w/Spica, my 1st Alfa

An 88 Graduate. Not really love but interesting nonetheless.

A 68 BMW 1602 - man do I regret letting that one go!

79 Scirroco, ex plowed into an illegally parked house with it...

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRONBLOCK View Post
Like a lot of new cars today in this price range and above, the dash is busy with a lot of controls and displays and messages that I, for one, wouldn't want or need. Not only does it have a center display showing all the usual stuff like A/C operation, inside/outside temperatures, radio station info, and who knows what else, but in front of the driver square in the middle is a display panel showing you all those things again!
Mark
I can see the point in that because it enables the driver to adjust the a/c or radio etc without taking his eyes away from the road and it also enables the passenger to do it. Sometimes when my wife or kids are in the passenger seat they need to adjust the a/c to suit them or I might ask them to do it for me so that I can concentrate on driving. My passenger is often my navigator and might be using the GPS, or their iPhone to play music, so they would need to see the screen. If I was on my own I would need to see those things in front of me. That is well thought out ergonomics in my opinion.

As far as things like lane change warnings or proximity warnings etc go, I would probably not order those if I had a choice because I am more than capable of knowing those things myself and the beepers would annoy the heck out of me. They have Apple Carplay so I wouldn't need the factory sat nav either. I would want even one sunroof, let alone two. Our 159 has one and we never use it. In our hot climate you will get sunburnt and ultimately skin cancer i reckon. They just add weight. The ones in the 164s and 75s weigh a ton and lower the headroom. I'm glad our black 75 doesn't have one.

Current Alfas
2004 GT 3.2 V6 (Stromboli Grey).
2008 159 TI Sportwagon 2.4 JTDM (Stromboli Grey).
1987 75 3 litre (red). My first 75 and now my son's.
!989 75 3 litre (black). Shared project with my son.
2000 156 2 litre Twin Spark, ( Cosmos Blu metallic), my daughter's car.

Past Alfas
1990 75 3 litre Potenziata (black), now sold & living in Newcastle NSW.
1990 75 3 litre Potenziata (grey, sadly deceased due to fire).
1982 GTV 2 litre, red, (daughter's first Alfa)
2 x 1992 164s, (1 red, 1 grey).
2 x 1988 33s, (both red).
1985 GTV 2 litre, (white).
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
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When Tom first started driving, my 1959 Touring Roadster would have been new. He has had a bunch of Alfa Romeo's including old Two Liters, 2600's, a Montreal and currently has an Alfetta (and a 2 door Lexus 400ish). Unfortunately when posting this last night, I did not realize that I left off the main part of his review and instead only posted his secondary comments to my reply; I'am sorry!

Del, I recall that when my 164-S was brand new, it seemed as though it had the cockpit of a fighter jet! It did not help that there were about 21 seemingly unmarked identical rectangular controls on the console. It took about 5 minutes to figure out how to open the gas tank door! I suspect that once you have driven the Giulia for a month or two it all makes sense and you can ignore what you don't need to see.

Mark
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 09:38 AM
Del
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Of course, you are correct. Still having had ridden in cars with touchscreens, even after getting used to them (they are usually rentals), the touchscreens stlll take more time/attention to change settings, etc.

With the S, I also agree, but when everything is set to what you want when driving for the first several times, after that you rarely ever hit any of the buttons later when driving, and of course, you don't open the gas door when driving, lol. I suppose it might be the same for the Giulia.

I think at this time, the only extra electronic doodad I would like is the automatic anti-rear end collision option, as I think all cars should have that.

Del

Seattle

89 Milano (wife's daily driver since 1989, Shankle Sport)
91 164S (my daily driver since 1994)
94 164LS (~Q) (trip Alfa since 2000)
72 Morgan 27 (water time since 1976)

previously owned since 1964:

62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6
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