2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport Review: AWD Bliss In The Colorado Rockies

Driving this all-wheel drive Alfa was a treat, but there are some issues

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport AWD
The all-wheel drive 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport in old South Park, CO.

I jumped at the chance to drive the Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport in the Rocky Mountains. In many ways, it represents the best of what Alfa Romeo offers in the United States. Sure, the fire-breathing Quadrifoglio is way faster, but they are almost too much for casual drivers. Besides, they are a bit fragile while the four-cylinder version, appears to be more robust, frugal and much less expensive.

… and it sounds like heaven on full-boil.

Italian cars, just like the people, food and culture are an experience for the senses. It’s more than a conveyance, it’s an experience.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder engine makes 280 horsepower and 308 lbs-feet of torque. That engine couples with a rear-drive-biased all-wheel drive (AWD) system and a snappy eight-speed automatic transmission. It is one of the best balanced driver’s sedans you can buy this side of a BMW 3 Series or, perhaps the new Genesis G70.

Speaking of the G70, it’s downright unfortunate that Alfa Romeo doesn’t give us the option of a manual transmission. Honestly, the 2.0-liter turbo would be a riot if they built it with a three-pedal option.

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport AWD
(Photo: Nathan Leach-Proffer)

The Looks

I’m a sucker for Italian design. Usually, they get it right with sensuous curves, a powerful stance and a unique nose. The Giulia is handsome, but I feel its profile and silhouette are too similar to its contemporary rivals. However, it does still have a distinctive character from the outside. It’s interior, as well, is like no other.

The Drive

I have driven the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio before and it’s an absolute marvel, but it’s not exactly within everyone’s reach. Starting at $41,995 (my loaded tester’s MSRP was $51,885) the all-wheel drive Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport is a realistic alternative. Best part? You still get an amazing driver’s car for the price.

Its overall driving characteristics match or exceed the competition — period. The ride is firm, but never harsh. On sweeping back roads though high elevation mountain passes, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport enjoyed being tossed and provided some of the best steering feedback I have encountered in a sedan.

( Photo: Nathan Leach-Proffer)

In the rain, the all-wheel drive system worked well. Up to 50-percent of the torque can be sent to the front wheels if extra traction is needed. Otherwise, it runs and feels like a proper rear-wheel drive sports sedan. If provoked, it will step-out its rear end, but just a touch.

The Giulia as equipped is rated at 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway by the EPA.

It was a rewarding experience, one I hope to duplicate in the future. I don’t know if the sports sedan can make a comeback, but this car deserves a drive from those who are bored with crossovers. Seriously, it’s fun.

There were a few issues.

The interior is a bit tight and overall backseat space could be better. Some people may not like having the start/stop button on the steering wheel where you hands go when driving. I know I don’t.

That Italian car reliability stigma also hurts. I did think about it more than once and so do some consumers. Even still, the Giulia is a strong seller for Alfa Romeo, alongside the Stelvio crossover.

This is my favorite view of the Giulia.

My drive was part of Rocky Mountain Redline’s Redline Rally event. This event allows journalists the opportunity to drive top vehicles through some of the most scenic and enjoyable roads in Colorado. Doing this event with some wheel-time in the Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport was a real treat.