Sedans & Coupes

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia: Disconnect Between Critics and Consumers

The 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia is a sports sedan built for purists. Sure, it includes some luxurious aspects and puts Alfa Romeo’s signature Italian style on display. However, the main selling point is its engineering and drivability. 

That might be why critics and consumers are so divided on the 2020 Giulia. Consumer Reports lists the Alfa Romeo Giulia near the tail end of its luxury compact car rankings. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Kelley Blue Book consumer reviewers are enamored with the vehicle.

What’s causing the disconnect between the two parties?

Critics have the long game in mind

Just a short time ago, the newly-debuted 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia won MotorTrend’s Car of the Year award. So what has changed since then? Not much.

Consumer Reports gave the 2020 Giulia a predicted reliability score of just 1/5, which drastically hampered the car’s overall vehicle score of 51. Its research noted particular concerns with the 2020 Giulia’s body hardware, power equipment, in-car electronics, and climate system.

While other manufacturers have made significant strides in adding driver-assist features and long-term reliability, Alfa Romeo is still experiencing growing pains. 

The Alfa Romeo Giulia hasn’t seen many additions since its debut. Alfa Romeo added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in 2018, updated the touchscreen for 2020, and shuffled features between trims throughout the years. However, it made no groundbreaking enhancements, and it’s faced many of the same reliability concerns year after year.

Suffice it to say, critics are just when highlighting these shortcomings in the Giulia, which, in fairness, is still an incredibly exciting car to drive.

Owners focus on the Alfa Romeo Giulia’s fun driving experience

Kelley Blue Book’s consumer reviewers were overwhelmingly positive about the Giulia, which scored 4.9/5 stars on the website. Notably, KBB aggregated the 2017 through 2020 model years consumer reviews of the Alfa Romeo Giulia.

One KBB reviewer said “The performance is unreal! European styling is just out of this world. All in all, a real head-turner. I can’t believe how well the car is engineered.” As for cons, the reviewer only stated, “Be careful, 120 MPH feels like 60-70.”

Other reviewers praised the value and price point, which begins at a starting MSRP of $39,400.

Meanwhile, U.S. News & World Report’s review of the 2020 Giulia praised the car’s handling. It said, “Tackling curvy roads and sharp corners is easy for the Giulia. Some reviewers even likened it to that of a sports car.”

Its agility pairs well with its powerful engine options. The base model and the Ti come with an all-aluminum turbocharged four-cylinder engine that cranks out 280 hp. Those who upgrade to the Quadrifoglio will be treated to a hulkish 505-hp twin-turbo V6.

It’s no wonder why so many are falling in love once they get behind the wheel of this sports sedan. 

Should Alfa Romeo start doing more to “wow” the critics?

RELATED: Consumer Reports Says to Avoid the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Does it matter in the end what the critics say if Giulia owners love the car? Well, in a sense, yes. Alfa Romeo could use better name recognition in North America, which could come by way of positive reviews and more marketable features.

The Giulia lacks a game-changing suite of standard safety systems offered by the likes of Ford, Toyota, and Honda. However, it does come standard with a rearview camera, forward collision warning, front and rear parking sensors, and automatic emergency braking. 

An assortment of other driver-assistance features are available for those who care to add them. For instance, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on the high-end Quadrifoglio model. 

Adding a standard suite of safety systems would likely extend the potential consumer pool to those who put less of an emphasis on performance and more on safety.

The Alfa Romeo Giulia is already deep into its first generation, and most models go between four to seven years before undergoing a redesign, according to Autotrader. Alfa Romeo would do well to focus on finding a way to improve the Giulia’s predicted reliability. Owners love their Giulia, and they’ll want to keep it for a long, long time.