Many have welcomed the new Giulia and its fresh styling with a hearty “Ciao!” And on the road and test track, CR testers found the car nimble and kicky to drive.

Still, we think this Italian luxury compact sedan falls short on interior quality and ergonomics and is full of little everyday annoyances.

The Giulia has the handling chops to qualify as a driver’s car, but the eight-speed automatic stumbles at low speeds before it gets going. Its turbo four-cylinder engine churns out robust acceleration with a deep roar of an exhaust note some people may find too loud. Despite its sporty track performance, the Giulia still returned 27 mpg overall, making it among the most frugal in its segment.

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The Giulia’s firm ride soaks up the impact from most bumps and ruts, but the road and wind noise are intrusive for this class.

This Alfa has more than its share of infuriating design quirks. For instance, the engine start button is awkwardly located on the steering wheel, the shifter annoyingly requires drivers to press a button to go from Reverse to Drive, and the infotainment system is cumbersome to use.

The driver’s seat has a short bottom cushion that can’t be tilted up to improve thigh support, compromising the driving position.

Key safety systems, such as forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking, aren’t standard, a notable omission for a new, upscale car. 

Read the complete Alfa Romeo Giulia road test.

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Review

HIGHS: Agile handling, fuel economy
LOWS: Controls, tight rear seat, limited driver’s-seat adjustments
POWERTRAIN: 280-hp, 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine; 8-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
FUEL: 27 mpg
PRICE AS TESTED: $48,890

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the November 2017 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.