2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti

There’s a reason Alfa Romeo’s Giulia is Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. It’s gorgeous, a blast to drive, and – compared to the competition – is affordable.

Our review car is the mid-equipped Ti with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available. From every angle, it just looks great. Enhancing the style are 19-inch wheels, part of the optional Preferred package.

There are nicer interiors in the class, but this is a sports sedan, not a luxury car. You won’t find better seats to hold you in place during hard cornering.

An 8-speed automatic is the only transmission available. While it is fun to shift manually, oversized shift paddles get in the way of other control stalks.

I left the Alfa in Dynamic Driving mode all the time for best handling. Many annoying electronic driver aids are available but tend to cloud this car’s true mission: pure driving bliss.

Yes, row two legroom is tight. Who cares?

Under the carbon-fiber hood is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four with 280 horsepower. A twin-turbo V6 with a scorching 505 horsepower is available.

With super quick ratio steering, excellent brakes, and just right balance, the Giulia is a blast to drive. Throw on some winter tires and even this rear-wheel-drive version is an all-season machine.

So for the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti, I say thumbs up to great handling, great styling, and exclusivity; thumbs down to the oversized shift paddles.

I averaged about 27 miles per gallon. The as-tested sticker is $51,990.

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