Almost every change has been made inside, with the centre console receiving the most attention. Cheaper black plastics have been exchanged for glossier fixtures, while the rotary infotainment dial is now much firmer and more substantial. The sharp-edged plastic gearstick of the outgoing car has been swapped for a leather-wrapped item that instantly feels more premium under your hand, and an Italian tricolore now flanks it as a gentle reminder to the car’s heritage. Wireless smartphone charging has also been added beneath the central armrest, which gains more stowage space.
The centrally mounted 8.8in display hasn’t grown but does receive a completely new interface, with modern graphics and easy-to-read text that make much better use of space. The main screen can be customised with a series of widgets and is now touch-sensitive, although physical controls remain.
The 7.0in digital instrument display receives fewer changes, with a tweaked interface highlighting the additional driver assistance systems, which include adaptive cruise control, blindspot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance and traffic sign recognition. It’s still flanked by analogue dials, though, which feels out of step with the fully digital displays seen in the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.
The Giulia remains a vigorous performer on the road, with a noticeable forced induction shove towards the upper end of the rev range despite plenty of low-down torque. You wouldn’t call it overly refined at idle, but the four-pot engine sounds pleasant enough when pushed, and increased soundproofing helps create a calmer atmosphere inside while you’re motorway cruising.
The eight-speed automatic gearbox reacts quickly to your foot, both when left to change cogs itself and when you take over with what are still some of the best wheel-mounted paddle shifters this side of a supercar.
The Giulia is still one of the sharpest-handling compact saloons on the market, with direct, responsive steering and just enough rear-driven character to entertain without threatening trouble when pushed. Stability systems remain permanently engaged at all times.
Dynamic driving mode’s sharper damper settings continue to feel like overkill on anything other than completely smooth asphalt, but there’s still the option to override it and keep the softer standard setting, while retaining the sharper gearshifts and throttle response.