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Nearly every luxury sport sedan similar in size to the 2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia is a great driving car, but none can topple Alfa from its throne as the best. Its quintessential sport sedan combination of agile handling, superior driver communication and powerful engines is the best in the business. Unfortunately, the highs are high, and the lows are low when it comes to the Giulia. The interior is better now than it was at the beginning, but it’s still less than the Germans in both luxury and technology. A frustrating and laggy touchscreen infotainment system is hardly an improvement over the non-touch interface of before. A palatial back seat has never been a sport sedan trademark, but the Giulia’s competitors nevertheless out do it in that regard too (should you care). And of course, there’s the question of long-term reliability. We hope that Alfa Romeo has worked out the Giulia’s reported issues over the years, but reliability is worth considering with the car’s troubled history. Many of these flaws might be worth looking past if you want the ultimate driver’s sport sedan, especially if you’re thinking about the dynamite Quadrifoglio and its brilliant Ferrari-derived engine. What’s new for 2021? After the heavy 2020 updates, not much changed for 2021. The trim options are streamlined to just four now: Sprint (new base trim name), Ti, Ti Sport and Quadrifoglio. Alfa’s dual-pane sunroof is made standard on Ti, and the limited-slip differential is now standard on Ti Sport. A number of new colors are available: Ocra GT Junior, Rosso GTA, Rosso Villa d’Este and Verde Montreal. Nothing changes for the Quadrifoglio. What’s the Giulia’s interior and in-car technology like? Alfa’s upgrades for 2020 focused on improving the Giulia’s cabin, and it’s much better for it. Materials on the steering wheel, dash and center console are more in touch with luxury expectations, and the control interfaces are sturdy, quality parts. The overall result still doesn’t match most competitors, but it’s no longer objectionable, and the materials generally feel nice to the touch. The design itself is attractive and minimalist. It lacks the Swedish flair of a Volvo S60 or the drama of some of the offerings available from Lexus and Mercedes, but Alfa was sure to pack in just enough Italian flair (red leather helps) to keep things interesting. There’s even a little Italian Tricolore emblem at the base of the shifter. The Giulia has a standard 7-inch full-color gauge cluster display and 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that has suffered from laggy response in all models we’ve tested. A navigation system and Wi-Fi hotspot can both be added, and the latter enables over-the-air updates and a companion app for both Android and iOS. All Giulia models come with USB charging ports for both the front and rear of the cabin. Despite the new touchscreen, the Giulia’s interior still trails its competitors in terms of comfort and convenience features. The front sport bucket seats are comfortable and supportive but lack the finer adjustment …

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