2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti AWD: Different drummer

Our Opinion: I’ve extolled the virtues of Alfa’s Giulia Ti sedan on these (web)pages before, and the driving experience of this all-wheel-drive model differs in no substantial way from the RWD model unless you’re really pushing hard or navigating slippery conditions. That’s a good thing — as mentioned, the rear-drive Giulia is a sprightly ballerina in a world of overweight “sports” sedans, and even with all-wheel-drive hardware the Alfa remains lithe and relatively efficient.All good, but there’s a reason the Giulia doesn’t match Mercedes’ or BMW’s sales numbers: Some stuff is weird. The steering wheel-mounted start button makes very little sense. The infotainment screen is a well-integrated part of the dash until the sun comes out and all the information disappears in the glare. Sometimes the quick steering comes off as overboosted, causing sharper turn-in than the driver expects. And the rear seats are tight, making the Stelvio SUV a more appealing proposition for Alfa intenders with families.But then you find a twisty road, and the car’s lightness and balance surface. Unleashed from typical sedan duties, its Italian personality shines and all is forgiven. Alfa owners know what I’m talking about — it’s characteristic of the brand’s cars since the postwar era began. My 1972 Berlina requires the same forgiveness for its stiff second-gear synchro and ability to rust even in a dry garage. But put it on a B-road on a sunny day, and it’s irrelevant. The 2019 Giulia Ti is totally different, yet unmistakably borne of the same lineage.