2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia vs. 2017 Nissan Maxima

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Giulia offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Maxima doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Giulia’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Maxima doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the Giulia and the Maxima have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems, front parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Giulia comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Maxima’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Reliability

The engine in the Giulia has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the Maxima has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

The Maxima’s redline is at 6600 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Giulia has a 5500 RPM redline.

The battery on the Giulia is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Giulia’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Maxima’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

The Giulia’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 45 lbs.-ft. more torque (306 vs. 261) than the Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Alfa Romeo Giulia is faster than the Nissan Maxima:

 

Giulia

Maxima

Zero to 30 MPH

1.9 sec

2.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.1 sec

6 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

8.2 sec

9.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.6 sec

14.7 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.4 sec

2.7 sec

Quarter Mile

13.6 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

103.7 MPH

99.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Giulia RWD gets better fuel mileage than the Maxima (24 city/33 hwy vs. 21 city/30 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Giulia’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Maxima doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Alfa Romeo Giulia uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The Maxima requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Giulia’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Maxima:

 

Giulia

Maxima

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.5 inches

12.13 inches

The Giulia stops shorter than the Maxima:

 

Giulia

Maxima

 

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Giulia can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Maxima doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Giulia offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Maxima’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Giulia’s wheelbase is 1.7 inches longer than on the Maxima (111 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Giulia is 1.5 inches wider in the rear than on the Maxima.

The Giulia’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50% to 50%) than the Maxima’s (60.8% to 39.2%). This gives the Giulia more stable handling and braking.

The Giulia handles at .84 G’s, while the Maxima Platinum pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Giulia’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Maxima’s (37.5 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

The Giulia is 10.2 inches shorter than the Maxima, making the Giulia easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Giulia has .9 inches more rear headroom and .9 inches more rear legroom than the Maxima.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Giulia easier. The Giulia’s trunk lift-over height is 25.8 inches, while the Maxima’s liftover is 28.8 inches.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Giulia is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Maxima. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

The Giulia has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Maxima doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Giulia and the Maxima have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Giulia is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Maxima prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Giulia’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Maxima’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Giulia’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Maxima’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Giulia to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Maxima doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Giulia detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Maxima doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Giulia offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Maxima doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Giulia’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the Maxima SV/SL/SR/Platinum.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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