2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia vs. 2019 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.

Both the Giulia and the Maxima have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee 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, lane departure warning systems, 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 gets better fuel mileage than the Maxima:

 

 

 

MPG

Giulia

 

RWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

24 city/33 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

Maxima

 

FWD

3.5 DOHC V6

20 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 much shorter than the Maxima:

 

Giulia

Maxima

 

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

168 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Giulia Ti’s optional 255/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Maxima SR/Platinum’s 40 series tires.

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 (60.7% to 39.3%). 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.

The Giulia Ti Q4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Maxima Platinum (25.6 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 27 seconds @ .67 average G’s).

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 standard 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.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Giulia’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Maxima’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”

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.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Giulia owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Giulia will cost $780 less than the Maxima over a five-year period.

The Giulia will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Giulia will retain 40.4% to 94.62% of its original price after five years, while the Maxima only retains 36.9% to 38.7%.

Recommendations

The Giulia was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2018. The Maxima has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Giulia as their 2018 Car of the Year. The Maxima has never been chosen.

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

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