2019 Nissan Maxima vs. 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Maxima are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Alfa Romeo Giulia doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Maxima are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Giulia doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Maxima has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Giulia doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Maxima (except S/SV/SL) offers optional Rear Automatic Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Giulia doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Maxima (except S/SV/SL) offers an optional Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Giulia only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The Maxima’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Giulia doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Maxima Platinum has standard NissanConnect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Giulia doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Maxima and the Giulia 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 lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Maxima 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Alfa Romeo covers the Giulia. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Giulia ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Maxima’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Giulia’s (5 vs. 4 years).

There are over 6 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Alfa Romeo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Maxima’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Maxima’s reliability 57 points higher than the Giulia.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Maxima first among large cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Giulia isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 20 more horsepower (300 vs. 280) than the Giulia’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Nissan Maxima is faster than the Alfa Romeo Giulia:

 

Maxima

Giulia

Zero to 30 MPH

2.8 sec

3.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

99.1 MPH

99 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Maxima has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Giulia (18 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The Maxima has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Giulia doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Maxima’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Giulia are solid, not vented.

The Maxima stops much shorter than the Giulia:

 

Maxima

Giulia

 

70 to 0 MPH

168 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

132 feet

136 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Maxima has larger tires than the Giulia (245/45R18 vs. 225/50R17). The Maxima’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Giulia (245/45R18 vs. 225/40R19).

The Maxima’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Giulia’s standard 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Maxima has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Giulia.

The Maxima has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Giulia doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Maxima offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Giulia, it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Maxima is 1.1 inches wider in the front than on the Giulia.

The Maxima SR handles at .87 G’s, while the Giulia Ti Q4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Maxima SR executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Giulia Ti (26.6 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 27.1 seconds @ .66 average G’s).

Chassis

The Maxima SL/SR/Platinum uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Giulia doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Maxima has 3.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Giulia (98.5 vs. 95.4).

The Maxima has .8 inches more front headroom, 2.6 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more front shoulder room and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Giulia.

Cargo Capacity

The Maxima has a much larger trunk than the Giulia (14.3 vs. 12 cubic feet).

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Maxima offers cargo security. The Giulia’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Maxima. The Giulia doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics

The Maxima’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Giulia has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

If the front windows are left open on the Maxima the driver can close them at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Giulia can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Intelligent Key standard on the Maxima allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Alfa Romeo Giulia’s Keyless-Go doesn’t unlock the trunk.

A power rear sunshade is standard in the Maxima Platinum to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Giulia doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

When the Maxima with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Giulia’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Maxima SR/Platinum keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Giulia doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Nissan Maxima offers an available wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Giulia doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Nissan Maxima offers an available wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Giulia doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Maxima, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Alfa Romeo Giulia isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Maxima second among large cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Giulia isn’t in the top three.

The Nissan Maxima outsold the Alfa Romeo Giulia by over four to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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