2020 Acura TLX vs. 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The TLX V6’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Giulia doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Acura TLX 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.

The TLX V6 offers an optional Surround View Camera System 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 TLX offers optional AcuraLink, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, 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 TLX and the Giulia have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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 blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the TLX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Alfa Romeo covers the Giulia. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Giulia ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

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

There are over 56 percent more Acura dealers than there are Alfa Romeo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the TLX’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 TLX’s reliability 30 points higher than the Giulia.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Acura vehicles are better in initial quality than Alfa Romeo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 24th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Alfa Romeo is ranked 29th.

Engine

The TLX’s optional 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 10 more horsepower (290 vs. 280) than the Giulia’s 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the TLX V6’s fuel efficiency. The Giulia doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The TLX has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Giulia (17.2 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The TLX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Giulia doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Acura TLX V6, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Giulia.

The TLX offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Giulia doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The TLX stops much shorter than the Giulia:

TLX

Giulia

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the TLX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Giulia (245/40R19 vs. 225/40R19).

The TLX 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 TLX offers an available space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire 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 TLX is 1.5 inches wider in the front than on the Giulia.

The TLX handles at .83 G’s, while the Giulia Ti Q4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The TLX V6 SH-AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Giulia Ti (26.7 seconds @ .76 average G’s vs. 27.1 seconds @ .66 average G’s).

Chassis

The TLX 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.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the TLX V6 SH-AWD is quieter than the Giulia Ti (39 vs. 41 dB).

Passenger Space

The TLX has .2 inches more front legroom, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Giulia.

Cargo Capacity

The TLX 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 TLX offers cargo security. The Giulia’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the TLX the driver can close them all 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.

Keyless Access System standard on the TLX 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 (optional Keyless Access System will also allow unlocking the passenger doors without taking your keys out). The Alfa Romeo Giulia’s Keyless-Go doesn’t unlock the trunk.

When the TLX 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 TLX Advance/V6 A-Spec 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 Acura TLX offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The Giulia doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the TLX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the TLX will cost $400 to $4170 less than the Giulia over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura TLX will be $3909 to $9505 less than for the Alfa Romeo Giulia.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura TLX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Alfa Romeo Giulia isn't recommended.

The Acura TLX outsold the Alfa Romeo Giulia by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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