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And if your commute is sadly choked with droning minivans and SUVs, the Alfa’s adaptive cruise control system is second-best only to Tesla‘s Autopilot in terms of accuracy in following distance and responsiveness. Even the fuel economy is great.

Don’t just take my word for it. When the Giulia arrived, it beat all comers in our Big Test of 2.0-liter compact luxury sedans—a field that included Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Lexus, Mercedes, and others.

No way, say the BMW fanböys in defiant denial. The 3 Series is the Ultimate Driving Machine. Says so in their ads, right? Well, we just did a head-to-head test against Munich’s just-released, redesigned 330i, and the Alfa spanked it silly. Want me to surrender the keys to the Alfa? You can have them when you pry my hands off the cold, hard all-aluminum paddle shifters.

Are there weak points? Sure. The infotainment system is clunky (although it takes CarPlay, so there’s a workaround). Threshold braking modulation is iffy. Back-seat legroom is merely passable for adults. And every Giulia I’ve tested has a razor-sharp front-seat rail mount that will slash your leather Oxfords (or your flip-flop-shod feet) if you’re in back and put your right foot in the wrong place.

Reliability? Well, the 505-hp Giulia Quadrifoglio edition has had some catastrophic electrical gremlins, but many owners of the base 2.0-liter turbo (including our test car) have had near-flawless executions. And there are plenty of owners of rival luxury sedans who have had troubles. You take your chances with any brand.

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So, what price fun? It starts at the low-end of the compact sport sedan pack: the mid-high $30,000 range. But you can get a well-equipped version for about $42,000. What’s more, the marketing team is desperate for the brand to break through, so zero-down, $299/month leases are commonplace. And they are usually for two-year periods, so it’s almost a foolproof deal. So go ahead, be a fool. Tell all your clinical “German engineering is zee best” compatriots that you’re having an affair with a passionate Italian.

Other cars to consider: Genesis G70, Audi A4, and yeah yeah yeah, the BMW 330i

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