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2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Review

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2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Review

We recently took our first drive in the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Read below to see what we think about this car.

What is the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio about?

The world of small performance saloons has always been heavily dominated by offerings from the big German trio. Traditionally, if you wanted a fast yet practical saloon, you had three choices: a BMW, a Mercedes, or an Audi. In 2017 Alfa Romeo unveiled the Giulia Quadrifoglio, and completely shocked the world by returning back to their roots and to what they do best. The Giulia wasn’t just an alternative to the already-established German cars, but a genuine rival.

Everyone who got a chance to drive one early on raved on about how amazing it performed on track, but there’s more to a car than just pure outright speed. It has to be practical, comfortable, and perhaps most importantly, luxurious. If you want to compete with the Germans, you also need a healthy dose of character and soul. The Giulia, thankfully, lacks none of those.

Visually, it might be the most attractive car in its segment. Name one other car which his objectively better looking. The new 3-Series looks like a Lexus IS, the Mercedes is way too conservative and similar to the E and S-Class models, and the A4 is just plain old now. No other car turns as many heads or gets as many nods as the Giulia does. People who know what it is, love it and those who don’t can’t stop asking questions about it. It’s like it has an uncanny ability to instantly charm everyone around it, and I absolutely adore it for that.

Then we get to the really good bits: the engine. Alfa Romeo say the 2.9-litre V6 has been co-developed with Ferrari and has nothing to do with an existing engine, but the truth of the matter is it could be a Ferrari California T engine with two cylinders lobbed off. I mean that in the best way possible, because the engine is a real gem.

The V8 in the brutal C63 S is a masterpiece in its own right, but there’s something so inherently unique about this Alfa V6. Everything about it makes it feel like a racing engine, from the way it barks to the way it delivers its power.

Speaking of power, it makes 510 horsepower and 600 Nm of torque, an astonishing amount given the nearest rival, the C63S, makes 7 horsepower less. Granted, it has a lot more torque than the Alfa, but the reality is these cars are now so quick you have to be a racing driver to notice the differences on the public road.

The Giulia sprints to 62 mph in just 3.9 seconds and it’ll top out at 191 mph. Power is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic, but there’s a six-speed manual in the range as well (but not in right-hand drive sadly).

How does it drive?

Razor sharp is the best way I can describe it. The M3 has always been the benchmark in this segment, so the fact that Alfa can match them in their first outing is nothing short of astonishing. Nothing prepares you for how sharp and pointy the Alfa feels.

It doesn’t take a lot of lock to turn the wheel since it’s a quick ratio, and the feedback coming through the wheel itself is great. Pedal placement is excellent. I felt instantly connected to this car when I got in the drivers seat.

The chassis is neutral with a slight tendency to oversteer coming out of corners if you mash the throttle. In that regard it feels like an old-school AMG, I haven’t dared to turn the traction off, but I bet it can be a handful if you want it to be.

The V6 has enough power to unwind the rear wheels in third and even fourth gear in wet conditions. It feels like a precision instrument though, you always know what the wheels are doing. I didn’t push it too hard during my test, but I think it would give little warning before letting go at the rear. It is one of the cars you would want to get to know really well before pushing it. It is just so playful, plus I need to mention the noise the car makes. It is absolutely perfect.

What is it like inside?

In terms of design it’s an A+, but it’s still lacking just a bit compared to the BMW or the Mercedes. There’s nothing wrong with the cabin, but some of the materials do feel cheap and the fit and finish isn’t up to German standards. But I know I don’t care at all. I like it as it is.

I couldn’t find any faults with the cabin, especially with the driving position. You sit nice and low in the car with a steering wheel position which is multi-adjustable. The paddles behind the wheel feel quality too, giving you that race car feel.

There’s enough space for five adults but four is ideal if you want to go on longer journeys. The A/C worked like a treat and the infotainment screen was actually rather good compared to the usual illogical stuff we’re used to from Italian manufacturers.

The Alfa DNA Pro system worked great too. Allowing you to configure the car to suit your driving style at any given time.

The experience

It is a real rival to the M3 and the C63 S with a lot more character. The Italians do know how to make a car with soul, don’t they? the Alfa and I promise you there will never come a time where you’ll wish you’d gone for the M3 or the C63 instead of the Giulia. Go for something else, however, and you’ll always kick yourself in the backside when you pass one of these beauties and can’t help but admire them.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Cost

With a starting price of £63,540 the Giulia Quadrifolglio is hardly affordable, but compared to some of its rivals it’s actually a great proposition. Not to mention in my opinion it is pretty much all the performance car you need as a driving enthusiast.

The car we test drove cost £72,685 but there’s a lot of optional extras you can avoid, some of which you can live without. The yellow brake calipers cost £595 and the tri-coat paint is £2,500, neither of which are that important. I’d still go for the Sparco bucket seats though, despite the fact they’re £3,250. Yes, they’re that amazing.

Verdict

If you want a performance saloon with the most luxurious cabin go for the Mercedes C63, otherwise the Alfa is a no-brainer for me. It beats the M3 by how joyful it is to drive, and the RS4 is a distant fourth to all three when it comes to being playful.

Specification

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Specs

  • Price: £72,685
  • Engine: 2.9-litre V6 Petrol
  • Power: 510 hp
  • Torque: 600 Nm
  • Transmission: 8 Speed Automatic
  • 0-62mph:  3.9 seconds
  • Top speed: 191 mph
  • Weight: 1,524 kg
  • Economy combined:  27.2 mpg
  • CO2: 206 g/km

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