Living with: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Living with: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Living with: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Handing back a car we grew to love

To outsiders, it seems irrational. Alfa Romeo devotees are a passionate lot and the brand seems to generate so much loyalty from fans, it sometimes appears illogical. But for the past nine months, we’ve been one of them, living with a brand-new Giulia Quadrifoglio. And we’re pleased to say we’re now a fully paid-up member of the Alfa Romeo congregation.

The car is the star, and is the reason for our obsession. For starters, it’s a beautiful-looking thing, all voluptuous curves and exciting details. Then there’s the drive – for the money, we can’t think of any four-door saloon (or coupe, for that matter) that’s more thrilling. Suddenly. BMW M3s will seem a bit bland by comparison.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Price: £73,805
Engine V6, 2891cc, twin-turbo, petrol
Power 503bhp
Torque 443lb ft
Transmission 8-spd automatic
0-62mph 3.9sec
Top speed 191mph
Economy: 34.4mpg
CO2 emissions: 189g/km

There were times when it felt just like a bona fide sports car. that’s how good the chassis is, how stable and controlled it can be at all speeds, how much feel and precision it delivered through its controls. This is a connoisseur’s car, and no mistake.

And we haven’t even mentioned the engine. An epic 2.9-lire V6 turbo that delivers a heavyweight 503bhp. It’s incredible, revving freely and sounding outstanding – indeed, there were times when we perhaps wanted even more noise and theatrics from it, this being one of the few instances where a V8-engined Mercedes-AMG C63 has the measure of the Giulia.

The only relative weakness comes when slowing down: the brakes aren’t up to the high standards of the rest of it. That’s despite us picking the optional carbon ceramic brakes, which made too much noise, were jerky at low speeds and didn’t even feel all that impressive in terms of overall power.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Even sitting in it is dramatic. Optional Sparco seats feel more like a race car’s bucket chairs, and the carbonfibre backs are brilliant. The driving position is perfect and, if there’s a weakness, it’s the below-par infotainment system. Even the quality of materials is pretty decent, save for the odd oversight such as the cheap gear selector.

Naturally, the one big question you always get when running an Alfa Romeo is reliability. And… no, it didn’t prove faultless. But it didn’t let us down, either. Three times, the engine went into limp-home mode, but we were never left stranded and the dealer soon fixed it by replacing the turbo overboost valves and part of the wiring loom.

The dealers themselves seemed much better than their reputation deserves – certainly, at least, the ones that we used. HWM in Surrey were particularly helpful, delivering first-class service when we had the hard-worked tyres replaced. Let’s not mention how it was we came to need a new set of Pirelli P Zero Corsas – at an all-in cost of almost £1300 – after less than 5000 miles…

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review

Indeed, tyres, along with fuel costs and deprecation, are all likely to be significant expenses for Giulia QV owners. But most of them seem to be going into it fully aware of this, and thus don’t mind paying a bit extra for their dream Alfa. Again, most of them are devotees, so the rules are different.

Before running it, we weren’t, but this exceptional car has converted us. Even its flaws aren’t enough to spoil it. This is an fantastic machine that, if we were shopping for a super-saloon, would be right at the top of the list. It really is that good.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

 

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