Fast, lovely handling, beautiful, surprisingly comfortable
No 4WD option in the UK, and the Stelvio shows Alfa does 4WD really well
What is it?
Can it be time already for the Giulia Quadrifoglio's mid-life updates? OK, let's look around: engine, transmission, bodywork… all, er, unaltered.
Which is wholly and absolutely fine by us, because this is the loveliest-looking and best-driving of all the super-saloons in this bracket.
Instead of twiddling with the visuals or mechanicals, Alfa fixed the bits that did need fixing.
First, the infotainment system and the way you control it. It's more powerful and has easier-to-fathom logic. They added more apps and remote services. It's now a touchscreen. And the centre-console clickwheel controller is a better quality item.
Next to be sorted, the absence of driver aids. Four years ago you could argue – and we did – that the absence of driver assistance was OK as this was designed as a car for interested drivers. Nowadays you can no longer really say that. Motorways are getting busier and more boring, and you can get these aids on most superminis.
So the Giulia now has an optional pack with level-two motorway assist – lane following with active cruise control – plus traffic-jam assist and active blind-spot assist, and speed-limit warning via a traffic-sign camera. Actually because the QF is a car with surprisingly docile manners when hooning is out of the question, you'll be happy to use it in everyday trips. So you'll want this everyday help.
You can also tick option boxes for a visible carbon fibre roof (the roof, bonnet and propshaft always were of that material but you couldn't see it), and carbon-shell front seats by Sparco and an Akrapovic exhaust. Some jazzy heritage-inspired paint colours are also on the menu.
From then on the list of mods looks a bit threadbare. Dark rear-light lenses, redesigned cupholders… hold the front page.
Maybe Alfa didn't have the money for wholesale mechanical changes. After all the Giulia range's sales haven't been stellar. But it really doesn't need other updates, as it was an entirely new car merely four years ago. Time then, to re-acquaint ourselves with 510bhp of twin-turbo V6.
Our choice from the range
What's the verdict?
The Giulia in general and the Quadrifoglio in particular was bang-on right from the start. Fast and furious when you want, but liveable the rest of the time. And such a lovely object.
The amended infotainment and driver assist features work well, so it's a successful update.
Really the only reason we'd not go here is if we needed something that's not in the Giulia range. An estate, a coupe or 4WD, notably. But if you're looking for a wonderful and straightforward super-saloon, step this way.