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Car Review

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review

£75,920
910
Published: 12 Mar 2024
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If you're looking for a wonderful and straightforward super-saloon, step this way

Good stuff

Fast, lovely handling, beautiful, surprisingly comfortable

Bad stuff

No AWD option, low-rent interior trim and tech

Overview

What is it?

It's the Italian counter-punch against the German-dominated world of the super-saloon. And you know what? It just might be the best of the bunch.

Okay, we'll temper that right away by saying an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio isn't as rounded or crushingly complete as a BMW M3, if you're the sort of person who likes their infotainment pixel-sharp and snappy. If you crave 'connected services' between your car and smartphone. Whatever they are.

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But if you're a human being with a soul and want a four-door saloon with gorgeous looks... you can't buy the M3. And if you want a family saloon that's bite-the-back-of-your-hand brilliant to drive, then even today, five years after the Giulia came into our lives, you probably can't do better anywhere else.

Five years old? It must've had a huge mechanical refresh lately?

Not so. Alfa's tickled the 2.9-litre bi-turbo V6 up from 503bhp to 513bhp, but there's nothing you'd actually notice in terms of retuned steering, revised suspension or increased stopping power. It seems Alfa knew it had found a sweet spot and is content to leave well alone. 

Actually that's not quite true: 2024-onwards Giulia Quadrifoglios have swapped out the old e-diff at the back for a mechanical locking differential. There were incidences of the electronic diff overheating under very heavy track use, and Alfa' s engineers have decided that the predictability of an old-fashioned LSD is preferable to the configurability of an e-LSD. There, progress.

How will the neighbours know it's brand new?

Forget the neighbours. This is a car you buy to indulge your own senses, not wind up the Joneses. They'll be cross Alfa appears to have dodged ever-more stringent exhaust-baffling filter rules because the hottest Giulia still makes a raucous parp on start-up. They'll get over it.

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For Alfa-spotters, look out for the new triple-element LED headlamps, and the rather grim textured carbon trim inside, which doesn't look anything like as expensive as the glossy stuff you used to get, and does the Giulia's creaky cabin no favours at all. In an effort to modernise matters, there's a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a fleet of driver assistance systems landed a couple of years ago to offer lane-keeping assist you'll turn off and speed limit recognition which you'll ignore.

What's the verdict?

If you're looking for a wonderful and straightforward super-saloon, step this way

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. This latest update isn't a headline grabber, but it refines what was already a stupendous package and frankly reminds folks that a quietly mesmerising car still exists. 

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.

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