2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio new car reviews

If we're judging the book by its cover, the Giulia Quadrifoglio might be one of the best cars we've tested in 2017 so far. After all, it's a 505-horsepower, rear-wheel-drive sedan. And it looks absolutely stunning, but hey, that is subjective. How does this compare to say a BMW M3 or other entrenched sports sedans?

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David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Perhaps Alfa Romeo should have introduced this one first. Sure, the 4C is your dream date, but we found it to be a bit too real for us—and you know that’s saying something. The 4C simply didn’t want to track in a straight line, while the fit and finish left much to be desired. It's perfect for a 60-second autocross run. For anything else, it's just too much. Let’s put it this way: In comparison, the Lotus Elise is a comfortable, practical machine. Yeah, we know.

After much anticipation the Giulia is finally here, and its online tagline seems to acknowledge those delays: “Proof that Love is Worth the Wait.”

So, is it worth the wait? Yes. The big reason: Unlike the 4C, this feels like a real car produced by a modern car company. It’s not trying to tear itself apart. Pieces aren’t clinging on with their last breath. You can comfortably live with this one.

Then there are the looks. It’s stunning, especially its side profile and rear three-quarter view. The nose might be a little polarizing, but I like it. Some might find the carbon accents on our Quadrifoglio test car a bit too boy racer, but I thought that Alfa integrated them well, especially the lip spoiler. It doesn’t look like the herd.

How’s the interior? Pretty darn good. I love the seats, the controls and just about everything. Where the 4C feels like a kit car, the Giulia feel like its European contemporaries.

One small complaint on the interior: The steering wheel is simply too busy. Tom counted like four materials on this one item alone: carbon-fiber, Alcantara, aluminum and one other. I forget. I got too distracted. And then add the start button to that steering wheel, but of course it’s on the left side, not the right, so I constantly found myself taking a second to look for it. "If I were the start button, where would I be…?”

Okay, what about the important bits, like the engine and transmission? I’ll be honest, it doesn’t feel like 505 horsepower live under the hood. Maybe they’re some kind of little Italian ponies. I’m not really a horseologist. It could also be because our test car was locked out of the available Race mode. Yeah, I know.

I’m thinking that some of that blame might also lie with the twin-clutch, eight-speed transmission. On paper, that sounds like a heck of a gearbox, as the Alfa should always be in the proper gear. In reality I found it too eager to upshift and too slow to downshift. As a result, around town it always seemed to be in sixth. I know that we’re trying to save fuel, but then why bother with such a high-output engine?

Fortunately you can manually shift the box, but Volkswagen and Audi just nail it here. Shift a DSG transmission into S, and it will read your mind. The Alfa just didn’t deliver there. A real stick shift would be a great solution, but perhaps what we have just needs some better programming.

Final thoughts: The Giulia Quadrifoglio is so, so close, and for a first-year offering I’d call it a very solid effort. Can it sway people away from a new BMW M3, specially at a $10,000 premium? With the M3, you know what you’re going to get, including a very established dealer/support network. Like I have said with my BRZ reviews, though, perhaps the Alfa is for those who know what they want, never mind what logic offers.

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Comments

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MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
3/9/17 9:56 a.m.

Now, here's the car Dodge should have used as a basis for the new Dart.

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
3/9/17 10:09 a.m.

The Quadrifoglio is a breathtaking car, sure, but a Giulia Ti with the Sport package is likely close enough for those of us that just want a wonderful drive to work. I optioned one up to $47k on the Alfa site; how many years of lease returns will it take for that to be a $20k car? Two or three? Count me in when they have a CPO program.

Lugnut
Lugnut Dork
3/9/17 10:14 a.m.

The local Fiat/Maserati/Alfa place has two sitting out front. They're gorgeous.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/9/17 10:26 a.m.
Lugnut wrote: The local Fiat/Maserati/Alfa place has two sitting out front. They're gorgeous.

They really are pretty, and glad to hear others share that emotion. Our test car looked stunning in red. With a few tweaks (mainly the transmission logics) I can't wait to see where they take this.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
3/9/17 11:37 a.m.

It's drop dead gorgeous. I wish I could afford one.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
3/9/17 11:38 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens:

Very kind of you to call it a first year offering. Perhaps of that car.

Thing is, this is the theme of cars that they should have continued in 1975. While the Alfetta was a fine car, it wasn't a 325, and that is where Alfa and BMW really parted ways in terms of competing with each other.

STM317
STM317 Dork
3/9/17 12:09 p.m.
MadScientistMatt wrote: Now, here's the car Dodge should have used as a basis for the new Dart.

Rumors suggest that the next Charger/Challenger will share this platform, since they're using window dressed versions of 15 year old Benz platforms right now, that should be a big improvement. At least in performance.

Jerry
Jerry UltraDork
3/9/17 12:16 p.m.

I might have to stop by the local Fiat dealer and see one in person. He handed me the keys to a 124 when they first came out like "here you go, see you when you get back".

But I'm still interested in a 4C if I'm honest.

CobraSpdRH
CobraSpdRH Reader
3/9/17 12:47 p.m.
pointofdeparture wrote: The Quadrifoglio is a breathtaking car, sure, but a Giulia Ti with the Sport package is likely close enough for those of us that just want a wonderful drive to work. I optioned one up to $47k on the Alfa site; how many years of lease returns will it take for that to be a $20k car? Two or three? Count me in when they have a CPO program.

I am curious to hear the driving impressions on the Ti with Sport Package as well. I wonder what kind of lease offers will pop up when they can't move them like they hoped. Worst case, I could see CPO-ing one in a couple years, as I'm sure depreciation won't be kind to them.

Beautiful car, and the Grand Tour episode made me like it even more...

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
5/24/17 12:58 p.m.

FCA is advertising Giulia leases from as little as $299 per month (more like $350 with a more manageable down payment). That's a lot of car for the money; I'm keen to drive one myself.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
5/24/17 1:07 p.m.

Definitely looking at the lower-spec Giulia to replace DW's TSX in the next year or two. It will be the upper end of our willingness range, but I want to see what the 2018s are like.

kevlarcorolla
kevlarcorolla Dork
5/24/17 4:28 p.m.

Stunning but by the time I could afford one it'll be a time bomb leading to a mazdaduece worthy engine rebuild adventure.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
5/24/17 4:39 p.m.

I never understood why more manufacturers do not avail themselves of the design companies of Italy. Especially the Japanese. Could you imagine Honda or Toyota reliability with a Pininfarina body?

Rusted_Busted_Spit
Rusted_Busted_Spit PowerDork
5/25/17 9:50 a.m.

I wanted one of those sooo bad after seeing them at the NAIAS with the manual trans. I still want one now, just not as much.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UltraDork
5/25/17 10:01 a.m.
nderwater wrote: FCA is advertising Giulia leases from as little as $299 per month (more like $350 with a more manageable down payment). That's a lot of car for the money; I'm keen to drive one myself.

Last month it was 3.5K down and 4149 a month out here in California with no tax. They have the TI versions and the base cars stacked up like cord-wood outside the dealership 299$ I would have seriously looked at them last week.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/25/17 10:05 a.m.

Is it just me or does it appear to be impossible to configure any of the Giulias with a manual transmission, at least for the US?

Rusted_Busted_Spit
Rusted_Busted_Spit PowerDork
5/25/17 10:28 a.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim:

Its not you, the US does not get a stick shift.

Blaise
Blaise Reader
5/25/17 10:44 a.m.
BoxheadTim wrote: Is it just me or does it appear to be impossible to configure any of the Giulias with a manual transmission, at least for the US?

Which is why they won't get me as a customer. Sigh. Especially for the Alfa 4C :(

docwyte
docwyte Dork
5/25/17 3:46 p.m.

I'd still be very wary of the reliability of an Alfa. I sat in one at the auto show and it seemed nicely built, although interior still wasn't to the level of a BMW/Audi/Benz.

Maybe if it came with a 10 year/billion mile everything covered warranty with a free loaner car and a manual transmission I'd be interested.

759NRNG
759NRNG Reader
5/25/17 4:14 p.m.

In a recent comparo by a competing periodical (C&D), the Guilia handily dispatched the other players, but had to be revived at one point by a tech with ecm pacemaker thingy. Still it's absolutely stunning in the flesh (white one locally) and worthy of being in the stable (c'mon lotto) alongside the 'V'.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
5/26/17 8:21 a.m.
docwyte wrote: I'd still be very wary of the reliability of an Alfa.

Well, I asked a number of European friends of mine about reliability of modern Alfas. The consensus was that since about 2010, they have become much more reliable.

docwyte
docwyte Dork
5/27/17 10:07 a.m.

The old Top Gear crew said every gear head needs to own an Alfa, but they all acknowledged that the reliability of them was utter crap.

Given that, and the fact there isn't really a good dealer network here and no manual transmission, I'm passing.

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