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Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio 2024 facelift review: one of the most complete sports saloons

Updates for 2024 have rectified many of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio’s previous issues

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

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Verdict

The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio has long been one of the fastest, most desirable sports saloons money can buy. But as with so many Alfas, certain issues have separated it from greatness. However, with a heavily revised interior, tweaked suspension, a much better differential and a big step up in subjective build quality, most of those issues have been removed from this latest version. The result is one of the most complete sports saloons at any price, let alone ‘just’ £78,195.     

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When it first lit up our lives some nine summers ago, the Giulia Quadrifoglio seemed almost too good to be true. For here was an Alfa Romeo which, on paper at least, seemed capable of matching anything the German sports-saloon manufacturers could produce. It was Italy’s unashamed answer to a BMW M3, Mercedes-AMG C 63 or Audi RS 4, and in its way it was more desirable than all of them put together.

With a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 that produced a rousing 503bhp and an unusually light kerb weight, it was also exceedingly quick. It boasted a rear-wheel-drive chassis that was highly entertaining, while its knee-trembling good looks gave it more charm that a car park full of M3s. It was, so it seemed, the car Alfa had always threatened to make but, until then, had never quite managed to do so.

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But if you peeled away the emotion and looked a little more realistically beneath the skin, there were aspects of the Giulia Quadrifoglio that weren’t quite perfect. And the better the German competition subsequently became – most notably the all-new G80 M3 of 2021 – the more glaring its flaws began to seem. 

Now Alfa has addressed those issues in some style, and the resulting car is right back at the top of its game, back beside the very best sports saloons on offer from Germany again. Possibly even above them, where it counts.

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There are three key areas in which Alfa has improved the Giulia Quad. At the back there’s now a proper mechanical limited-slip differential in place of the previous e-diff (which never worked as well as it should). At each end the suspension – still double wishbones at the front, multi-link at the rear – has been tweaked to provide a greater range of comfort and control.

And inside there’s a heavily revised dash that features a more convincing TFT instrument display, plus an excellent new 12.3in central touchscreen that’s also more intuitive – and just plain better – to use than the buttons and switches of old.

On top of this, there’s a range of styling tweaks to the exterior that includes new matrix-LED headlights and various flashes of carbon fibre that pay homage to the limited-edition GTAM Quadrifoglios. The combined effects of these upgrades is as compelling to look at as it is impressive to experience, especially given that the car’s price – £78,195 – hasn’t risen too sharply and includes several new standard features that are expensive options in most rivals. 

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All the new carbon-fibre elements that appear inside, for instance, are standard fitments – not so in a BMW M3. The same goes for the high-grade, 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system inside, while the new exterior carbon-fibre elements (on the skirts and spoilers front and rear) also cost extra in most of the competition.

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And that’s before you mention the kerb-weight which, at 1660kg, is almost 150kg less than a BMW M3’s. So it’s hardly surprising to discover the new Giulia Quad goes every inch as hard as the M3 where it counts. 

Although the 2.9-litre twin turbo V6 and eight-speed automatic gearbox remain fundamentally unchanged, there’s now a touch more power – 512bhp at 6500rpm – plus the same 600Nm of torque as before. This is enough to fire the Giulia Quad to 62mph in a mere 3.9sec (this is a rear wheel-drive car with five seats, remember) and on to a top speed of 191mph. 

At the same time, it’ll do 28mpg combined, says Alfa, and it emits 229g/km of CO2 – although the fact that in comfort mode the engine only uses four of its six cylinders means real-world consumption is potentially way better than this, especially at a light throttle on the motorway. 

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We drove the car on a variety of UK roads and briefly around a track, and it really does work a treat in just about all circumstances. The new mechanical diff works much, much better than the old e-diff, allowing you to steer the car beautifully on the throttle but also providing better traction everywhere, without feeling overly aggressive at the same time. The revised suspension also feels more fluid and refined in comfort mode, yet offers sharper, tauter control in dynamic and race modes, with even keener responses from the front end on turn in.

Overall refinement has also taken a notable step up, with less road noise being generated by the fat 19-inch tyres on UK roads, and a greater feeling of mechanical sophistication on the move generally. It always drove well, did the Quadrifoglio, but the flaws in its ride and traction have simply been removed from the equation, leaving the already-good bits (steering, brakes, grip, balance) to shine even more brightly. The gearbox isn’t just as swift as an M3’s, admittedly, so it does a perfectly decent job, if not quite a brilliant one.  

What’s perhaps most surprising of all, however, is how much better built this latest version feels inside and out compared with its predecessor. It now feels like a class act throughout, a car that justifies its high price tag, one for which almost zero excuses are required. In our book that makes it one of the best sports saloon cars on sale – simple as that.

Model:Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio MY24
Price:£78,195
Engine:2.9-litre V6 twin-turbo petrol
Power/torque:512bhp/600Nm
Transmission:Eight-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
0-62mph:3.9 seconds
Top speed:191mph
Economy/CO2:28.0mpg/229g/km
On sale:Now
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