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Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio: The No. 10 Car of the Year

“The first car I’ve driven all day that has truly blown me away.” —Ed Kinney

e Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio earned 10th place in 2018’s Robb Report Car of the Year. Photo: Courtesy Alfa Romeo

Everyone loves to discover a best-kept secret, and for this writer, Alfa’s Giulia Quadrifoglio is one of them. The Giulia is all about balance, as it pairs rewarding rear-wheel-drive handling dynamics and ferocious stopping power (from the optional carbon-ceramic brakes, which some judges found too sensitive and difficult to modulate). Oh, and then there’s the pint-size turbocharged terror of an engine that instantly spins to redline and belts out 505 hp. “This is the most impressive V-6 I’ve ever driven,” enthused Russ Faulk. “It is super eager and sounds fantastic. The transmission is also great.”

But opinions about overall performance and value were sharply divided, which explains the back-of-the-pack ranking of the car. Most everyone appreciated the quick, “zippy” engine, and drivers like Maurice Haroche thought the Alfa gave competitors a real run for the money, calling it “a refreshing newcomer to compete easily with the likes of BMW, Audi, and Jaguar.” Others, like Danny Pettit, found it lacking in either perceived quality or performance, saying the “whole package is rather average.”

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Interior of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio  Photo: Courtesy Alfa Romeo

Regardless of opinion, the bright red Giulia’s Italianness was never in doubt. “[I] spoke pidgin Italian as we drove,” admitted Steve Kris. Craig Eddins suspected “there is a baby Ferrari in here trying to get out,” while John Tolbert called it an “Italian passion machine.”

And while a few folks thought our fully equipped example was too pricey, others discerned real value. Bernard Pump calculated “half a Ferrari for a quarter of the price.” Mitch Bloom liked the whole package, saying, “The new Alfa Romeo delivers aggressiveness and pinpoint control/handling. . . . Like a hunting dog, it begs for more, and delivers. Great all-in experience for the value.” A couple of our judges discovered something special in the Giulia, like Louis Guarino, who called it the “biggest surprise of the day. Italy, here I come.”

Specifications

Engine: 2.9-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6

Power: 505 hp @ 6,500 rpm

Zero-to-60 mph: 3.8 sec

Top Speed: 191 mph

Base Price: $72,000

Price as Tested: $87,095

 

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