The luck of the Alfas

in Motoring Insight

I recently had on test, not one but two QuAdrifoglios from Alfa Romeo’s UK Press Office. I was curious to know what Quadrifoglio meant, simple really, and you only have to look at the badge on the front wings, and it all becomes apparent… four leaf clover.

The Giulia arrived in a nice shiny metallic white, with yellow brake mechanism, and with this car it doesn’t matter what colour they are, but they need to be better than good.

The Giulia is a four-door saloon, similar in size to an Audi A4, or BMW 3-Series. It is powered by a whopping 2,891cc V6 petrol engine that produces 510hp, and goes from 0-62mph (100kph) in 3.9 seconds and a ridiculous top speed of 191mph (307kph) where you can actually do this is an unknown, certainly not around the United Kingdom’s motorway network and certainly not anywhere in Gibraltar!

The 2021 model has put right a lot of things that was wrong with the previous car, not much, but does benefit it, such as the infotainment system and the way you control has been improved.

Driving the Giulia Quadrifoglio is great fun, and although it has massive amounts of power, and when you put your foot down on the accelerator it really pushes you back in your seat, and you feel your face cheeks and your lips altering shape, a bit like a Disney cartoon when a character is going at massive speeds and the whole face is distorted.

The Giulia, despite its power is comfortable and is such an easy car to drive at low speeds, it doesn’t ever feel as though it wants to run away with you. The cost of the test car is £74,555 in the UK.

The second Quadrifoglio that I tried was a bright Misano blue Stelvio, and has the same engine and power output as the Giulia, but despite it being a larger vehicle, it is slightly quicker to 0-62mph, and does this in 3.8 seconds, this must be because the Stelvio has a four-wheel drive system, so more power can be put onto the tarmac. It has the same V6 engine with 510hp, coupled to a ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox; and very smooth it is too.

The Giulia felt a bit cramped in the rear, with little legroom if the driver or passenger were above average height. But the Stelvio had much more, and rear passengers could not complain. The boot was also large enough for plenty of shopping or luggage, so was a very useable SUV.

Around town, and local journeys the fuel consumption wasn’t brilliant, and I had to go to Ascot for an event in the Stelvio, and I was worried I had to stop at every fuel station on the way there, and on the way back. But driving over 400 miles it achieved nearly 30mpg (7.84 l/100 km) which I though was pretty good for a large 4×4 SUV with a powerful petrol engine. I got out of it, after sitting in it for over six-hours, feeling as fresh as the moment I had just sat down to embark on my journey. The price of the Stelvio in the UK is £79,275.

I did enjoy using both Quadrifoglios. Both are quick, fun to drive and very comfortable, but I think, purely for practicality and usefulness, it would have to be the Stelvio that I’d recommend.

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