2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia QV Review
Alex Rae’s 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia QV Review with pricing, specs, performance, ride and handling, safety, verdict and score.
In a nutshell: A strong rival that leads on performance, the Giulia QV has an enjoyable character too.
2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia QV
Pricing From $143,900+ORC Service Intervals 12 months, 12,500km Warranty three-years, 150,000 kilometres Safety five-star EuroNCAP Engine 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol Power 370kW at 6500rpm Torque 600Nm at 2500-5000rpm Transmission eight-speed automatic Drive rear-wheel drive Dimension 4639mm (L); 2024mm (W); 1426mm (H) Weight 1585kg Boot Space 480L Spare None Fuel Tank 58 litres Thirst 8.2L/100km (claimed combined)
WE’VE PREVIOUSLY TESTED the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV on the racetrack, and now we’ve spent some time getting to know it on the road. As the Italian brand’s current performance torch bearer it showed on the track it was a fierce rival to the Germans, but is it just as easy to live with day-to-day?
What is the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV?
The Giulia line-up is built on Alfa Romeo’s new Giorgio platform and the QV variant we’re testing, stands for Quadrifoglio, or four-leaf clover – the little badge on the front guards, is the hottest performer in the range. But that’s not all that makes this thing so exciting, nope, it’s also the fact that the Giulia is actually quite a rare beast in carom; it’s a totally new vehicle. The chassis, the suspension, the brakes, the body, the interior, and the engine… they were all developed by a team that kept hidden from the rest of FCA while it developed the Giulia. And that really should be applauded.
This rear-wheel drive sedan is powered by a 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 which was designed by Ferrari engineer Gianluca Pivetti and while Alfa assures it’s not, it does bear striking similarities to the engine in the 488 GTB. But that only serves to enhance rather than take anything away from the Giulia QV.
Total power output from the engine is 375kW at 6500rpm and 600Nm at 2500-5000rpm, which is equal to its rivals. But combined with 1585kg kerb weight the power-to-weight ratio trumps the BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S. See our table below.
Mercedes-AMG C63 S
375kW at 6500rpm
317kW at 7300rpm
375kW at 6250rpm
600Nm at 2500-5000rpm
550Nm at 1850-5500rpm
700Nm at 1750-4500rpm
Where the Giulia QV saves weight over its rivals is thanks to its carbon-fibre bonnet, roof, side skirts, rear spoiler, prop shaft and rocker cover. There’s also a carbon-fibre front splitter which actively manages downforce between speeds of 100-230km/h. It’s a bit hard to test that, so we’ll just have to take Alfa’s word for it. Indeed, carbon-fibre is the material de jour in the Giulia QV and is used liberally throughout the interior and there’s even the the cost option to add carbon-fibre ceramic brakes and carbon-fibre Sparco bucket seats.
The Giulia QV rides on lightweight composite 19-inch alloy wheels and the rubber is specially developed Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres which have been matched to the QV’s dynamics. Brakes are Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear over 360mm front and 350mm rear rotors. There’s also plenty of electronic trickery with a computer controlled double-clutch differential controlling the amount of power delivered to each wheel.
What do you get for your money?
The Giulia Quadrifoglio starts at $143,900+ORC and comes equipped with an 8.8-inch colour infotainment screen with reversing camera, 7.0-inch dash cluster screen, keyless entry and ignition, dual zone climate control, rain sensing wipers, cruise control, parking sensors front and rear and LED DRLs (daytime running lights), 19-inch forged alloy wheels, Monza exhaust, carbon fibre bonnet, roof, rear spoiler and active front splitter, adaptive front lights with automatic high beam, leather and Alcantara seats, bespoke steering wheel, carbon-fibre bits inside, Alfa DNA Pro drive modes, active suspension, torque vectoring, tyre pressure monitoring and a Harmon/Kardon sounds system.
What’s the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV like on the inside?
The Giulia QV is setup to be a ‘driver’s car’ and the designers have tilted the dash towards the driver to create a real sense of this being a cockpit rather than the interior of an A-to-B transporter. The seat sits down low but has enough adjustment to ensure drivers of all shapes and sizes can get comfortable behind the wheel without upsetting the ‘driver focus’ of the seating position. There’s manual tilt-and-reach steering wheel adjustment, too.
The well-shaped steering wheel houses the engine start-stop button, which adds some extra drama to starting the car. Behind the steering wheel are large column mounted paddle shifters – there’s no option for a manual – the automatic is a traditional ZF eight-speed. The seats are finished in both leather and Alcantara and provide comfortable ergonomics. They work well on both longer drives or when stuck in stop-start traffic, not something you can usually say about the seats of performance cars.
The theme of the interior’s design is ‘minimalism’ which helps disguise the limited use of premium touch points. Not to say it isn’t comfortable or good to look at, but it doesn’t quite reach the standard of German counterparts, but that means it doesn’t feel as fussy, either.
The 8.8-inch infotainment screen is moulded into the dash looking like it belongs there… too many car makers are trying to make a feature of their touchscreen and so have them jutting out above the dash. The screen tends towards a long landscape shape which is controlled via a rotary dial with shortcut buttons mounted on the centre console. It doesn’t feature the latest Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and requires you to look away to see what you’re doing, although this will probably go with familiarity.
What’s the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV’s passenger space like?
The front offers a long footwell for both passenger and driver and there’s ample head, shoulder and elbow room for comfort on longer trips. In our week-long test, we found the cup holders worked well for both small and large coffee cups (reusable take-away cups, of course), as well as 600ml drink bottles, and there’s two USB ports upfront for charging and basic phone connectivity.
In the rear, legroom shrinks but remains practical for short-medium drives with adults. Headspace is enough for a six-foot tall person and kids won’t have any issues. The fold down rear-middle seat offers two cupholders but there’s only one USB in the back for charging and two climate vents which have been nicely designed. That’s more than you normally get, so, well done Alfa for not forgetting the creature comforts in a car they designed to destroy the Nurburgring.
All door apertures are wide and the only ergonomic challenge with getting in and out is that the Giulia QV sits so low to the ground. So, taller drivers and passengers end up looking a little ungainly as they clamber out. The boot offers 480 litres which is more than you might expect in a car of this type.
What’s Alfa Romeo Giulia QV like to drive?
In our time both on the track (at the local launch of the Giulia QV) and on the road with the Giulia QV we’ve discovered that beyond providing performance that rivals the quickest German offerings, the Giulia QV can also be quite gentle and economical at the bowser.
The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s DNA Pro modes (Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficiency and Race) have been designed by Alfa Romeo and don’t offer any individual customisation, who really has time to do that anyway, when most of the time the thing would only be used around town… The only change we’d want is to access the full throated exhaust note offered in Race mode in Dynamic… why not just drive in Race? It’s a little too loose for everyday use.
In Dynamic and Race mode the Giulia focuses itself on providing quick response form steering input, throttle response and gear changes. As we found on the racetrack the thing is very quick and agile and the front-end is very quick to turn-in. This is a performance car’s performance car.
Away from the track, the steering is just as quick and precise and there’s decent feel of what’s going on at the front end to keep keen driver’s dialled into the car’s doings. The ride is firm in the ‘sports’ modes but the rear has enough compliance to keep it from skipping across poor surfaces. The Giulia QV doesn’t quite have that balance between ride and handling that, say, Jaguar manages to engineer in, but it’s not far off.
Natural Mode is perhaps the best balance between quick acceleration and a comfortable ride. The steering becomes lighter and less tiring. In this setting, the active dampers are tuned to provide a more compliant ride which maintained a sporting ride but just knocks the hard edges off sharp-edged breaks in the road’s surface. NVH is good, although somewhat noisy when the soft bespoke Pirelli P Zero rubber bites into coarse chip surfaces. Natural is the mode you’d choose for everyday driving.
Advanced Efficiency mode, on the other hand, numbs the car completely to help reduce fuel consumption; it’s clearly designed for highway use. We found it lowered consumption from a high 11L/100km (mixed driving) when in Dynamic mode down to 8.9L/100km (mixed driving).
What are Alfa Romeo Giulia QV’s safety features like?
Alfa Romeo Giulia hasn’t been ANCAP rated yet but has scored a five-star Euro NCAP rating (ANCAP will adhere to Euro NCAP testing methodology from 2018, and until then tends to adopt Euro NCAP scores, so, expect the Giulia to be worthy of a five-star ANCAP rating). It rated 98% for adult occupancy (highest ever recorded for a car), 81% for child occupancy, 69% for pedestrian safety, and 60% for safety assistance. Standard safety features include eight airbags, traction and stability control, keyless entry, ISOFIX mounts for the two outboard seats in the back, as well as a full compelement of active features, including Forward Collision Warning with Autonomous Emergency Brake and pedestrian recognition, Integrated Brake System, and Lane Departure Warning.
So, what do we think of the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV?
When we drove the Giulia QV around the racetrack at its local launch, our seat of the pants impression was that it was equal to the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63, but we weren’t sure if it could provide a compliant enough drive on the road. But after a week with the thing we can honestly say that it it does and it feels a little more exciting to drive than its key competitors.
The interior isn’t quite at the same level as those other two cars, but rather than imitate them its minimal design and bits of supercar-inspired flair (starter button on the steering wheel) mean it creates a sense of occasion that’s hard not to be taken in by.