The interior layout, fit and finish
The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s standard-fit electrically adjustable driver’s seat is set low in front of well-positioned pedals and allows you to adopt a sporty hunkered-down position. The broadly adjustable steering wheel, with its pleasingly slim rim, complements this and with pedals, wheel and seat more in-line than the slightly wonky C63, it’s a better driving position. For a hefty premium, Alfa Romeo will fit carbonfibre sports seats. These are brilliantly supportive and worth the extra if you can find it.
There’s quite a marked difference in material richness between entry-level Giulias and the range-topping Quadrifoglio, which gets a leather-wrapped dashboard and carbonfibre trims that helps lift the interior into line with similarly racy rivals such as the Audi RS4 and Mercedes-AMG C63. The aluminium gear selection paddles feel superb, too.
A facelift in 2020 enhanced the interior further, bringing even more generous lashings of carbonfibre, a higher-quality flat bottomed steering wheel and a matching leather wrapped gear selector; as well as detail touches like an Italian flag motif at the base of the gear shifter to remind you of the reputation for luxurious craftsmanship that Alfa Romeo’s home nation has always enjoyed – if not always where building saloon cars is concerned. Best of all, though, the ergonomic and quality quibbles that blighted earlier Giulias were addressed. For example, the rotary infotainment controller, which used to feel a little loose, now has a solid click to it.
That said, even with these updates, there are still some areas where the Giulia can’t quite match the quality of its German rivals; its air conditioning controls are a little flimsy, and the drive mode selector feels a bit cheap. Some of the plastics low down are surprisingly cheap in feel, too; the C63 is by no means perfect in this regard, but its interior still feels of a higher quality.
The infotainment system was also treated to an overhaul in 2020, enabling it to be controlled either by touching the 8.8in screen or by using the rotary controller located on the centre console. Not only does this make inputting destinations easier when you’re at a standstill (although we generally find touchscreens quite distracting to use while driving), but you can also use the touchscreen to easily drag and drop widgets such as your sat-nav or radio, to create a fully customisable homepage.
It’s certainly more intuitive than the system in earlier Giulias, but its graphics still look rather mediocre, the display is a bit dim and muddy, and isn’t as graphically rich or packed with features as the C63’s. More positively, it features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring as standard, and we like its ‘Performance Pages’ feature, which shows things like turbo pressure, power output, a track timer and the temperatures of the main mechanical components in real time; the latter are especially important if you ever take the Quadrifoglio onto a track.
Like its S6 sister, the S7 errs more towards the lux...
The Audi RS4 Avant is fast, yes, but not much fun....
The Mercedes-AMG C63 offers bags of fun on the road and track...
Staggeringly capable yet surprisingly easy to live with