Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce long-term test: report 2

Alfa Romeo's Giulia Quadrifoglio has long been one of our favourite performance cars, but does the Veloce give you a lot of the same thrills for a much lower price?...

LT Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce with Quadrifoglio - sides

The car Used Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.0 TB 280 Veloce Run by Steve Huntingford, editor

Why it's here We want to see if this executive saloon is as sharp to drive as it is to look at

Needs to Combine fun handling with respectable running costs and good everyday usability

Mileage 13,614 List price when new (2021) £42,575 Price new with options £44,725 Value on arrival £36,310 Test economy 30.2mpg Official economy 32.8mpg

26 November 2022 – Spot the difference

We’ve all been there. You buy something, thinking it’s exactly what you want, only to have your convictions shaken when you see the next model up. But is the pricier product really worth the extra?

LT Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce with Quadrifoglio - tails

Well, if you’re looking at smartphones or computers I’m afraid your guess is as good as mine. But if you’re more interested in sporty versions of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, I might be able to help, because I recently had the opportunity to compare my Veloce-spec car with the flagship Giulia Quadrifoglio.

The first thing to note is just how similar the two models look. Yes, the telephone-dial wheels on the Quadrifoglio are truly stunning, whereas the more conventional ones on the Veloce are merely very nice. However, other upgrades such as the twin bonnet vents, carbonfibre boot spoiler and extra pair of exhausts are easy to miss.

It’s a similar story inside, too, with some coloured stitching on the dashboard, more aggressively grippy sports seats and a red rather than black starter button all that you get for your extra outlay. And while thumbing that button in the Quadrifoglio awakens a V6 rather than a four-cylinder unit, it doesn’t sound significantly more special – at least initially.

LT Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce with door open and Giulia Quadrifoglio parked behind

No, to give the engine its full voice you need to put the Quadrifoglio in Race mode, after which there’s an intoxicating bark as the revs rise and a theatrical crackle whenever you change up a gear. Indeed, I’d probably suggest driving the Quadrifoglio everywhere in Race were it not for the fact that the stability control is automatically disengaged.

The sheer responsiveness of the Quadrifoglio to accelerator inputs is another highlight, although I’m also pleasantly surprised by how good my car is in this respect given its comparatively small and heavily turbocharged engine. But while the Veloce’s 5.3sec 0-60mph time is seriously lively, there’s no denying that the Quadrifoglio offers a sizeable step up in performance.

Likewise, the Veloce is a really sweetly balanced thing in the corners, but the Quadrifoglio feels sharper in every respect. And yet you don’t pay for its agility with an overly firm ride, thanks to standard adaptive suspension.

LT Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce with Quadrifoglio - fronts

But here’s the thing, the Quadrifoglio should be better because it costs almost £30,000 more than the Veloce. So, while I wouldn’t try to talk you out of spending the extra if you can afford to (in fact, I’d be very jealous of your purchase) the Veloce is still a desirable thing in its own right.

And given the price of petrol right now, I find my car's 30mpg average a lot more palatable than the 23mpg I got out of the Quadrifoglio.

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