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Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Too Pricey? Buy a Kia Stinger GT

October 12, 2019 Cars By
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Alfa Romeo’s Giulia Quadrifoglio sedan is a dream to drive. Imagine Ferrari building a twin-turbo V6 sport sedan in a mad rush to take down the BMW M3: That’s the Giulia Quadrifoglio.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio puts out 505 horsepower, accelerates to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, and hits a top speed of 191 mph. On a track with plenty of curves, this sedan that can whip just about any car not defined as “super.” (It lapped the Nürburgring in a stupidly fast 7 minutes and 32 seconds.) Its appeal, however, goes far beyond performance. The Quadrifoglio looks stunning, it emits a sublime engine noise, and it exudes a character that leaves similar cars feeling relentless and surgical.

One snag with the Giulia Quadrifoglio is the price tag. Its base MSRP is $74,245, which is a lot to pay for an Alfa Romeo. Since you’re already in that price range, you might well plunk down for carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes, some exposed carbon fiber, and perhaps a Misano Blue paint job — and come out well above $80,000.

You could buy the base Giulia instead, of course. It’s also a looker that packs some pop with its 280 hp, and it starts at a more reasonable $38,545. But that car is an agonizing 1.7 seconds slower from 0-60 mph than the Quadrifoglio, and that accelerative gap just expands from there. It’s not as good in the turns. And perhaps most disappointing of all, it’s missing that distinctive four-leaf clover badge on its fenders.

Sp for an affordable alternative, try something that’s still awesome, but a bit less Italian.

The Kia Stinger GT also uses a twin-turbocharged V6, albeit a 3.3-liter unit produced by Kia instead of Ferrari. (We’ll ignore the 2.0-liter turbo-our version for the sake of this conversation.) That mill pushes out a formidable 365 hp and 376 pound-feet of torque. The Stinger GT accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in a respectable 4.7 seconds. Those are not quite Giulia Quad numbers, but they can put some Audis and non-M BMWs to shame. And it does all this at a base price of $39,300.

But you may not notice the statistical difference in everyday driving. One unfortunate drawback of the Giulia Quadrifoglio: you can’t push it to its limits on a public road, at least not often. Much of your time will be spent frustrated, muttering under your breath about slow drivers and confining speed limits. That’s less so with the Stinger GT.

Granted, the Stinger GT is not an Alfa in the looks department, though the car is sporty and eye-catching for a Kia. There’s nothing ungainly about it. Besides, you can opt for the Stinger GT’s Micro Blue Pearl paint and sort of achieve the Misano Blue Giulia’s look for less.

In addition to being about half the price, the Stinger GT offers another distinct advantage over the Quadrifoglio: reliability. Analysts yearly recognize Kia as one of the most reliable car brands, whereas Alfa Romeo has a well-honed reputation for unreliability. Bring that up to anyone who has owned one, if you have 45 minutes to kill.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio holds true to the Alfa Romeo stereotype: It has been unreliable. For every glowing review of the car, there’s another where a Quadrifoglio inexplicably failed on someone. (Don’t forget the track test failures.) Quadrifoglio long term reviews have not been kinder. The distinct pleasure of driving one may not be worth the pain of owning one.

The Stinger GT is not a precision instrument of lap time record destruction like the Giulia Quadrifoglio. But it’s legitimately quick — not just quick-for-a-Kia. It looks sporty, costs half as much, and is far less likely to put you on a first-name basis with your dealership’s service department employees. If you can’t afford the mercurial Italian king-slayer, Kia’s halo car may not be a bad alternative.

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Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol's Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He's based outside Detroit.

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