2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio vs. 2019 Audi S3 Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Autonomous Emergency Brake optional in the Giulia Quadrifoglio as “Superior.” The S3 Sedan scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Both the Giulia Quadrifoglio and the S3 Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available lane departure warning systems.

Reliability

The battery on the Giulia Quadrifoglio is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The S3 Sedan’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s 2.9 turbo V6 produces 217 more horsepower (505 vs. 288) and 163 lbs.-ft. more torque (443 vs. 280) than the S3 Sedan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is faster than the Audi S3 Sedan:

Giulia Quadrifoglio

S3 Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

3.8 sec

4.7 sec

Quarter Mile

12.1 sec

13.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

118.5 MPH

102.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s fuel efficiency. The S3 Sedan doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The S3 Sedan doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the S3 Sedan.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s brake rotors are larger than those on the S3 Sedan:

Giulia Quadrifoglio

Giulia Quadrifoglio

S3 Sedan

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

15.4 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

14.2 inches

12.2 inches

The Giulia Quadrifoglio offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The S3 Sedan doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio stops much shorter than the S3 Sedan:

Giulia Quadrifoglio

S3 Sedan

80 to 0 MPH

191 feet

206 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

143 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

99 feet

113 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Giulia Quadrifoglio has larger tires than the S3 Sedan (F:245/35R19 & R:285/30R19 vs. 225/40R18). The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the S3 Sedan (F:245/35R19 & R:285/30R19 vs. 235/35R19).

The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s 245/35R19 front and 285/30R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the S3 Sedan’s standard 40 series tires. The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s tires are lower profile than the S3 Sedan’s optional 35 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Giulia Quadrifoglio has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the S3 Sedan.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s wheelbase is 7.4 inches longer than on the S3 Sedan (111 inches vs. 103.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Giulia Quadrifoglio is .1 inches wider in the front and 3.2 inches wider in the rear than on the S3 Sedan.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio handles at 1.00 G’s, while the S3 Sedan pulls only .92 G’s of cornering force in a Road and Track skidpad test.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the S3 Sedan (24.2 seconds @ .84 average G’s vs. 25.2 seconds @ .81 average G’s).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Giulia Quadrifoglio a Mid-size car, while the S3 Sedan is rated a Subcompact.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio has 9.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S3 Sedan (95.4 vs. 86).

The Giulia Quadrifoglio has 2.1 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the S3 Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The Giulia Quadrifoglio has a much larger trunk than the S3 Sedan (12 vs. 10 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Giulia Quadrifoglio is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the S3 Sedan. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The S3 Sedan doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

When three different drivers share the Giulia Quadrifoglio, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The S3 Sedan doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The S3 Sedan doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Giulia Quadrifoglio’s headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the S3 Sedan’s headlights are rated “Acceptable.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Giulia Quadrifoglio has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The S3 Sedan doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Giulia Quadrifoglio has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The S3 Sedan doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Both the Giulia Quadrifoglio and the S3 Sedan offer available heated front seats. The Giulia Quadrifoglio also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the S3 Sedan.

On extremely cold winter days, the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s standard (except w/Sparco Racing Seats) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The S3 Sedan doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Recommendations

The Giulia Quadrifoglio was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2018. The S3 Sedan has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Giulia Quadrifoglio as their 2018 Car of the Year. The S3 Sedan has never been chosen.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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