By on February 28, 2017

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio - Image: FCAAlthough there are plans in the works, we have not yet tested the new 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia. Not in base, Ti, or Quadrifoglio guise.

But in a four-car comparison test recently conducted by Car And Driver, the Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio finished on top, besting the 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 S (yes, it’s a Mercedes-AMG, apparently not a Mercedes-Benz), the Competition-packed 2017 BMW M3, and the 2017 Cadillac ATS-V.

Of course, Car And Driver doesn’t issue the final verdict. Even TTAC doesn’t issue the final verdict. TTAC’s B&B doesn’t have the last say, either. You, oh sports sedan buyer who wouldn’t look twice at a Lexus NX300h, possess the money that will determine whether the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is the best sports sedan on sale today.

Nevertheless, let’s take Car And Driver’s word for it, if only for a moment. Let’s believe that the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is the best sports sedan in America right now.

Is being the best good enough for the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio to earn your money? Because, as you’d expect, the Giulia that won Car And Driver’s comparison test broke down.

After Car And Driver’s test Giulia first died following a remote start, the Giulia restarted, “but it wouldn’t move out of its low-boost advanced-efficiency mode,” the magazine wrote. An OBD II scanner cleared the “check engine” codes, but the Alfa died after the next remote start.

It’s not a major breakdown that falls under the fire-on-the-Stelvio-Pass-while-honeymooning classification. But in 2017, with a car delivered to a major publication for a comparison test with the world’s best, it’s the kind of setback that corresponds perfectly with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ horrible results in J.D. Power’s recent Vehicle Dependability Study. Every FCA brand in the study finished below the industry average. Of the five lowest-ranking brands, four were FCA marques. The lowest-ranking brand, Fiat, was further behind next-worst Jeep than Jeep was behind third-ranked Toyota.

And yet, says Car And Driver’s Tony Quiroga, “Above 3000 rpm, the V-6 throbs out a deep, snarly bellow that jeers at the suave manner of the Benz V-8 and points at the coarseness of the Cadillac V-6.”

“The eight-speed automatic is spectacular,” Quiroga says. Excepting the Porsche 911, Boxster, and Cayman, “there is no other 1.00-g chassis that rides as well as the Giulia’s,” Quiroga continues. “The suspension remains civil in a way that eludes the German sedans.” The Giulia was, “the go-to car for leading the group through unfamiliar corners.”

Besides the reliability concerns, the Giulia wasn’t deemed perfect, with navigation, seat, and material quality issues, among others. As for the engine issues, Car And Driver says, “We are willing to overlook this hiccup.”

But, having spent $73,595 of your own money, are you will to overlook this hiccup, and the next one?

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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180 Comments on “QOTD: Would You Buy A 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio If It’s Best-In-Class But Breaks Down?...”


  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    in the scheme of “breaking down” at this point in the development cycle, it sounds like a programming glitch, and should be fairly easy to rectify.

    It wouldn’t stop me. It’s beautiful and performs incredibly.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    It’s still early. I’m still holding out for the Giorgio based Charger though. Too much new stuff with this. Don’t wanna pay $70K+ to be FCA’s guinea pig.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…

    No.

    It’s 20 – freaking – 17. Even my 1982 Celebrity didn’t strand anybody until it had 100,000 miles on it.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      It didn’t strand anyone.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        If you didn’t have an OBD reader handy to clear the codes, would you have wanted to drive it potentially 100s of miles to the nearest Alfa dealer in limp mode?

        Alfa owners will start to carry OBD readers like 1970s Chrysler owners carried ballast resistors.

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          Which isn’t leaving you stranded.

        • 0 avatar
          jhefner

          Alfa owners will start to carry OBD readers like 1970s Chrysler owners carried ballast resistors.

          Thanks for the memory!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            As an owner of a ’70s series Chrysler product, I never carried one. Nor did I ever need one.

            I really wonder how some people can have so many problems but I’ve apparently lucked out with every NEW car I’ve purchased.

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          It wasn’t in “limp mode” like 1/4 power and 2nd gear, it was just not able to give full boost.

          “low-boost advanced-efficiency mode,”

          So you’d get good MPG and have to forgo racing every car you see on the way to AutoZone who will clear the code for free. Or you can try the battery reset thing.

          Not sure its the same as driving on the shoulder at 45 mph with the hazards on to an Alfa dealer 340 miles away that is the only place in the state that knows how to pop the hood.

          If this was any other car, it would be considered just a bug and it would be mentioned at the next service interval, or sooner if it kept happening.

          This wasn’t an engine that cracked a head at 10,000 miles or a rear dif that locked up and caused a a 42 car pile up. C’mon.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            “low-boost advanced-efficiency mode.”

            If it happened to me in a brand new HONDA I’d think it was a POS.

            This is an Eye-talian Luxury Car.

            It reminds me of the joke:

            What’s the perfect car to give your spouse in a divorce?

            A Maserati. The Judge thinks you are being generous and there’s a real possibility it might catch fire and immolate your ex.

          • 0 avatar
            John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

            Really? So an Acura has a glitch that is only present when you use remote start, so it could easily be avoided until the its convenient to have it checked out, and its too much to handle? Even though it drives better than all of its competitors and has sounds that give you goose bumps every time you merge on the freeway?

            Wait, an Acura couldn’t do any of that last stuff, yet I’m willing to bet any number of us would consider it a normal first-year random technology glitch, get it looked at eventually, and MOVE ON.

            You say its an Italian luxury car as though that’s supposed to mean excellent quality and dependability. Lol you’re looking at the wrong class of cars my friend, and certainly at one from the wrong country for all that. Alfas are supposed to have things that make you pull your hair out. Its when its all going perfectly, thats when its totally worth it. Ya know, like finishing first in its class in a comparison test.

            Not too many years ago, The Stig drove a new BMW M3 around the track and it had so many “glitches” and faults that it was a battle between him and the car. I have read of people with BMWs that have major reliability faults at early ages. Why do you think everyone says these cars are best leased? So you’re not stuck with a $9,000 transmission failure a month after you’re already tired of it.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            no, it’s about how a $16k car is held to exacting standards of quality and reliability, while a $70k car which frequently doesn’t work just “has character.”

        • 0 avatar
          White Shadow

          That’s not the way it works. You don’t just clear a fault code and magically take a car out of limp mode. And besides, nobody said the subject car was in limp mode.

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        Two out of four of Motor Trend’s Guilia’s broke down during testing so…not super.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      I remember a Cadillac SRX burned to the ground during the initial media test.
      The FWD SRX carried the Cadillac brand for 6 years and retired as one of their biggest hits.

      Seems even more ominous than a no-start/limp-mode event.

      • 0 avatar
        GarbageMotorsCo.

        http://www.annarbor.com/assets_c/2010/08/Car_fire_pittsfield2-thumb-590×335-51170.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        Willyam

        Um, my parents are stranded, right now as we speak, in the desert southwest (allergy-escape trip that the retired get to do). The car is a 2014 SRX with around 60k miles. Major engine failure (mechanical, not electronic). To be fair, this is nowhere near it’s first hiccup or it might not be indicative of anything.

        On the bright side, at least it isn’t on fire.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          “Um, my parents are stranded, right now as we speak, in the desert southwest (allergy-escape trip that the retired get to do). The car is a 2014 SRX with around 60k miles. Major engine failure (mechanical, not electronic). To be fair, this is nowhere near it’s first hiccup or it might not be indicative of anything.

          On the bright side, at least it isn’t on fire.”

          A 3 year old Cadillac with 60,000 miles with “major engine failure.”

          Sounds about right.

          “This nowhere near it’s first hiccup.”

          Standard of the world.

          And I assume this is the “reliable,” ubiquitous, 3.6 liter V6 used across the GM board.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Your Celebrity doesn’t look like a Suzuki Khashi it spent every winter day the gym either.

  • avatar
    raph

    The want is strong but the fear of this being a dealership shop queen is a big fear.

  • avatar
    jmo

    “Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ horrible results in J.D. Power’s recent Vehicle Dependability Study.”

    But that’s 2016 horrible not 1976 horrible. Looking at the numbers, it might be an extra trip to the dealer per year. That’s certainly a small price to pay for a car that’s amazing every day.

    • 0 avatar
      la834

      Most FCA brands were also near the bottom of the Consumer Reports survey. A few years back, C/D tested a Fiat 500L and it had a weird glitch where the LCD readout lights for the automatic transmission gear selector flashed on and off frequenty. It turned out not just to be a loose light bulb; if it wasn’t currenty lit, the car couldn’t be changed into or out of gear. C/D wasn’t alone: the 500L wound up as the very most troublesome car in the next year’s CR survey, well below even the second worst – the regular Fiat 500.

      I’m hoping the Alfa will prove decenty reliable. I’d buy one over the others if I had the money and wanted this style car, if only cause I’m bored with the three Germans, Lexus, and Cadillac’s offerings and crave something distinctive and new.

      • 0 avatar
        CarDesigner

        CU has ALWAYS hated the domestic Big 4. Their bias has been subtle, but consistent, since the ’70s. That being said, Fiats, FCA management (SM), only view Americans as cash cows and stupid. Their egos are as big as the Germans and French, regarding their automotive chops.

        BTW, despite what CU says, the Town and Country, Caravan, and Pacifica, are still the best minivans ever made, for functionality and value.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    It,s very appropriate that this vehicle had fairly serious issues while brand new, post-production, during auto rag testing.

    I’d expect nothing less from Alfa (or Maserati, for that matter).

    These things are in a classifiation/category known as “laughable” in terms of relative reliability when measured against any other vehicles produced (at least vehicles that are not one-off, hand-built, bespoke prototypes).

    This will make for one of the world’s most frustrating daily drivers, even in the-best-of-weather towns, for those foolish enough to try to use it for that purpose, and such people will end up intentionally driving these into concrete walls and such at high rates of speed, or push them off sheer cliff-faces or into the ocean (or nearest lake) whilst in neutral, after the approximate 88th mechanical breakdown in 100 starts.

    I’m starting an app for iPhone/Android called Giulia Beacon Wreck Dive Excursion for scuba aficionados.

  • avatar

    Its flaky reputation is haunting Alfa Romeo long after mediocre cars like the Alfasud. Having owned five Alfa’s, I can tell you that those cars were as reliable as any German car out there. Probably better. Don’t trash them, have the maintenance done on time, and Alfa’s will reward you in a way that Germans just can’t. That said, I wouldn’t set my mind on the Giulia Q as that car is supposed to get thrown around the racetrack.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      Agreed.

      If there is any reason I wouldn’t buy it, besides being vastly underfunded to swing it (lol), its that they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) give the U.S. the manual trans.

      I am NOT a good enough driver to use this car to its full potential, even if it had a 4 speed automatic lol, its just the joy of shifting and working the pedal that makes it come together for me in a car like this.

      I might “only” take this corner at 65 when Jack B could easily at 95, but I still enjoy it, and having a shifter in my hand adds to the experience.

      I’m an Alfa hopeful. I still want one of the last sedans they sold here (164? Can’t recall clearly right now), I think its a good looking car and I bet I’d have fun driving it (in between breakdowns LMAO I had to, sorry, its Italian AND old so, lets not kid ourselves).

    • 0 avatar

      The Alfasud wasn’t mediocre, the enthusiast magazines at the time loved the way it drove and handled. It was a pretty cool little car that was poorly assembled by indifferent workers directed by incompentent managers, but the basic concept was sound.

      I know a guy who has a couple behind his shop in suburban Detroit.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      I would gladly look seriously at this car if I was even shopping for a car at this time. I have looked very seriously at a 4C over the past year though. I do agree that maintenance is everything. Not too worried about a pre-production car. I am too young to remember any Alfa reputation of old and have no qualms about looking past whatever existed in those days before I was ever driving.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    For whatever reason, an expensive car that breaks down only gets a pass if it has UK influence. I submit Land Rover, Ranger Rover, Morgan, Jaguar as exhibits 1-4 of brands that either currently or in the past put forth terribly expensive cars that were/are complete turds to own.

    FCA needs to do better.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      ….Rolls Royce…

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        As far as I can recall, even C&D long term test of a Jaguar (2008 ish) the car never failed to start. It had weird electrical gremlins, but didn’t fail to proceed.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          BMW’s warning message is so, so German:

          “It is not possible to continue your journey. Contact the nearest BMW service.”

          • 0 avatar
            LS1Fan

            That’s just a German translation of “Drive is Over. Insert More Money to Continue.”

          • 0 avatar
            Willyam

            “…not possible to continue your journey.”

            It’s just…almost…Buddhist-sounding.

            “It is better to travel well than to arrive.” Buddha

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            In the interests of accuracy, when our cpo X5’s water pump gave up the ghost while driving on the freeway (3 months into owning), the screen warning was more specific to the water pump failure rather than some general philosophical verbiage about being unable to continue a journey.

            No steam, no temp gauge, no drama. Just ‘pull over’ and an inability to go more than about 20 mph. On a freeway.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      hardly surprising; we as a nation are dumb enough to equate a British accent with intelligence.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    “QOTD: Would You Buy A 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio If It’s Best-In-Class But Breaks Down?”

    NO. But then again, I wouldn’t buy an Italian car under any conditions…

    =====================

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    My local Alfa dealer has some of these on the lot, which I checked out this weekend. Is it gorgeous? Yes. Is it a performer? Absolutely.

    But a car in this class has to feel expensive, and this car fails in that respect. A cursory opening and closing of doors reveals a cheap, junky feel. When you close the front doors, the entire outside mirror assembly vibrates. Close the rear doors, and you’ll hear a sympathetic “clunk” that comes from somewhere in the back bumper area. I was able to repeat the same issue on several cars, so it’s endemic to the design. Inside, the seat leather looked cheap, and there’s a ton of chintzy looking plastic.

    (On the plus side, the leather on the wheel was gorgeous, and I loved how the infotainment system was integrated into the dash.)

    Say what you want about how the BMW 3-series has devolved performance-wise, but when you get in and out of it, it feels like an expensive car. Same holds true for anything else in this class. But the Guilia fails this basic test. And then there’s the issues C/D experienced. I don’t see how that bodes well for FCA.

    And I wouldn’t put up with that s**t for a nanosecond in a $75,000 car, even if it was my weekend toy.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. How can it be called “best in class” if it has issues starting? And while it may have a Ferrari based engine, the parts are from the Fiat/Chrysler parts bin. Seems like a Maserati Ghibli from another mother.

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      New civic is also racking up awards and the latest long term test had to be towed back into the dealership. Failing transmission modules may not be a one off issue. I’ve seen about 6 new civic’s on flat bed tow trucks in the past two months.
      http://www.motortrend.com/cars/honda/civic/2016/2016-honda-civic-touring-review-update-2/

      • 0 avatar
        bluegoose

        They actually graded the car on how it drove. Not the opening and shutting of doors.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          “When you close the front doors, the entire outside mirror assembly vibrates.”

          She’s-a just-a.. how you say… emozionato!

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “How it drives” is important. So’s “how well it’s built,” and “how well it holds up.”

          At this price point, the excuses for poor quality vanish VERY quickly.

          • 0 avatar

            My point exactly. At any price point above $20K, you have some expectation of decent build quality. If the Alfa is on par with the Chevy Cruze Mark S. tested, in terms of build quality, it won’t sell in the numbers Alfa needs to justify it.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        F*ck Honda in their evil, CVT and turbocharger-path idiocy.

        First they murdered Acura through indifference regarding its dynamics, styling and overall quality, and now they’re going to trash what took Honda 42 years to build; it reputation for reliability.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Shopkeeper: Take this Honda, but beware it carries a terrible curse!
          Homer: Ooh, that’s bad.
          Shopkeeper: But it comes with a free frogurt!
          Homer: That’s good.
          Shopkeeper: The frogurt is also cursed.
          Homer: That’s bad.
          Shopkeeper: But you get your choice of toppings.
          Homer: That’s good!
          Shopkeeper: The toppings contain potassium benzoate.
          Shopkeeper: …That’s bad.
          Homer: Can I go now?

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      I briefly drove a 4 cylinder this past weekend and I was impressed. I didn’t notice the bouncy mirror or noise when closing the doors but I’m a former Alfa owner who has been anxiously awaiting their return to the U.S. market.

      I thought the interior looked pretty good and was competitive with other similarly priced cars–at least it doesn’t have power window switches out of a Chrysler 200 like a Maserati Ghibli. The 4 cylinder has a nice growl to it and the 8 speed transmission matches up well with it. It has plenty of power and the usual good braking that Alfa’s have always had. The steering is quick responsive and couldn’t believe it when my son told me it is electric–its very good, much better than a BMW 328i.

      The least impressive part of the car was the engine start-stop. It has the “stop” part down fine but the restart was rough and reminded me of Chevy Malibu reviews from a few years ago that complained about how bad their system was. Fortunately there is an over-ride switch.

      I’m definitely going to take another look at the Alfa when I get closer to making a buying decision.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Eh…. I had an F30 rental this past weekend. Design wise, it had some nice touches, like the accent lighting. But material wise, it felt no better than an Accord. I had a Comfort Line with a few “options” like Bluetooth and power seats… at the ~45K or so I imagine my rental costing things were borderline; at the 70-80 large they are asking for ///M versions the interior is downright unacceptable.

      3er exemplifies the problem of selling a car anywhere from 35 to 90K and wanting to sell the 35K versions profitably.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I sampled a 3-series BMW right after the Giulia just to make a fair comparison. There wasn’t much of a comparison. In terms of quality feel and perception, the BMW literally blew the Giulia away.

        Good point on the BMW interior materials, but a short drive over to the Mercedes dealer nets you the C-Class, which is *spectacularly* nice inside. Either way, a luxury car should feel like premium goods, and the Alfa comes up short in this category. That’s a shame, because I’d like to see them succeed.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      IMO the 3 series feels like a RWD Honda Accord.

      The stuff is consistently good, but not amazing. I would expect an Italian car to emphasise some excellent components while elsewhere proudly sits parts that would be embarrassing even in cheaper cars.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I’ve got to believe money changed hands for that comparison test.

    but it highlights Cadillac’s “prestige” problem. last place because of a “cramped rear seat” and “gritty engine note,” 1st place for a car which doesn’t f**king work right.

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      C/D generally raves about every GM and especially Cadillac product, so maybe the contract just ended.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Not quite – C&D has raved about the handling prowess of Cadillac’s RWD sedans and deservedly so, as have pretty much all auto publications.

        And they all have ragged on the ATS and CTS for cramped interior space, interior quality, the CUE system, etc. from the very start.

        C&D (as well as the others) predictably has been less than enthusiastic about FWD models like the XT5 and XTS.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      Yep. Consumer Reports they ain’t.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        Good thing too. CR has their own agenda on stuff like the “If you cant get the F’ing to roll over I will fins someone who will” or the “Mitsubishi Eclipse is a great car, the Plymouth Laser is a POS.

        Maybe they have improved from those days, but I have my doubts.

        • 0 avatar
          Eyeflyistheeye

          In high school, my science teacher used to give me month-old car magazines, a big boon since I couldn’t get my parents to subscribe to them.

          Anyways, CR’s buying guide recommended the Sable and not the Taurus, never mind they were the same mechanical vehicle built in the same plants. The sampling error was that there were less Sables and the owners of a Sable compared to a Taurus were higher-income and maintained their vehicles more stringently. At that point, I never trusted CR for cars again.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Again, an obsolete reputation will end up crippling an otherwise excellent brand. I’ve now owned two different FCA-built products and neither one offered the kind of poor reliability that opponents claim.

    No vehicle is perfect, no matter what anybody says. But this Alfa is an appealing vehicle that just happens to have two too many doors.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      So it’s reasonable to have a $75,000 brand new car which suffers non-start conditions?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Uh…”failed to run properly” tells me the “obsolete reputation” is far from obsolete.

      Sorry, that’s inexcusable in a $11,000 Versa, much less a $75,000 luxury car. Spare me.

      • 0 avatar
        Chan

        It’s inexcusable in a $10-20,000 car but perfectly normal in a $200,000 car.

        The question of reliability expectations on a $75,000 car is not clear-cut. Surely, the Giulia QV’s German competitors are known to light up like Christmas trees. The Alfa may or may not be worse, but I would not pretend that a BMW M3 endows its owner with $70,000 of trouble-free motoring.

    • 0 avatar
      Middle-Aged Miata Man

      In about an hour, I’m going to walk out to my lowly Kia wanna-be luxury car, sit down inside, and hit its “Start” button. It’s going to start right up, and it won’t need to limp around in “Eco” mode.

      When Alfa Romeo – FCA, period – is able to consistently achieve a similarly mundane level of reliability with its $75K cars, then that poor reputation will indeed be “obsolete.”

      Until then, thinking customers should continue to avoid Fiasleromeo like the plague.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        I would remind you that their “cheap” cars, despite an obsolete reputation, are among the more popular cars in the country… when they don’t carry the Fiat logo on them.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          …thus proving that anything will sell if it carries the Jeep name.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Their cheap cars are extremely unpopular that is why they discontinued all of them that don’t carry a Fiat logo. It is the Jeeps and Rams that keep FCA afloat and much of that is stuff that they inherited.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Two of Jeep’s most popular models are riding on Fiat platforms with a third just hitting the market. As for “stuff they inherited,” I’d note that they’ve all seen upgrades and many seeing redesigns hitting the market within the next two years, including a new Wrangler and new pickup that carry very little across from the previous version outside of some bodywork.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            We get it, Vulpine – you’re a FCA fan. No problem. But even fans admit it when their “team” has problems. Quality and reliability are definite issues for FCA.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I used to be a GM fan–until they screwed the pooch. Even now they only have two vehicles out of their entire four-brand lineup that even interests me and both of those have issues: Camaro and Colorado. They don’t have a single other model that appeals to me in any way.

            And Ford’s not much better. Talking to new Ford owners, their reliability and build quality is crap in everything but their trucks and their trucks are simply too huge and too expensive for what I want. That, by the way, includes the new Ranger, though it might be mildly appealing in the same way the Colorado is mildly appealing. They just don’t offer anything I would want to own.

            Most Euro brands are seriously over-priced with questionable real-world reliability while most Asian models are simply boring to look at. I’ve now owned two different FCA-built products and DESPITE Fiat’s reputation, they’ve proven to be well worth what I’ve paid for them.

  • avatar
    GermanReliabilityMyth

    I think we’ll all be pleasantly surprised and the Giulia will end up released with above-average reliability. Besides, with today’s modern manufacturing processes, reliability is really only one infotainment crash away from a CR recommendation.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      I don’t think any Alfa will ever be at the top of the reliability ratings but I’m with you that modern manufacturing should take care of many traditional Alfa issues that plagued them in the past.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      That may be true, but in my experience FCA’s dealer network, especially for the Fiat/AR brands, is awful. Even here in urban California, their ability to troubleshoot and identify known problems is questionable at best, indifferent at worst.

      A good dealer does a world of difference in reliability perception.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Considering most of those Fiat/Alfa “studios” are operated by a CJD franchise, only physically separated from the CJD dealership, I’m not surprised. I’m near the east coast and I see the same issue where the Fiat/Alfa “studio” is constantly given the back burner and forces any maintenance services over to the associated CJD lot where the driver is harassed for his Fiat/Alfa ownership.

        • 0 avatar
          Acd

          You’ll probably have a better shot at good service where Alfa is paired with Maserati. At least they’re used to temperamental Italian cars and their customers’ expectations.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    I consider this article to be the reply to the snarky post in the Mazda CX-3 review that if the CX-3 were an FCA vehicle, we’d all be condemning it. Yes, we’d be condemning it because it wouldn’t run.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    I might, especially when it is a three year old off-lease dealer maintained vehicle at 70% off the original MSRP.

    Italian cars have always meant a double dose of passion with an extra bottle of aspirin in the glove box.

    • 0 avatar

      That was my thought. I would not buy one of these at $74k, but I would consider an off lease version it at $25k with a nice long Carmax warranty.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        You just gave Doug DeMuro his next big schtick idea.

        He’ll buy a thirty month old, originally $75,000 MSRP Giulia for $28,999 from CarMax along with a CarMax bumper-to-bumper warranty for $3,800 and proceed to drive it for 3 years, while he receives $22,200 in repair coverage.

    • 0 avatar

      This. I think these things will probably depreciate like a stone, between the general luxury car depreciation and the reliability.

      It’s a good vehicle to buy as a certified pre-owned with a nice big bumper to bumper warranty.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    A hand-built, one-off copy for a brag-mag comparison test (certainly, this Giulia wasn’t picked randomly off the line) has a series of failures, yet is best-in-class?

    No.

    No to the C&D, no to the died-on-me, no to fail I see.
    No to your Super Bowl…spot.
    No to the best-of-four…shot.
    No to my dealer’s service…shop.
    Nah to the ah to the no, no, no.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      I will not drive it in a hat,
      I will not drive it with a cat.
      I will not drive it just to fool ya,
      I will not drive an Alfa Giulia!

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      This isn’t new. C&D—I forget the issue—has first-placed the 3-Series despite mechanical failures DNF’ing it during testing.

      I don’t think the Giulia’s likely to be any worse than any other European car, reliability-wise. The real issue that FCA faces is that you can’t get this car with the same kind of sweet lease deals than BMW offers.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      …holds up cellphone

  • avatar
    wintermutt

    i would buy the four banger with an extended warranty – or better yet lease one with the option to buy. but i was sort of imprinted on Alfas at an early age, sort of like those geese that follow around people because they were raised by them. the relevant question for me here is i only have so much room in my garage, and i would have to sell my 1992 NSX. that is what is stopping me…

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      I might also consider a $299-a-month lease on a base Giulia with the four-cylinder engine. Hey, I’ve seen similarly priced leases on the BMW 3 Series and the Jaguar XE. The question is: base Giulia or XE? Which do you think would give you less trouble? Or, just say “screw it” and get the next WRX when it comes out?

    • 0 avatar
      Eyeflyistheeye

      I say sell your 1992 NSX. To me and at a cheap price :P

  • avatar

    I’ve never understood C&D’s compario logic. Sometimes price is important. Sometimes it isn’t. Half the time the previous winner is beaten by the car that was considered middle of the pack two comparos ago. And their 10 best picks seem to lose comparos as often as they win.

    I’m sure that next year C&D will put the Alfa up against a Cadillac CTS-V and crown the Caddy the winner. Or an Audi.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      My favorite was when they tested a V6 Camaro against a V6 Genesis Coupe. Genesis coupe was ahead in every category except some “got to have it” factor or some other highly subjective BS.

      Camaro won.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve Biro

        Yup. I remember reading that Camaro vs. Genesis piece and laughing my ass off. The Hyundai was better in every way unless one was living in the 1960s in one’s head.

    • 0 avatar
      la834

      C/D did note during this comparo that the Competition Pack hurt the BMW’s score by making the car too one-sided and less livable in routine driving outside of the road course/track.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    One of my favorite Jeremy Clarkson quotes: “Alfa builds a car to be as good as a car can be….briefly.” So no.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Reminds me of the Fisker Karma that bricked for CR:

    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2012/03/bad-karma-our-fisker-karma-plug-in-hybrid-breaks-down/index.htm

    Italian cars = Italian supermodels. Look, try, regret, repeat.

  • avatar
    sco

    With regard to the car not starting I think ya gotta jiggle the wire to the distributor, try that.

    Would I buy this car? Yes, oh yes

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    No way I would buy one.

    If FCA gave me one for free, yes.

  • avatar
    ajla

    No, I’d pass. The ownership experience with my current bought-new FCA product doesn’t make me want another one.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    $74K for a sport sedan is never money well spent in the judicious financial sense, and I personally couldn’t spend that unless I was rolling in it and could just comfortably view the $74K as *gone* the moment I signed on the line. With that wealth in mind, yes I would buy the Alfa if it is as good as C&D say. It wouldn’t be my only car.

    Were it my only car and I wanted to retain reliability and some sense of retained value, I would just “invest” the extra 10 grand for a GS-F.

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    I do most of the maintenance and repairs myself on my cars and the answer is “NO”! Nobody wants a unreliable car! Just upsetting and total wast of time, money and mental energy to have deal with an unreliable car – especially if it involve the electrical system and it components! Engines valves and leaks is another big problem too! Ugh!

  • avatar
    200Series

    Considered, but for day-to-day commuting, etc. not ready to roll the dice here. Also don’t think the incremental performance gains, evident on a track, offset the quality/reliability concerns when comparing to an AMG, M, S/RS product.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    I’ve been seriously broke in my life, and had to rely upon high mileage beaters that occasionally broke down. I’m now at a point in my life where I could go buy a $50K car and pay for it with no problem at all, though $73K is a bit of a stretch. The point is that I would be very intolerant of having to deal with 1-2 break downs a year from a car I spent that much money on. Those days are behind me.

    A 3-year old Alpha with good records for $24k? Maybe. I live close to where I work and always have a 3rd vehicle in the stable because I refuse to every be stranded at home.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    Actually read this comparison waiting for brake-flush service. It was good reminder why I don’t take anything buff-books blah about seriously. It was supposedly their original compact sporty-sedan shootout, but an updated redux with Alfa in the mix.

    For the M3, they actually tested the Viagra package M3 or whatever, which was not ‘stock’ M3 from their original comparison. They twisted in the wind trying to down-play Caddy interior shortcomings, while talking up the bare-bones Alfa interior with ancient FCA TV toys (but with little Italian something icons, so cool!).

    The Alfa’s powerplant, C&D informs us, is a ‘Ferrari’ V8 engine – barring slight mod of two cylinders lopped off and still zero balance shafts. This is super awesome according to C&D, no shakes or anything they swear, and somehow better than the fully cylinder-intact AMG V8 in the Merc. One can almost swap the same shake-no-problem claims from their Quad-4 J-body review from decades ago I bet, and ponder long-term wisdom of such engineering choices and C&D endorsements of likewise, but aside from a single ECU engine-panic it actually worked so Alfa ‘wins.’

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      “Alfa”… not “”Alpha.”

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      If you’re in the market, you wouldn’t buy something in that segment without experiencing the cars first-hand anyway.

      The car journos did their job by making sure you don’t forget to try the Alfa before dismissing it.

      For all the things you disagreed with, they could be right or wrong–all that sporty feel and naughty noise is subjective.

      • 0 avatar
        CarnotCycle

        Update category review with Alfa is good idea sure; but this ‘re-ranking’ and Alfa ‘winning’ was silly to actually read. Reviewers collectively liked Alfa car most because it is different and Alfa itself coming back is exciting in car world. But reviewers did not say that; instead they tried making it sound objectively ‘better’ than the other automobiles – critiques of similar parts-bin chintz called out in the Cadillac interior was rationalized as character in the Alfa, for instance.

        And if I was reviewer of car with hi-po 90 degree V6 without balancers, I’d be a little cynical of the sales guy on that one and be extra-careful noting NVH characteristics and the like, especially after engine computer shenanigans randomly impeding functionality of the test car and the preceding reputation of Alfa Romeo automobiles (ahem, cough). I definitely wouldn’t spend a paragraph essentially saying ‘Meh, no biggie’ and then handing Alfa Romeo the gold star or whatever. Just lame.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          Check out the similar Road and Track comparison. They preferred the Mercedes. “. . . the AMG is better at being a road car than the other two are at being track cars . . .” It hasn’t been posted online yet.

          The ATS-V would be more competitive if they’d just put an LS V8 in there already!

          http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a32584/gm-ls-swaps/

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Cadillac would not dare put GM’s best motor in their performance Cadillacs, with one exception (soon ending).

            They are too kewl for school, and hipsters now, an will only use the GM ubiquitous 3.6 liter V6 (same one used in Chevys & Builds) with FI, or turbocharged 4 bangers!

            Wait until you see the Cadillac XT2 and XT3 (seriously).

            Standard of the world.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            DW, I say again: Vegas is calling.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I had to cancel my St. Thomas trip due to deal work.

            I’m headin’ down to Mexico way in 11 days!

            Hope I don’t catch Zika, get harassed by el policia, and am able to get back into Estados Unidos given geopolitics!

            I’m doing Nizuc which is a nice place, but the beach is not as nice as further north.

            Oh well, THEY’RE PAYING FOR IT!

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Buying a European luxury car?Surely you jest.

    That’s why it’s smarter to lease the things,or use the CarMax loophole.

    European luxury carmakers have a certain business model in place, and it doesn’t involve making long lasting reliable cars. Stuttgart ,Munich and Ingolstadt don’t make money off the enthusiast dude keeping his 10+ year old German car on the road.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Exactly, you lease European cars…but what’s the residual on an Alfa? My guess is that it sucks. Bad. Thus, Alfas will be no good to lease, unless FCA wants to spend a ton of money subsidizing those leases. And three years down the line, all those quasi-reliable Giulias will come back to them as lease returns. I wish them good luck selling them off.

  • avatar
    RobbieAZ

    No way I would ever choose the Alfa over the AMG. I doubt I would even notice whatever subtle differences there may or may not be (it’s only their opinion after all) in performance between the two in my daily driving. I would, however, choose it over the BMW and the Caddy.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Ha Ha I gotta laugh cause back in the 70’s I test drove an Alfetta at a local Alfa dealership and it overheated during a 5 minute drive, needles to say, I walked away.

  • avatar
    RHD

    These won’t sell in big numbers in the U.S., for several reasons: Fiat’s reputation for substandard quality, Alfa being missing from the market for so long, and the high price with so many other choices for the same or less. If the star of today’s equivalent of Sex in the City drives one, a few more will get sold to a few bored housewives.

    On another note, you do get thirteen syllables for your 73 grand. The Lamborghini Murcielago has fourteen but costs much more per syllable.

  • avatar
    Rnaboz

    I’ve owned a Triumph and dated crazy red heads. I am a glutton for punishment! I am all in on this car!

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Buy a red car?! A red little crampy car?!

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I don’t trust the AMG or M3 to not fail expensively several times in the first 80k miles either. The Caddy will just annoy with small flaws and quirks. I don’t trust any of these

  • avatar
    nsk

    A first-year Alfa Giulia is the wrong car for anyone who values reliability, dependability, and long maintenance intervals over all other car virtues (e.g. space, performance, cosmetics).

    Speaking for myself, I would absolutely buy a first-year Giulia Quad if I had confidence that my local dealer would be able to (1) competently diagnose and fix any issues, (2) conveniently and efficiently schedule service appointments, and (3) consistently offer a loaner car. So, like, if Hennessy Porsche sold Alfas, I’d totally buy a Giulia Quad…

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Probably not. This Alfa just doesn’t turn my crank for whatever reason. Not quite sure why — it’s a class of car I like and by all accounts it’s well done. I won’t put up with FCA build quality unless I’m really excited about the car.

  • avatar
    bluegoose

    If you have 73K, you should get a free loaner when it breaks. You almost have to believe it is going to break if it is an Alfa. It is not a Toyota. BMW also has a pretty poor reputation at this point.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Alfa’s product motto has always been “Steal your heart – and then breaks it”.

    I have been through the experience of Alfa ownership and would not do so again.

  • avatar
    Chan

    I’m afraid this question is being asked backwards.

    People who buy $400,000 Lamborghinis are willing to put up with these problems.

    People who buy $20,000 Toyotas are not.

    The real question is, which mindset does the buyer of the $73,000 Giulia QV possess? Is he willing to put up with a few CELs on a brand new car?

    Since the competing M3 and M5 also experience similar problems anecdotally, I’m going to declare nothing to see here, move along.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “The real question is, which mindset does the buyer of the $73,000 Giulia QV possess?”

      I’m thinking he’ll most likely have the same mindset as someone who purchases an AMG Benz, or a M-BMW: he wants a high-performance car he can drive back and forth to work. Folks like that don’t have the time or inclination to f*ck around with frequent dealer trips. That would seem to argue against buying an Alfa.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Define “frequent.” If a Civic is 0.8 visits per year and an Alfa is 2 per year that’s not a deal breaker for many people. Especially if they are things that can be fixed during a routine servicing.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          It IS a big deal to this car’s target market, jmo…the folks with enough money to buy these cars are probably type-A hard chargers, or rich folks. The last thing they want to f**k around with is a trip to the dealership…and that trip is going to be more difficult, given Alfa’s limited footprint.

          These are the LAST buyers you ever want to p*ss off…because you do it once, and they’re gone forever. Guaranteed.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            You know these people buy BMWs, MBs, Range Rovers, etc etc in droves, right? Apparently they don’t care about reliability.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      You make an excellent point. Most early Tesla buyers remained True Believers, in spite of horrendous reliability issues in the beginning.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        True, but then again, if you want a high performance luxury electric car, who else can you buy one from? Tesla’s the only real choice.

        Meanwhile, how many manufacturers make high performance sport sedans for $80,000 or so? There’s the four makes in the test…and two (Audi and Jaguar) weren’t even included.

        If Tesla had any real competition, its’ quality issues would have killed it deader than Francisco Franco.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I can name a very well-known individual (in the book circuit) who has owned a Tesla for over two years… with NO issues. He’s quite pleased with his car because, unlike others, he hasn’t abused it.

          • 0 avatar
            runs_on_h8raide

            you mean he hasn’t dragged any Z06s, Hemis or Rustangs down the 1/4 mile yet? For shame! For shame!! ;)

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      @Chan: Take it from a prior owner – Alfa problems are on an entirely different scale than BMW and MB.

      Add to that a new platform with a unique Ferrari derived six with 35 lbs of boost and you have yourself a formula for problems & frustration.

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    The Giulia Quadrifoglio looks great, but $73,000 is a lot of money. I would be sorely tempted to buy a near-loaded Jaguar XE in British Racing Green over Latte leather, and put the remaining $20,000 somewhere else.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Gut reaction to this question is “Wait for it to come off lease and buy it with a warranty for $25k”.

    Here’s the problem with that: Do you trust Alfa dealers to know what to fix, what to look for and how to refurb a 3 year old Alfa that’s new to market?

    I don’t.

    My faith in cpo cars has evaporated due to experiences with our cpo X5 and a recent test drive in an A6 where the backup camera didn’t engage correctly and when it did, the screen resembled my childhood memories of a Zenith tv with rabbit ears.

    As cars have gotten more complex, it seems dealers aren’t able or willing to do their “130 point inspection”. They’re probably detailing it, getting dents and dings out and printing a window sticker.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I would at least test drive an Alfa; I’ve always liked them. However, I would by no means buy from my local Alfa/Fiat studio because they shop all their service over to an abusive CJD dealership about a half-mile away.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Cinch of it is,reliability doesn’t matter at this premium brand price point.

    When folks are shopping for $50,000+ retail automobiles,there’s a substantial ego investment attached to the purchase.Its psychologically documented a customers perception of quality in a product raises with the price.

    An Alfa/BMW/Range Rover/Jaguar could be a flatbed queen,and the leasee/owner will just shrug and say “that’s life” after signing for the loaner car. But if a Toyota/Jeep/Chevy fails an alternator at 70,000 miles it’s clearly an unreliable,union built pile of crap unworthy of praise ever.

    As long as a luxury car doesn’t physically endanger its occupants,mechanical reliability is irrelevant. It’s a problem for the enthusiast who buys one used,but the luxury marque could care less about those folks.

  • avatar
    vanpressburg

    The heart wants Giulia, the brain says don’t buy it, it isn’t reliable car.
    But M3 is not reliable car as well, neither Cadillac, neither Boxter.
    How reliable is C63 S ?

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    If you’ve never dated a batshit crazy woman, you just won’t get it.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    I wouldn’t actually buy a Giulia, but I might lease one. Does the dealer offer free loaner cars?

  • avatar
    donatolla

    I really liked it – except for the fact that I didn’t fit. It definitely felt smaller behind the wheel than a comparable Lexus of BMW. Personally, I’d still wait. The biggest reason is that FCA has determined that Southern Ontario will only have 3 dealerships. All of which are over an hour drive away. Given the FCA reputation, I’ll wait until there’s a dealership closer for the eventual repairs.

  • avatar
    ilkhan

    The question isn’t how good the Alfa is. The question is if the loaner you get the other 11 months of the year is worth your Alfa’s car payment.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    if it had a manual, yes, absolutely. but not with an automatic.


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