In the latest episode of Consumer Reports’ Talking Cars YouTube show, hosts Jon Linkov, Gabe Shenhar, and Mike Monticello discussed the persistence with which their bought-and-paid for 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti has visited the dealer.
Only recently purchased by Consumer Reports’ undercover team, the new Alfa Romeo Giulia has hardly been able to undergo Consumer Reports’ testing.
“It’s a sexy car,” Shenhar says in introducing the new Alfa. “It has a really storied brand name. As compelling as it might look,” Shenhar says, introducing the new Alfa,”I don’t know if I’m ready to send anyone to buy this car.”
“It’s been back to the dealer about three times since we bought it.”
“We have had a lot of problems,” Linkov explains. “I haven’t had the opportunity to get into it because it’s been at the dealer so often.”
For Consumer Reports to acquire a car that’s representative of a typical example without alerting manufacturers and dealers, CR essentially uses undercover operatives to purchase new vehicles. In the Alfa’s case, after hoisting up the Giulia for inspection, CR discovered that a brake wear sensor was hanging loose. The placement of the front license plate interferes with parking sensors. “The sunroof,” Shenhar says, “didn’t want to open at some point.”
Consumer Reports won’t report exclusively on the reliability of one car; the official findings are reported after survey results from as many owners as possible. “Nonetheless, this is unusual,” Shenhar says.
“I really enjoy driving it,” Monticello continues. “It is one of those rare cars these days that you really look forward to driving because it’s so sporty,” pointing to the Giulia’s handling, steering feedback, and it’s desire to tackle good roads.
“I sort of think they got the big picture right,” Monticello says, “But they got some of these minor things wrong.”
The sun visor, fiddly climate controls, poor seats, and poor seat heaters are “quirks” the CR editors could live with. But when Monticello ended his weekend with the Alfa by driving the Giulia to work on Monday morning, the Check Engine light came on.
We questioned the likelihood of Alfa Romeo Giulia ownership among TTAC’s B&B community last month when Car And Driver named the Giulia Quadrifoglio a comparison test winner. That Alfa topped the BMW M3, Cadillac ATS-V, and Mercedes-AMG C63 S, but on more than one occasion, Car And Driver’s tester died following a remote startup.
Car And Driver’s conclusion: “We are willing to overlook this hiccup.”
But if it was ever acceptable to deliver an unreliable long-term tester, albeit unwittingly in this most recent case, to a major automotive publication, Consumer Reports is not the one to choose. Consumer Reports is largely unforgiving of the kind of failings that afflict actual consumers in the real world, rather than accepting the sort of faults an auto writer can tolerate during a press launch in Portugal. Expect CR to keep us apprised of faults of this specific 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti.
Alfa Romeo is the latest Fiat Chrysler Automobiles-owned brand to re-launch in North America. Four other FCA brands — Fiat, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram — filled four of the four lowest positions in J.D. Power’s recent Vehicle Dependability Study of MY2014 vehicles.
Through the end of February, 518 Alfa Romeo Giulias had found new owners in the United States, including 412 just last month.
The Giulia-related portion of the video begins at the 6:22 mark.