Consumer Reports' 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Basically Lives In The Dealer Service Bay

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
consumer reports 2017 alfa romeo giulia ti basically lives in the dealer service bay

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.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.
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  • Jacob Jacob on Apr 03, 2017

    This is not surprising. What do you expect from a car company with a logo showing a giant snake devouring a man: http://jalopnik.com/is-that-really-a-snake-eating-a-guy-on-the-alfa-logo-1626686519

  • Ra_pro Ra_pro on Jul 17, 2017

    Too bad. I was actually seriously considering the car. That was until I went to the dealer to get a test drive for the Quadrifoglio and the dealer basically said "No way, Jose", we don't let people test-drive these Ferraris. I told him the only way they can possibly sell these is through test-drives because no rational person will won't the boondoggle around his/her neck. But according all reviews the car drives fantastic, Ti as well as Q.

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?
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