By on March 21, 2017

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio - Image: FCA

Jalopnik published its review of the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (man, Quadrifoglio takes forever to type) and the world discovered that Jalopnik’s Giulia did not require a tow truck.

That sounds terribly sarcastic, but we wouldn’t be compelled to point out the relative reliability of Jalopnik’s Giulia Quadrifoglio (my goodness, Quadrifoglio takes forever to type) if Giulias hadn’t failed so miserably at other prominent publications in the recent past.

Jalopnik’s 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio didn’t struggle with remote starts, spend time getting fixed at a dealer, stall while parking, or die in traffic. Bless its thumping Italian heart. But Jalopnik’s Giulia Quadrifoglio was far from perfect. Editor-in-chief Patrick George says he doesn’t care: “I am willing to do what the Alfisti have done for decades and chalk up most of its flaws to that thing that is so elusive in modern cars: character.”

But George told me yesterday, “It’s not weirdo enthusiasts like me that Alfa Romeo has to convince. It’s normal folks who might otherwise buy a BMW or a Lexus.”

“And they’re not going to put up with these issues.”

Car And Driver’s Giulia Quadrifoglio (I will never learn to type that quickly) died following a remote start on more than one occasion.

Consumer Reports’ Alfa Romeo Giulia, a car Consumer Reports bought and paid for, has spent so much time at the dealer that editors aren’t getting seat time in the car.

After Motor Trend encountered no reliability issues with two Giulia Quadrifoglios, a third Giulia “died in traffic, leaving one of our senior staffers blocking the road until the flatbed arrived.” A fourth Giulia, Motor Trend says, “showed off its Italian heritage by stalling randomly during a photo shoot.”

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio - Image: FCA

As for Jalopnik’s Giulia Quadrifoglio press car example, “The inside is rife with rough and cheap-feeling plastic, not to mention a persistent rattle from the dash plagued us on our weeklong test.” While the optional seats are nicely bolstered and comfortable, “they feel cut-rate and have a bizarre wiggle every time someone sits on them.” George wrote about troubles with the infotainment unit, too. “At one point the audio from the stereo and nav directions stopped working entirely until I restarted at a traffic light.”

TTAC hasn’t yet had an opportunity to test and review an Alfa Romeo Giulia. (Constant coverage of Alfa reliability woes experienced by other publications isn’t increasing the chances of a Quadrifoglio landing in my driveway.) And we wouldn’t suggest that vehicle reliability studies should be conducted based on a handful of vehicles. But if the quality woes experienced in press cars is deemed by the reader to be invalid because of the small sampling size, should verdicts rendered on other aspects of the car likewise be appraised as baseless?

If car reviewers are supposed to ignore the fact that, for example, Jalopnik’s Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio featured a persistent dash rattle made worse by aggressive driving and rougher roads near their Bear Mountain State Park photo location, should the steering Patrick George described as “among the best I’ve encountered” also be ignored?

After all, if it’s just the one car being tested that suffers from quality woes, then it’s just the one car that has excellent steering, intoxicating engine noises, a smooth ZF eight-speed automatic with lightning quick shifts, and tremendous carbon ceramic Brembo brake stopping power. The Alfa booster will posit that the Giulia’s reliability/quality issues we’ve heard so much about won’t necessarily carry forward to all consumer-directed Alfas. But if that’s true, wouldn’t we have to believe that all the Giulia Quadrifoglio test specimens’ positive characteristics may not, either?

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio - Image: FCA

Of course not. A car review should represent a comprehensive viewpoint.

Patrick George clearly enjoyed driving the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. If I’m afforded the opportunity to test a Giulia Quadrifoglio, it’s safe to assume I’ll double my weekly mileage average on unnecessary coastal drives and pointless roundabout laps. I may even learn to type Quadrifoglio in fewer than 15 seconds.

The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio battles the usual German suspects “with a Ferrari-derived turbocharged engine and some of the best driving dynamics you can find in this class,” George writes. Unfortunately, the Giulia also enters that battle “with a series of letdowns you might expect from Alfa Romeo.”

Those expectations are not high.

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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157 Comments on “Somehow, Jalopnik’s 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Didn’t Break Down, But It Sure Wasn’t Exactly Perfect...”


  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    “They’re not going to put up with these issues”.

    Oh yes they will.
    Lexus and Infiniti owners perhaps won’t,but owners and leasees of German and British luxury cars won’t be put out in the least by Alfas non-reliability.

    Long as the Alfa Romeo outlets have OK customer service and a handy stock of loaner cars, they’ll do just fine. If reliability mattered in the premium space Land Rover would have folded a long time ago.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      OK, call the folks who will put up with this BS “Alfa owners”. Fair enough.

      Problem is, how many “Alfa owners” – i.e., folks who will ignore the fact that their sexy, fast cars are total garage queens – are there? Are there enough of them that the brand can thrive? I’m going with a resounding “no.” And the end result is the same: the car won’t sell enough to keep the brand (which had a lousy reliability rep the last time it set up shop here) in business.

      Sorry, there’s no explaining around this problem.

      • 0 avatar
        LS1Fan

        How is it that Range Rover can sell unreliable crap for decades and still have a sterling reputation? Have folks already forgotten about the Porsche IMS problem? BMWs M-engine rod bearing issue?

        Here’s a hint- Joe Moneybags doesn’t care about reliability. As long as he’s treated like a moneyed prince in the service bay he could care less what’s wrong with the car.

        The kind of person who’d care enough to research a cars reliability standards wont spend nearly 90K on a European made anything,Alfa Romeo or otherwise. We care cause we’re car guys. Most folks in a European luxury car dealer are just happy they’re not still driving a Bravada .

        • 0 avatar
          CarnotCycle

          I have to agree on this. Knew a leaser of a E92 M3, and one day car died in traffic in LA with a ‘chunk-chunk’ (his description) sound and wouldn’t even turn over again. BMW took care of him of course, and he got his car back only three days later.

          We were at lunch and he was talking about how nice the whole experience with BMW dealer was after his ‘adventure.’ Pal talked about the inconvenience as sort of badge-of-honor, like he had gone through his hazing and officially joined the BMW frat.

          I looked at his dealer paperwork and low-and-behold they had replaced entire engine. Undoubtedly rod-bearings (post 2012 S65 with the aluminum-tin bearings…gah).

          This pal, bless his soul, would be very interested in a Giulia Quadrifoglio.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Not just the M3. Swapping-out the new BMW 2.0 4 is a normal day at the office for BMW techs.

            Compared to that, a couple of squeeks and a faulty remote starter is nothing. (Who uses remote start on a sports car anyway?)

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            “Who uses remote start on a sports car anyway?”

            Remote start makes it easier to hear the exhaust at cold start

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I’ve got photos of piles of Audi engine crates, different stacks from different days, from my service visits to a major Audi dealer. Anyone who drives a turbocharged German car can’t give a flying fig about quality, reliability or engineering. I do care, so no more German cars for me.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          But the brand can’t live on Quadrifoglio volume alone. The $40K one is not in “Joe Moneybags” territory so it needs to not be a shop queen.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          @LS1fan:

          True, there are “Joe Moneybags” types out there buying cars who don’t care if they run or not. But these guys are buying Ferraris, Lambos, McLarens and the like. When they don’t run, he takes the S550. Not a big deal.

          But a Giulia is NOT a Ferrari/Lambo/McLaren competitor. And the “Joe Moneybags” types are too small a market to support the kind of volume needed for Alfa’s planned dealer network. Now, if FCA plans to sell a few hundred Giulias a year, no problem. But if they want to actually sell them in volume, it’s a BIG problem.

          And you ignore that the bulk of Giulia sales aren’t going to be Quadrifoglios – they’re going to be the $50,000 mid-level versions. Those are NOT sold to “Joe Moneybags.” They’re sold to “Joe Middle Manager At Large Corporation.” That car is Joe’s daily driver. If it doesn’t run, then he’s stuck driving his wife’s Honda Pilot to work (assuming, of course, his wife doesn’t need the car that day).

          Giulia buyers are going to be quite concerned about their cars being a shop queen. Bet on it.

          • 0 avatar

            Exactly this. You need, require 100% up time if you have one car, because of work…kids…life. If you have several-then if one spits, no big deal. So, if the Ferrari doesn’t run, take the Audi, or maybe even the older Chevy truck. You’ll get there, no sweat. Part takes a week to come in ? Maybe I’ll have the toy car for the weekend…or maybe the DD is in the shop, I’ll just have to avoid the potholes in the Vette.

            Back in the rest of the world, about 90% of it…..

            You got one car, one proportionally big payment, and lots of points to connect, that thing better start….

            Now, no car, no where, has 100% uptime. From there, dealer becomes an issue. Want a loaner car from BMW ? Two days. Loaner from the VW dealer ? Two weeks. Loaner from Acura ? No problem, unless you bought the car from another dealer.

            My BMW warranty experiences (which weren’t too many) were getting a flatbed to pick up my car. Loaners were easy, and if not BMW, with apology. Never ever argued with the Service writer or contacted corporate. They took care of me. Acura, not so much, and VW…rot in hell. You can pull this if your client can’t easily walk, but if they have choices, it is AMAZING how the auto industry goes from Fight City Hall to “would you like creamer, 2% or whole in that Kona coffee, Sir ?)

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Most of my experience is in the middle of the German car driving spectrum. My peers don’t lease 2.0T cars in the delusion that they will be respected for foregoing the luxuries of Accords and Camrys they might be able to stretch their money to rent, but they aren’t eating AMG 65 depreciation every 18 months or trading every time Porsche offers a new option package on the Beetle either. The reason they can tolerate their global-race-to-the-bottom A7s and CLS550s is because they almost universally also have something that says Denali or Platinum on its fender.

            A few times I’ve seen their German cars turn them into full-time pickup or Yukon drivers. First they give the German burden to their housewife. Then, she insists it’s too small and unreliable for their expected baby and makes him trade it on a Range Rover or German SUV, which only shows that reliability doesn’t matter unless you have a job with a demanding schedule.

        • 0 avatar
          Malforus

          In what world does “Range Rover” have a sterling reputation? Everyone I have ever spoken to who owns a Range Rover owns it for the cultural cachet of the brand not for reliability.

          Hell the car being unreliable just underscores that if you own a Range Rover, you do not give an f about such plebian things, because you have enough money that it doesn’t matter.

          When you see someone rolling in a Signature Edition its not because of the perfection of the car, its the social signaling showing you have 200k to burn on an SUV that has faux British Heritage.

          You know, like how gaudy in your face jewelry and pay by the hour dates show you have made it in the entertainment scene.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Malforus, you nailed the Range Rover owner to a tee. It screams to all in your neighborhood that you can afford to buy it, and more importantly, you can eat the depreciation when your wife is seen in a new one every two or three years. You have money to burn and you let everybody know it. Just don’t have a six year old model in the stable, unless it is a third vehicle for your newly minted driver offspring.

            Actually, I have to give RR credit. Something that is usually viewed as the worst possible trait in a vehicle was converted into a positive that drives new vehicle sales. That will not be the same with an Alfa. The fanbois will put up with the problems, but if they have had a Milano, this will likely be much more reliable than that so for them, they’re ahead. And they have a modern Alfa. All other sports car intenders will look at reliability data and many will end up elsewhere.

        • 0 avatar
          Flipper35

          It is well marketed like Starbucks. It may be crap, but it is well marketed crap.

          Jack, that is where the mad men have gone.

      • 0 avatar
        tchirn

        I can’t understand how you can knock a car that is just coming on to the market for being unreliable when it has yet to show as such . You are basing that on past problems of non reliability. Alfa is well aware that it is do or die for it. A Ferrari engine is unreliable? The automatic tranny that has been reported as being the best that is out there? Give the car a chance to prove itself before you label it as unreliable otherwise you are as idiotic as is the joke of an automobile reviewer as is Jalopnik and Timothy Cain who is obviously an Alfa hater. Every review of Alfa Romeo Giulia by prominent reviewers and Auto magazines both American and British have been extremely positive with the exception of joke Jalopnik and Tim Cain.

        • 0 avatar

          Oh, and don’t forget that joke of a publication Consumer Reports. Or that rag-tag outfit Car and Driver. God, they’re such amateurs.

          • 0 avatar
            tchirn

            Check out Motor Trend and what they have to say about the Alfa. Consumer Reports should be called Manufacturer Report and the rag tag Car and Driver among auto enthusiasts is infamous for its one sided reviews because before “testing” the car the reviewers have already made up their mind as either loving the car or hating it. Also check out some of the British magazines on the car if you want an objective review.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            I would trust just about every other magazine out there including soccer mom blogs over Consumer Reports. Just because they buy their own cars doesn’t mean they have no bias.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “Alfa is well aware that it is do or die for it.”

          You’re right, which makes the fact that they clearly didn’t iron all the bugs out of this incredibly important product all the more mystifying.

          This tells me they haven’t learned much from their first failure…which doesn’t make me very interested in their product.

          • 0 avatar
            sutherland555

            Agreed, best foot forward and all that. I’m too young to remember Fiat last stab at the NA market but I do know that the NA car market is fierce. If you’re new (or returning in this case) and don’t bring your best, don’t come at all.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “If you’re new (or returning in this case) and don’t bring your best, don’t come at all.”

            Doubly true in the luxury car market, and this explains why Lexus was such a hit. Also explains why Cadillac hasn’t fared all that well with its’ new models – like the Giulia, the ATS and CTS get nothing but raves for their performance. But the interiors and CUE are turnoffs, and the reliability rep is less than stellar. Details matter to luxury car drivers.

        • 0 avatar
          sirwired

          So, you are saying that any new car should get a “free pass” reliability-wise for a couple years?

          Does. Not. Compute.

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          Fiat gambled away what little development money they had available to make this happen at the cost of modernizing and updating much more critical models to their bottom line. Fiat desperately needs Alfa to be a grand slam.

          Should Alfa get “the taint”, Fiat is done. The handful of people that will tolerate an unreliable car may flock to an Alfa if they’re interested in giving up their current brand. But that’s only a handful. If unreliability was broadly accepted then Lexus and Toyota wouldn’t be where they are.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Alfa doesn’t have a brand name that is on par with Jaguar, let alone BMW, Mercedes, or Land Rover. And the Germans have figured out how to be very reliable through at least the lease period. The Guilia is new, so things should get better, but these kinds of issues aren’t happening in the 3-Series or C-Class. The C-Class and 3er interiors is decided not cheap. The seats probably don’t wiggle either.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Adam, I lot-sampled a Giulia back to back with a C-Class Benz and a 3-series BMW a couple of weeks ago. Just in terms of “quality feel,” and perceived interior quality, the Alfa’s not even remotely competitive with either of them.

        • 0 avatar
          davefonz164

          Totally off, I was able to sample a Giulia for a few hours and its not far off. Its actually much better than I expected considering the amount of internet bashing.

          What I did notice was a lack of tech, or glitz compared to the Benz and Audi.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I’ll tell you the one thing I really liked about the Giulia – that infotainment screen is AWESOME to look at, and it’s artfully integrated into the dash. Looks like it was pretty easy to use as well.

            Far better than BMW or Benz. But then again, this is the same company that gave us UConnect, so probably not much of a surprise.

            But I noticed a LOT of cheapness in the Giulia. When you close the front doors, the side mirrors wobble in their mounts. The door-closing sound would be OK for a $25,000 Altima, but not a $50,000 luxury car. Close the back door, and the back bumper rattles (I was able to duplicate this in three different cars, so it wasn’t one car). The interior materials and feel of the controls aren’t even remotely as nice as you’d find in a C-Class.

            Yes, I’m being picky, but frankly, Alfa earned it. This is the same company that flamed out here 25 years ago because they sold junk, so it’s understandable that they’d face “enhanced scrutiny.” And even disregarding Alfa’s rep, plenty of folks dropping this kind of money will pick right up on stuff like this, just like I did. FCA needed to hit a home run with this car quality wise, given the horrid rep Alfa had before it left our market, and it didn’t.

            I’d love to seem them succeed, but for that to happen, I think they need to do a HUGE improvement on their quality – and it needs to happen right now.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      German luxury cars usually wait until after the normal leasing/warranty period before they start suffering from major reliability problems. Nobody cares about the 2nd owner.

      Land Rover is an abnormality, but it benefits from being the head of the class in terms of luxury SUV prestige (like BMW and the 3 series for compacts, or Mercedes S class in the large car segment). The Giulia doesn’t have that pedigree.

      • 0 avatar
        LS1Fan

        Quite a few German luxury cars shat the bed early in the ownership cycle. I know an M2 owner whose motor crapped its rod bearings not 10,000 miles into ownership. No modern car should do that ,but his M-trim Bimmer did.

        What did he do? Drive a loaner for a month, picked up his M2 and drives it to this day. Because most ordinary folk would rather drive a BMW loaner car for a month then a reliable Civic for five years.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          True, “ordinary folk” never buy Civics. 366,927 US sales of them in 2016 just prove how many weirdos are out there.

          • 0 avatar
            LS1Fan

            Cute,but no sale.
            What do those 300,000 odd folks picture as a vehicular symbol of success? An Accord?

            When ordinary folks buy European cars there’s a personal investment .Call it ego, call it status. But realize there’s a reason every low end apartment in LA has shiny BMWs and Mercedes parked outside. It’s that investment that motivates folks to ignore broken cars.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “What do those 300,000 odd folks picture as a vehicular symbol of success?”

            Who the fcuk but car guys could even write “vehicular success”? How about “HVAC success” or “laundry success”?

          • 0 avatar
            RHD

            “Vehicular symbol of success”… what a load of crap. That symbol usually means a large lease payment for an insecure poser who is struggling to impress other people.
            An expensive car that breaks down often is an overpriced pile of junk, even if it is new, shiny and German.
            A successful vehicle does most things well: satisfying performance, decent fuel economy, comfort, room, visibility, value for purchase price and no excessive depreciation, intuitive controls, above-average reliability, and so on. It doesn’t make you look like a sucker to marketing and false upward mobility.

            If you want to know what actual success is, read “The Millionaire Next Door.”

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          My FIL’s X3 28i (NA I6) was down for 2 months with a mechatronic (sp??) unit failure in the 8AT. Does this tick him off? Heck no, he brags about how he got to drive 3-4-5 other BMWs in that time, he’d drive one for a while, get bored, call the dealer, and they’d give him something else. 535i, X3 35i, X1 35i, 528i, whatever, he drove a bunch. He can’t wait for the next-gen X3 to be released so he can order another one (with the big engine this time).

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          …and if that M2 owner is anything like me, that’d be the last time he ever darkens the door of a BMW dealership.

          Well, to use a baseball analogy, BMW can sit at the plate and take a few strikes. Why? Because their overall brand equity is good enough that it can get away with that sort of thing. How’s Alfa’s rep?

          @S2K chris:
          Yep, getting to bum off the dealer is fun…the first time around. What if the next X3 he buys has similar problems? Eventually this sort of thing comes back to bite you.

          • 0 avatar
            andres33

            That’s a very important and fantastic point FreedMike!

            Audi sold me two Audi’s that were very reliable, an ’06 A3 new that I kept for nearly 8 years and 106,000 miles (was reliable enough), and a S4 that was pretty much flawless for 48,000 miles. I got rid of the S4 because a Lexus driver ruined it and body shops suck in CA.

            My third Audi suffered a major league part failure early in it’s life (13,000) miles, and it took them a month+ to get the right part to complete the fix. Due to my earlier experiences, I was willing to put up with this big problem and failure; assuming it doesn’t have another problem prior to the warranty running out.

            With my Dodge, it was my first and last. There is no built-up goodwill from good cars to forgive anything. I don’t buy American again because the very first problem with the new one would be 1 problem too many. The lifetime problem limit was reached for Chrysler with that one product. Audi earned some patience prior to requiring it, and they took good care of me, honored the warranty, and didn’t provide any warranty resistance that I’ve heard other manufacturers routinely seem to do.

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      “Lexus and Infiniti owners perhaps won’t,but owners and leasees of German and British luxury cars won’t be put out in the least by Alfas non-reliability.”

      I’ve owned seven BMWs, driving no other brand for the last 20 years, and I’ve never been stranded. I can only speak for myself, but poor reliability can certainly be a deal breaker.
      .
      .

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      even with a warranty and loaner cars, too many trips to the dealer too frequently can still sour someone on the car.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Don’t agree. For me luxury means not having to see the dealer and not having to waste time and money on repairs – even if the repairs are gratis.

      This car should do as as the Maserati BiTurbo did. And have just as good resale value.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Well, it won’t be Biturbo bad…

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          How are the TATA Range Rovers reliability wise so far? I was under the impression the jury was out because they were too new to have sufficient data.

          • 0 avatar
            Jagboi

            I’ve heard that the newer ones are much better than the older versions. Basically anything that is post BMW electrical systems and engines is good.

      • 0 avatar
        Tosh

        Ah the good old days of the lure of the low-mile $9000 off-lease Biturbo. Sat in several and remarked how cracked that leather was and how oily it was underhood (shiver). Followed promptly by the stunning 164, which went toe-to-toe and blow-for-blow against the Sterling for stupid random stuff failing. You’d have to be pretty old and grumpy to hold all that history against these fresh modern wannabe upstarts? Guilty!

    • 0 avatar
      Pig Hater

      But then again Sterling was a short lived luxury car manufacture, mainly due to reliability issues. Perhaps Alfa can survive since Maserati and Jaguar did.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Sterling still lives, PH. The make trucks today. Many of them are sold in the US and haul 20 tons of goods down the highways.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          not the same company, Vulpine. “Sterling” was a brand Rover created to sell a car in the US. That car was a Honda Legend which Rover managed to ruin.

          Sterling Trucks is the former Ford Heavy Truck division. It was re-christened Sterling after Daimler bought it off of Ford, and was wound down in 2009 in favor of Freightliner since Daimler could f#ck up a wet dream.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            While probably true, the point is that Sterling does exist. The brand name had to be purchased; it wasn’t just given away.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            If that’s the logic we’re using, then Packard and Auburn still exist. Someone owns those names, too.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Yup. FCA, I believe.
            Along with DeSoto.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            …“Sterling” was a brand Rover created to sell a car in the US. That car was a Honda Legend which Rover managed to ruin….

            “Imagine if the Japanese could make a car like the British/If the British could make a car like the Japanese…think about it” Words against some leather being hand stretched by a coachbuilder…I remember the ads pretty well.

            How can you take a Legend as a base and still make it suck? Answer – LUCAS!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Lucas is just another name for the Devil.

        • 0 avatar
          vaffangool

          Vulpine you’ve got it all wrong. The Sterling Trucks brand was established in the early 1910’s, preceding the late 80’s passenger car by maybe 75 years. The Rover-Honda partnership was unlikely to be confused with a heavy trucks nameplate that had gone dormant in the 1950’s (and wasn’t resurrected until 1997). How you’ve managed to conflate the two is a thing of wonder.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      And here’s where you’d be wrong, because Alfa dealerships are often fiat dealers and have abhorrent customer service. Go look at the owners forums for the new Giulia and you’ll see a lot of broken down cars at the dealership but NO LOANER AVAILABLE FOR YOUR $70000 brand new car.

      Multiple people have said they couldn’t get a loaner, so not only are these cars unreliable, Alfa Romeo isn’t stepping up to the plate with customer service.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Outside of Tesla and a few other, very specific, dealerships, I rarely hear of any dealerships offering loaners, not even Lincoln or Caddy dealers. That, by itself, is no reason to denigrate the Alfa.

        Conversely, most Alfa/Fiat studios are operated by chain-franchise CJD dealers who themselves are among the worst in the industry. Those specific chains will do anything they can to bilk cash out of both their customers and their OEMs (I’ve witnessed this for myself.)

        As for the cars themselves, it seems interesting that while some reviewers (CR specifically) complain about poor reliability, other reviewers never even suggested there were mechanical problems with the cars they tested. Notably, not only the TTAC reviewer but AutoWeek, a televised reviewing source, never noted any issues with their car despite being very obviously aggressive with the car on the track. For that reason, I have to take the majority of the arguments against it here with a grain of salt as I expect most of the complaints are inflated far out of proportion to any real issues.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    In the end, it won’t matter how great this car is to drive if it has reliability/quality problems.

    And the idea that “Alfa owners” will ignore all this because the car’s just so awesome to drive is laughable bunk. “Alfa owners” didn’t ignore it the last time the company flunked out here, and they certainly won’t ignore it now.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      and this right here sums up the big problem with automotive journalism. these cars are being reviewed by people who don’t have to live with the cars, and can focus on things like handling, grip, and steering feel which practically no car buyer cares about.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        If the reviews of this car hadn’t included the blatantly negative reliability data, then I think you’d have a good argument.

        Or are you disappointed that they tended to lead with “it drives great,” versus “it doesn’t run right?” In the end, the former is as true as the latter, and I’d argue both truths deserve to be in the article. That’s the case in pretty much all the articles I’ve seen.

        I don’t have a problem with how the automotive press has been handling this at all.

        And the “buyers don’t care about performance” argument is bunk. All buyers care about it. Some just care more than others. Automotive journalism caters to the “cares more” crowd. Nothing wrong with that.

    • 0 avatar
      Ostrich67

      Alfa owners typically bought their cars used, and they will again when the $70,000 version is priced at mid four figures five years from now.

      In fact you don’t want a new one. Alfas are best “seasoned”, with the first owner sorting the little problems and the factory and aftermarket come up with solutions to the bigger ones.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    The photos of the dreary, black hole-like interior of this nearly ~ ninety thousand dollar ~ car were particularly damning. When the materials don’t even look good in fancy photos, you know you’re in trouble. Even if the paddle shifters are real metal, for instance, they LOOK like plastic.

  • avatar

    The car is pretty and has some character. The Lessor, usually, of a 60k car has choice the buyer of a 72 month Altima does not. The 50k car buyer will be a lessor-and not upside down or credit challenged-stuck with the beast. He will be out of the car in a heartbeat and blast it to all his likewise friends at the club if it sucks. Teething is to be expected…which is why other makers give us the cars after a year or two in the home market to shake out problems. We are saturated with good cars, new, CPO and used.

    I think that they have to be very, very loose on Warranty, and have those loaners lined up. If your problem is fixed and you get a like loaner car (no, you can’t give them beat Kias reeking of Winstons and with dirty windows) you will be OK. If you get VW style dealers with VW style warranty treatment, just sink the Transport full of new cars in the Atlantic now, it will be cheaper.

    I would like them to succeed, now that BMW has lost the path on the mass market cars…

  • avatar
    sutherland555

    Maybe it’s a stupid question but wouldn’t they send cars out to testers that they’re certain will at least not break down? On the other hand, maybe these are the most reliable ones they had on hand.

    • 0 avatar
      stevelovescars

      Good point. While I don’t imagine the press cars are “ringers” with performance mods, I would certainly expect them to be inspected, cleaned, and in top top shape. When I received test cars they usually looked spotless with tires at just the right pressures regardless of miles.

      I am personally interested in the 2.0 turbo Giulia. I have barely seen a mention of this model, are they not giving those out as press cars?

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        They are not really giving out the base Giulia as pressers. As its performance will be more pedestrian that means the press would focus more on the aspects of the Alfa that are not up to par with the competitors (material quality/design, reliability, etc).

        Alfa doesn’t want that. They want the press enamored with the engine performance, drive, and sound.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        Motor Trend just did a big review in this class, and had a 4-cylinder Giulia, and seemed to like it plenty (it was one of the quicker cars in the class, and got pretty great fuel economy). That said, I think Alfa just wants to lead with the super-aggro Quatrofioglio, as I assume they’re trying to attract the crowd BMW’s trying to abandon.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      It’s probably safe to assume that at a minimum, the cars Alfa put in the hands of automotive journalists had been rigorously inspected and serviced to make sure there were no obvious flaws. And, well, if they did that, then c’est la vie. It happens. At least they apparently didn’t give the magazines “ringers” that had been specially made, like GM did with the first X-cars.

      But, if the “specially inspected” cars are still having these problems, how bad are the ones that are sitting on dealers’ lots? Given that CR bought one, and reported more problems than C/D, R/T, M/T, etc did, well…I think we know the answer to that question.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Honestly dont know what to say…some people will still buy it. I just feel bad the Chrysler products have to suffer for this shyt to come to market.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I’m torn… I like many of the FCA products. I owned a Fiat 500 Abarth for a couple of years and didn’t have any issues.

    I’m looking for a new family truckster and the new Pacifica caught my eye. The local dealer has a few Touring level examples coming up for sale with about 5k miles on them at a substantial discount. These were used in their customer loaner/rental fleet. So, I borrowed one for the weekend.

    As a Touring model, it has cloth interior but the larger 8.4″ screen, power sliding doors but few other upgrades (no power tailgate, entertainment system, etc.) With 4,900 miles on the clock and few options, what could go wrong?

    Well, the top 1/8″ of the screen was burned out making some of the standard information impossible to read. No matter what I did, it wouldn’t synch with my iPhone 6S using Bluetooth (something I’ve done often on other cars), and for one of the days, the driver’s side power sliding door wouldn’t work with power assist. Also, oddly, while the screen showed some apps like Pandora, these wouldn’t work (with my phone connected via USB) without downloading some UConnect app onto my phone. Unfortunately, this was impossible because once it was downloaded, it required registration with UConnect, but their site was down all weekend. Why would I need another App? I’ve had other rental cars work spotlessly for Pandora. I could use Pandora on my phone without the app and it worked fine, so I was just confused as to what this supposedly buys me.

    Anyway… it was a nice car. It drove wonderfully. It was quiet, smooth, fast, comfortable, and my kids loved it. The power sliding door mysteriously started working again and I’m sure the other issues would be fixed before I bought it. I even liked the interior materials and the dark brown on the seats and dash were a nice compromise between black and “show every smudge” light gray. My ultimate reaction was to wait for a second-year production model and hope they iron out some bugs and to wait for one with a few more miles and even more depreciation.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      No interest in the Durango?

    • 0 avatar
      MLS

      That’s the one knock against Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment system: the requirement to install a clunky Chrysler app (“Uconnect Access”) on one’s smartphone to control Pandora, Slacker, etc. Other manufacturers manage these integrations without an additional app.

    • 0 avatar
      islander800

      I just had an interesting conversation with my brother-in-law who is a long time Chrysler fan. He told me how his newish Pacifica had some drivability issues (don’t recall exactly what they were) and was told by FC dealership that he needed a software update download to fix the problem – AND he had to hand over $125 to the dealer for the pleasure of their software update “fix”. WTF??

      Sergio, King of the World in his own mind, is driving the company into the ground (although the “reputation” of his dealership network isn’t helping). He thinks the new Guilia with its apparently appalling quality is going to “capture” the N.A. market (he talked of hundreds of thousands of sales per year…)? That just tells you how delusional the man is. But he sure looks spiffy in his turtleneck sweaters, and got Uncle Sam to virtually give him the bankrupt Chrysler Corporation (after Cerberus, the private equity firm, drove it off a cliff), so he can’t be all bad – right?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “But if the quality woes experienced in press cars is deemed by the reader to be invalid because of the small sampling size, should verdicts rendered on other aspects of the car likewise be appraised as baseless?”

    No, because of definition 2 for entropy:

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entropy

    The good points of the car should be considered the best the car can be, and they are valid. In fact, many reviewers agree on these points as well.

    But it is extremely unlikely that the problems will ‘iron themselves out’. When a vehicle’s drivetrain is considered weak (let’s say a 2.4/9A Renegade), it’s quite unlikely that any particular Renegade’s drivetrain will suddenly run like a Lexus (or a Challenger, for that matter, keeping it in the family).

    Vehicles today are produced with very little variation in quality between serial numbers. The notion of a ‘Monday’ or ‘Friday’ car is outdated. Usually, the entire product suffers from common maladies, but statistically a few rise to the level of recall or lemon status. In the case of my former 02 Passat, I got rid of it when I realized its problems would only get worse with time. In my former 05 Odyssey, I pursued (and won) a lemon law claim because the timing of my problems permitted it, but other owners experienced the same issues on a different schedule.

    So in the case of the Alfa, I think they’re probably all ‘Monday’ cars, and prospective buyers should embrace that character flaw before signing.

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      Good points. My thinking is that, at least dash and seat rattles have a chance of being fixed with some production changes. Extra insulation or an extra fastener, or something like that. But limp suspension and steering would never be fixed without a major redesign. At least, here, the car has good steering “baked in.” In the grand scheme of things, the reviews are right to mention both the good and bad points.

  • avatar
    stars9texashockey

    J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study

    Nameplate VDS ranking (problems per 100 vehicles)
    Lexus 110
    Porsche 110
    Toyota 123

    Buick 126
    Mercedes-Benz 131

    Hyundai 133
    BMW 139
    Chevrolet 142
    Honda 143
    Jaguar 144
    Kia 148
    Lincoln 150
    Mini 150
    GMC 151
    Cadillac 152
    Audi 153
    Volvo 154
    Industry Average 156
    Chrysler 159
    Subaru 164
    VW 164
    Mazda 166
    Acura 167
    Nissan 170
    Land Rover 178
    Mitsubishi 182
    Ford 183
    Ram 183
    Dodge 187
    Infiniti 203
    Jeep 209
    Fiat 298

    Enough said.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Enough said if reliability is your only criteria when it comes to buying a car.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        it doesn’t have to be your *only* criteria. I can understand overlooking some flaws if you like other aspects of the car enough to offset it. but even for a great driving car, there’s going to be a limit to what an owner will put up with.

      • 0 avatar
        sutherland555

        For many, a car is a tool so reliability is the most important criteria but not the only one. That said, most manufacturers are close enough to the industry average that it’s a non-issue. Fiat has TWICE the average and we haven’t even talked about long-term reliability yet. If their cars are that poorly built out of the gate, I shudder to think of how they’ll be in 5 years.

    • 0 avatar
      notapreppie

      I wouldn’t have expected VW was so close to the industry average…

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Yeah, I bought into the “VWs are junk” trope too, but a little homework puts the lie to that. The only issue I can report with my new Jetta in 4500 miles is a small rattle somewhere in the vicinity of the radio. Aside from that, it’s been flawless.

        (Knock on wood!)

        If anything, the worst thing about this car was the buying experience at the dealership. Honda and Toyota stores are FAR better at catering to educated, well qualified customers.

        • 0 avatar
          lon888

          Yeah at 4000 miles my 2012 GTI was pretty stinking nice also. However at 91000 miles here’s the scorecard: 3 batteries, intake manifold, fuel injector, high pressure fuel pump, 3 sets of rear stabilizer bar end links. This fun is going to start at 1 mile after your warranty expires. Have fun!

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            …and that’s why I leased the Jetta.

            But in fairness, I can only think of a few cars, that I’d actually do a five year loan on and keep for 10 years, and they’re all pretty much named “Toyota.”

            Unfortunately, a) I don’t want to keep ANY car more than a few years, and b) Toyotas suck to drive.

            In 31 months, I’ll chuck in the Jetta on another one, or maybe a GTI, as long as they haven’t ditched the tartan plaid seats.

    • 0 avatar
      tchirn

      I don’t see VW listed.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    I find the reviews of this car (where it wins the comparo) absolutely insane.

    No one in their right mind would pay cold hard cash to for this POS.

    I understand leasing it. I understand it winning a test if your OWN money isn’t on the line.

    But can you imagine forking over $50k plus for this, going on a trip, and then getting stranded out of the blue?

    These are brand spanking new vehicles that are repeatedly having severe breakdowns (severe = vehicle inoperable) during their premiere.

    I just cannot imagine the nightmare these cars will be outside of warranty.

    Absolutely terrifying.

    I’ll take a 5.0 V8 Lexus GS-F anyday over this garbage.

    • 0 avatar
      davefonz164

      Let me know how much your Lexus is worth is 25 years from now, then well compare the Giulia Q.

      But yes, its damm reliable.

      • 0 avatar
        suspekt

        I’d gladly take a 1998 Lexus GS 400 over a 1998 BMW 540i or 1998 MB E430…
        In fact I did and it was a treat.

        The build quality is still impeccable after 20 years of use.

        And it amazing how sweet that Lexus V8 is with a set of headers and proper tune. Just pure RELIABLE silk.

        • 0 avatar
          davefonz164

          Of course its reliable we know that, and you love it, we also know that.

          Drive an Alfa V6 in anger, let me know then.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “Drive an Alfa V6 in anger”

            AVs will never drive “in anger” and that’s why we so badly need them.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “Drive an Alfa V6 in anger, let me know then.”

            You say that like the Lexus 5.0L is some sort of shrinking violet. It’s a naturally-aspirated V8 that spins over 7000.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        “Let me know how much your Lexus is worth is 25 years from now, then well compare the Giulia Q.”

        Your argument is that 25 year old Alfas hold value better than Lexus? Is that what you were trying to do here? Because no.

        • 0 avatar
          davefonz164

          The Giulia Q will

          • 0 avatar
            tekdemon

            That’ll only be because all of them have been junked except for the five cars that survived because someone garage queened them and spent $90000 on maintenance and repair. Any QV that gets driven will long be in the ground in 25 years. The damned taillamp has a design problem that fries out all the wiring in the trunk due to water leakage so a lot of these cars are already undrivable after a few weeks let alone 25 years.

      • 0 avatar
        brawnychicken333

        What?

        Comparing the value 25 years from now? That’s insane. And also incorrect-25 year old Lexii have pretty solid resale. More than most other vehicles.

  • avatar
    davefonz164

    Anyone who’s owned European cars will understand both the joy and pain of running one out of warranty, whether its from Germany, France, Britain or Italy.

    German cars are able to mask most problems within the first 24 months or so, but having worked in a VW dealership, I can tell you that the problems are there. The way the German 3 handle the problems is what sets them apart and what Alfa will need to duplicate if it wants to be sucessful in the long-term. Audis were junk 25 years ago and look at them now. The same can be said of Range Rover too.

    Maserati sold less than 3000 units in 2002, they surpassed 42000 last year and will continue to increase, as Alfa Romeo will. The first adopters of the Giulia will suffer the most though, as did the first Jag XE and Volvo XC90 buyers, with numerous software glitches.

    European cars dont make much sense in a North American context, but theres just something about their style, flare and panache.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Yes, Range Rovers and Audis were junk 25 years ago. But they improved, and earned a place in the market. Alfa abandoned ship.

      That’s a damned deep hole they’ve dug for themselves, and the quality of this new car suggests they haven’t changed much.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Were junk? You sure this changed?

        Btw C3 was good for what is was (sort of) but it was 26 years ago now (MY91).

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          No, neither are junk, 28. Perhaps they’re “below average” reliability wise, but if the “average” reliability score is, say 95, then they’d probably be B students in this regard. Not perfect, but good enough to not outright turn folks off.

          (From what I’ve heard, buggy infotainment systems are the culprit behind both brands’ lowered scores.)

      • 0 avatar
        davefonz164

        Improved, but the problems persist for both JLR, Volvo and German 3. Some things never change. If you want to be at the forefront of design, tech and performance, something has to give.

        Whens the last time you lusted after an Acura, Infiniti or Lexus? They make excellent cars in terms of reliability, but they rarely make headlines for innovation. You can’t have it all.

  • avatar
    Nedmundo

    Based on the success of the Germans in this segment, reliability obviously isn’t as important as it is in other segments, but it still matters. Even enthusiasts who want cars with “character” have their limits, and I think SAAB’s failure provides a good illustration of this. Granted, they were way too late to the AWD party, but beyond that, reliability was a serious problem and I suspect a big reason for the marque’s eventual collapse.

    I loved my 9-5 Aero, but a couple of serious problems hit at around 50,000 miles that required towing. Even though it was solid for about 80,000 miles after that — which is impressive — there was no way I was buying another. I wasn’t the only one, because both of those issues were common, with one prompting a recall. And that model was considered fairly reliable among SAABs.

    • 0 avatar
      davefonz164

      My good friend owned a Viggen for numerous years and it was then, lightyears ahead of his MK3 Vr6, both in terms of reliability and quality, yet people were terrified of Saab. That’s not to say it was an Accord but you get the point.

      Perception and reality are often different.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I don’t think buyers were ever “terrified” of Saabs – they just stopped putting up with all their weirdness. And by the time Saab stopped being weird (after the GM purchase), it was largely irrelevant.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    This Alfa has a specific role. It is not meant to be a ‘big’ seller. It is meant to bring Alfa to the attention of the North American public. If they sold too many it would lose its cachet.

    So those leasing one do so to be different. To stand out from the crowd of German vehicles.

    So much like leasors of Range/Land Rovers, Jaguars and Astons they will put up with some reliability problems, just as long as they are treated ‘royally’ when those occur. It is part of the ‘badge of ownership’ that comes with these marques.

    • 0 avatar
      davefonz164

      #truth

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I disagree, Arthur. This car was built to sell in at least moderate volume. Hence, Alfa’s taking out a lot of advertising to support the product, and shipping quite a few of them to dealers. Here’s the website for my local Alfa dealer, which has 11 on the lot right now.

      http://www.mikewardalfaromeo.com/new-inventory/index.htm?search=&model=Giulia&gvBodyStyle=Sedan

      That’s not the hallmark of a low-volume, boutique product. It’s a right-priced sedan, aimed at the heart of a large market. The next model they’re bringing over is even more mainstream – a CUV version of the Giulia. They’re looking to do some volume here.

      And if Alfa wants to lease its’ products in volume – which is critical in this segment -then the key for them will be residual value. And nothing kills residuals like a lousy rep for reliability.

      • 0 avatar
        LS1Fan

        Alfa’s playing the long game.

        As Arthur Dailey put it, traditional luxury cars are commonplace now. The Alfa will sell to successful professionals who consider Audi and BMW “played out”. The guy with the black Alfa Giulia stands out in a parking lot of grey C classes and Lexus’.

        Note- bravo to Alfa in actually naming their car. Everything else is the luxury space is named after some kind of pharmaceutical. “MDX”, “Q4”, and so on.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      I don’t think so. Being treated “royally” doesn’t really make up for being left by the side of the road or stranded in a dark parking lot late at night. You might be able to get away with that once with enough apologies and free loaners and sweet talking, but more than once and you are going to have a P.O. ed owner. Even having to bring it in for a less than no-start problem is no treat – who is paying me for my time while I drive in and fill out the paperwork for the loaner, etc.?

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Mike,
    If these sources are correct. then Alfa sold a total of just over 66,000 vehicles worldwide in 2016.

    http://carsalesbase.com/european-car-sales-data/alfa-romeo/

    If half of their production were to be Quadrifoglios and if half of those are sold in North America, that would be less than 17,000 sold annually. About the same as an Audi A6 and less than the S-Class. Less than the Mitsubishi Mirage.

    http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2016/12/november-2016-ytd-usa-vehicle-sales-rankings-by-model.html

    As for re-sale, we are talking Alfa which means far more leasing than buying and avalanche type depreciation.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Well…

      1) Alfa’s vehicle range worldwide is quite different than its’ US range. There’s a whole bunch of compacts and stuff they don’t sell here. But there are two well known Alfa products on American streets – the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200. And both (epically) failed in large part because they gained bad reps for reliability.

      2) The Quadrifoglio is the $80,000 range topping Giulia. Most Guilias run around $50,000, which makes it a direct 3-series / C-Class / ATS / A4 competitor. That’s a fairly high-volume segment of the market.

      3) If Alfa has “avalanche style” depreciation, then it won’t be leasing many Giulias. The payment on a lease is the depreciation on the car + interest (plus taxes in my state), so the more depreciation, the higher the payment. And a car that’s undesirable due to reliability problems will depreciate FAR more rapidly. Thus, if the Giulia has a bad rep for reliability, its’ depreciation will be far more severe, making it less attractive to lease. That alone will deny it a very large chunk of business. Ask Cadillac what happens when your sport sedan gets a bad reliability rep, and its’ residuals get torpedoed – it’ll answer “massive ATS sales declines.”

      4) Yes, 17,000 sales a year isn’t huge, but that still makes this a car aimed at a mainstream market, with mainstream volume. It’s clearly not a boutique brand, like Maserati. And the next Alfa – a CUV based on the Giulia – is aimed at an even fatter market. Reliability *definitely* matters for this brand.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        If you consider the ‘new’ Beetle and the Fiat 500 to be mainstream then yes, because that is the approximate volume mentioned. And I would guess that even that is a rather optimistic calcuation.

        As for depreciation and reliablity numbers, how have these negatively impacted Jaguar and Land/Range Rover? Alfa is not aiming for the Cadillac market it is aiming for the market that purchases expensive, currently fashionable, but badly made shoes, handbags and clothes. We all now that an electronic, quartz watch is far more accurate and reliable than a Swiss made mechanical watch that requires annual maintenance. Yet many of us still own/covet such an impractical timepiece.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “As for depreciation and reliablity numbers, how have these negatively impacted Jaguar and Land/Range Rover?”

          I think you can take a look at Jaguar’s numbers, versus BMW / Mercedes / Lexus, and answer your own question.

          “Alfa is not aiming for the Cadillac market it is aiming for the market that purchases expensive, currently fashionable, but badly made shoes, handbags and clothes. ”

          That IS the Cadillac market, you know. And it’s ironic that you’d mention Cadillac, as they have the same basic problem Alfa will – a rep for fun to drive cars that aren’t as well made as the competition’s. That hasn’t worked very well for Cadillac. In fact, the negative reliability rep has hurt Cadillac exactly the same way I think it’ll hurt Alfa – it’ll hurt the cars’ residual values, and thus limit the leasing options that are vital in this segment.

          So, I’m glad you brought up Cadillac – it helps prove my point about Alfa.

          • 0 avatar
            davefonz164

            Cadillacs represent luxury and American opulance. They’re trying to be something they’re not, a German sedan.

            Alfas DNA is different and they seem to be sticking to it.

            Cadillac is failing for a variety of reasons.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I agree with you there. Cadillac sh*ts all over its heritage with their current lineup. At least the Giulia is worthy of its badge.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Mike, we seem to have different perceptions of Cadillac’s image. In the circles that I travel in, it is viewed much differently, than how you perceive it. Dave and Ajla’s perceptions much more closely coincide with mine.

            Alfa, in my estimation is more like Mini. You get (lease) one because it aligns with your self-perception or how you want to be seen. An Alfa creates the image of someone with ‘money’ and ‘exotic’ tastes. Not mainstream like those driving German cars.

            That has worked for decades for British luxury marques, despite their reputation for depreciation and unreliability. Dealership employees do not ‘sell’ to these types, they take their order. When someone walks into a Mini dealership they have already determined that is the type of vehicle that they want.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Well, Arthur, we’ll see how it works for them. My prediction: it won’t.

            And, yes, I think I’m on target interpreting what Cadillac’s trying to do with its’ new models. Whether one agrees with that direction, it’s the way they’re going; one can come to whatever value judgment he wants in that regard. But objectively speaking, the overwhelming opinion seems to be that the handling and overall performance is impressive, that the quality is unimpressive, and CUE sucks.

            Now, we can argue that making smaller, higher performance Cadillacs “craps on their image,” but the old image was one of cushy barges, and the market for them is dead. If it weren’t, then they’d still be making the DTS sedan, for heaven’s sake. But even that model was dying by the time it was mercy killed, and its’ successor, the XTS, hasn’t exactly been a hit. Similar models – the Buick LaCrosse, Lexus ES, etc – have been down in sales as well. The only even remotely old school luxury sedan I can think of is the Continental, which is selling primarily on its’ looks. The big, old school luxury car segment is pretty much dead.

            For better or worse, and whether people like the “Germanic Sedan” direction Caddy went in, that’s what they did. They succeeded when it comes to performance. They failed when it came to the details, which aren’t up to snuff. If the ATS had the interior of, say, a Benz C-class, and some more drivetrain refinement, it’d have sold FAR better. But as it is, Cadillacs have the rep of a car with solid performance and handling, with not-so-great quality. Kind of like a certain Italian brand we’re talking about…

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “one of cushy barges, and the market for them is dead”

            The market for cushy barges is *huge* right now, just not in sedan form. GM missed a major opportunity with Cadillac by going all-in on dynamics instead of thinking “Hey, the Escalade is really popular and well-known maybe we could build on that.”

            Here was 2016 sales:
            Escalade : 39K
            CTS : 16K (lol)
            ATS : 22K
            CT6 : 10K
            XTS : 22K
            SRX/XT5 : 62K

            Honestly I think large, old school luxury cars have more a future than the premium sport sedan segment.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            The more fundamental shift you’re seeing, ajla, is away from sedans and towards CUVs. Premium sedans are down almost universally, at all price points, and across all brands. Cadillac’s no exception here. The product needs some help, but not *that* much. Their main issue was bringing out a whole line of premium sedans at exactly the same moment that the market turned towards CUVs.

            You could argue that “cushi-fying” their lineup is the answer, but I’m not sold there. After all, the big cushy mobile market is down too…because of CUVs.

            I’d argue Cadillac 1) desperately needs more CUVS, and 2) should definitely NOT abandon the premium sedan market. I think that’d be a mistake.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I think this should be Cadillac’s lineup:

            1. Escalade
            2. XT5
            3. XTS
            4. CT6
            5. 3-row CUV
            6. A more butch RR Sport style 2-row CUV

            Take the poor-selling Camaro and the Alpha platform Cadillacs and put them in the ground.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Ajla, I’m with you, but I think they can keep the ATS. But they need to make a few changes to each product.

            ATS (CT4) should grow a bit to have usable rear legroom without getting close to CT6.

            CT6 should add more sound deadening and soften the ride a bit. They’ve made their point, they can engineer for the Nurburgerking as well as anyone, now just dial back to where the large sedan market is.

            XTS (CT5) should drop the VSport. Leave those customers to the cushified CT6. Make the XTS a $45k OTD livery special.

            Escalade should become unibody, or at least add IRS. You can’t get a luxury-car ride or a competitive third row with the current setup.

            XT7 should be Lambda-like, but with the 3.0T engine.

            XT5 should add about two inches of wheelbase.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I saw a CT6 in the flesh this morning. Almost not terrible.

            @dal

            I reiterate, CT6 and XTS for all, no ATS sedan because it is too small, coupe only. If Johann the Zohan wants to move some product, a standard V6 in the CT6 as we see in XTS. They already dropped the MSPR to like 52 for the I4 POS, swap that to the 3.6 and it becomes more compelling.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I like the looks. Nothing wrong with the CT6 that couldn’t be fixed by a dose of refinement. It just plays in a brutal segment.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The CT6 looks fine from the outside IMO. The engine offerings and interior material quality are the biggest issues for me.

            My ideal CT6 lineup:
            3.6L V6 (RWD and AWD)
            6.2L V8 (RWD only)
            3.0T V6 (AWD only)
            PHEV (RWD only, ideally not built in China)

            And a $10k price cut across the board. So it would start about $45K, which is right where something like the Lacrosse, G80 Premium, or 300C leaves off. The PHEV probably needs a $15K cut though.

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    Unfortunately, and against my better judgement, I still want one.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Agreed. Just like an Italian supermodel.

      I think the Quadrifoglio would make a great second car.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      I’m definitely watching these (the lower end models, of course) when they start coming off lease. By that point, I’ll be due to replace my 500c Abarth, and I can’t think of a nicer upgrade.

      Definitely not interested in anything German.

  • avatar
    Chris Horn

    I find it hilarious how all you neverownedanAlfa crowd think they are unreliable…. Hahaha. My last car was an Alfa 159 ti sw which I’d owned from new. 130,000 miles later and it turned out to be the most reliable car I’d ever owned only having a clutch in the 3 years of ownership.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    Sounds like this car is shaping up to be even more infamous than first year W bodies for all things slipshod.

  • avatar
    Coolcar2

    I too want this car to succeed especially since it is getting such rave reviews for it dynamics. Some sins are forgiven for the first year of production but you can’t have multiple examples given to the press that stall in traffic! I did not hear this many horror stories when the Maserati Ghibli came out, is that car off everyone’s radar?! Does anyone know how the Ghibli’s reliability ratings have been over the past 3-4 years?

  • avatar
    Ncristella

    This may seem like basic truth but is it possible Ares and the Italians have rigged a car to work off your heart. Now I don’t believe it’s on Ferrari’s level but if you’re cruising with a 2.9 liter bi turbo or whatever this is packing it might take a lot of it. The real issue between the gods’ demands of humans is that this car doesn’t payoff. Burning the heart of man that throbs better in an Audi or BMW possibly even a vet…doesn’t make sense to burn over this. Ferrari is worth the pull but heavy configuration in a mid end car just doesn’t seem to work out. The ideas right but you can’t cut corners and cost is high otherwise. This is why these luxury brands have survived, they started when cars were at a basic level and finely evolved to what they are. They’ve never been this ambitious with a (somewhat) budget minded buyer. If I’m right and this is God’s will every asshole will try to ride this as if they have something they don’t (heart) but why support it through the center of the mass for something you know rarely exist amongst it. I can’t hypothesis but if the reward isn’t a vineyard farm for a kid from a development like the rise of Jesus I’m going to say killing people to get this vehicle to run might not be worth it…

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    With the improvement in battery technology I’m waiting for someone to recreate the Fleetwood Brougham D’Elegance that goes 300 miles on a couple bucks of electricity.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    I don’t care. If it is reasonably reliable this is my next car. There is 1.

    • 0 avatar
      ChiTownCarGuy

      I love the car, but the thought of paying all this money and then driving a loaner car 3-4 times per year while dealing with the hassle of getting it to the dealer will scare me off.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    “Editor-in-chief Patrick George says he doesn’t care: “I am willing to do what the Alfisti have done for decades and chalk up most of its flaws to that thing that is so elusive in modern cars: character.” ”

    That’s just another way of saying “yeah she’s absolutely bat-shit crazy and you shouldn’t ever turn your back on her, but man, she’s great in bed!”

    Quadro…for…maggio

    Quadro…plegio or something.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I will note that MotorWeek didn’t report any issues with their blue Quadrifoglio during their video review, either. This leads me to wonder if those other issues were more from people not understanding the “character” of the vehicle than from any real issues.

  • avatar
    mike978

    First I agree Alfa is living down to their poor reliability record and I will not be buying or leasing one. But I have to take exception to Mr Cain’s stupid comment about how you should disregard repeated comments about how well a car drives, if you are to disregard comments about the reliability. Driving dynamics, space, engine/powertrain performance are built into the car. Whereas the reliability can be a one off – in the case of the Alfa it is more systemic.

  • avatar

    Well, at least we know they aren’t sending out ringers as press cars.

    OTOH, what if they are? Imagine what the production cars will be like.

  • avatar
    Magnusmaster

    How can Fiat release a product so unreliable? If they can’t make a luxury car that doesn’t leave you stranded they are doomed.

  • avatar
    ChiTownCarGuy

    I’ve loved the Giulia since seeing it at the Chicago Auto Show, and have been happy to see dealer stock finally improving. I was enthusiastically preparing to lease one this summer until seeing this and similar articles about reliability/quality problems. But if you want to see another red flag, check out the lease terms being offered by Alfa. They are setting residual value at 48% on 36 mo. deals. Obviously not a vote of confidence. Passing the risk of low resale values onto customers has spooked me even worse. Audi, Infiniti, Jaguar and the other competing brands set residuals at 54% and up (Jaguar has a special going on XE’s at 62%!). Alfa obviously not willing to bet on its own vehicles. ☹️

  • avatar
    ra_pro

    Fiat is going to loose money on each car sold, no question about it even with residuals at 48%. That’s not a problem if they manage to built a reputation. But I am afraid of the opposite they are going to loose money and destroy their reputation or whatever is left of it.

    They just don’t get a simple fact of life; in Europe the distances are short and one has plenty of friends/acquaintances leaving nearby, getting a lift is not a problem. This doesn’t exist in North America, people cannot afford to loose a car for a day or a week. That’s the crucial difference; in Europe unreliable car is just a car with character to most, in NA it’s a piece of shit not worth a gamble. Once Fiat understands this and produces their cars accordingly it will do fine. But it appears that hasn’t happened so far.


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