Modern Alfas

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Duke

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OK, "learn me" time. Just how bad are modern Alfa Romeos from a service and reliability standpoint? Are they still character-building exercises in mechanical self-improvement, or do they meet the modern standard of 100,000+ miles with only regular maintenance?

The reason I ask: Dukewife is still driving her trusty 2004 Acura TSX (Euro Accord) we bought new back when I was a truly active member of this forum. It's got low mileage and it's a Honda product from the golden age of Honda products. I've done almost nothing to it except routine maintenance in 13 years and 65,000 miles.

Sometime next year we want to replace it. We're looking to step up (a little) and cross-shop other brands. While I plan to start test drives with a Mazda6 Grand Touring, there is also the 6 cylinder, AWD version of the TSX's replacement, the TLX, for a little more money...

...which, frankly, is squarely in the Giulia's price range, and within reach. BUT: we're not fickle car owners. We're not going to get bored and trade it in in 3 years. It could potentially be the last car we buy for her - we'd like to see a 10+ year service life, even 15 if it's kept well.

With most modern cars, that's not truly an issue as long as you stay on top of maintenance. But what about with a Giulia?
 
3,198
Murcie LP710
From what I've been told from happy Alfa owners, most of them past the 159 (particularly the Giulietta) are actually quite reliable. However I would be wary of any car that is entirely brand new, first year of release.
 
41,094
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The Bronx
Yes, that's the rule of thumb. All new cars that come in for a first service or any complaints from customers, must be recorded. Bulletins are drawn up to address multiple issues. It's the way of the world.
 

McLaren

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I would imagine with the Giulia being Alfa's first major foray into the US market in years (the 4C is nice, but it's still a $56,000 small coupe), it'd have to been developed to shed any of the age old reliability issues of past cars, esp. in this day & age. It seems to be getting nice reviews and it looks to be ranked among the A4 & 3-Series.

However, @Murcie_LP640 & @05XR8 are right; it's also a first MY which will include its own set of issues to buff out.
 

Duke

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Well, we're a year out from making the switch, so it would probably be a 2018 model. So that would avoid the first-year blues. Thanks for the input. Any current Alfa owners here?
 

Scaff

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I had my Guiletta for just under five years (circa 90,000 miles) and from a mechanical and electrical point of view it was mainly fine (with one but coming up in a short while).

The only real issues I had with it were actually trim related, the top of the gear lever could come off in your hand as it was held in place with three small plastic clips (one of which would break and off it came), got through three of those before they modified it to fix the issue; numerous bits of internal trim would squeak and rattle. The main ones were the rear suspension (which was resolved in a recall), and the old location for the sat-nav (which was never fixed but the following version changed the location which I know solved the issue).

Servicing was routine stuff and never caused any problem beyond the inability of Alfa dealerships to actually keep stock of routine parts (two week wait on front pads believe it or not).

The only serious issue it has resulted from a small problem, a heat-shield fell off the wiring loom under the bonnet (hood), which caused the loom to get burnt through, the car to go made and the leasing company (it was a company car) to foot a £1,800 bill to get it fixed.

However even with that considered it was rock solid in comparison to my old 33 Cloverleaf I had many years ago.

The big question, would I have another one? Yep in a heartbeat, still miss it and the new Guila looks stunning.
 

Duke

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I had my Guiletta for just under five years (circa 90,000 miles) and from a mechanical and electrical point of view it was mainly fine (with one but coming up in a short while).

The big question, would I have another one? Yep in a heartbeat, still miss it and the new Guila looks stunning.

Great, thanks for the input. I'm honestly not so concerned about routine wear and maintenance - the TSX currently has 66,000 miles / 100,000 km on it despite being 13 years in service this fall. The new car is not likely to have a radically different use profile. What I'm more concerned about is parts aging out and falling off.
 

hasslemoff

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Any current Alfa owners here?

Currently have the Guiletta from new, 2 year old and done 18000 miles with no problems, but its still young. They have improved the model a lot over the years of production compared to the 2010 models. Its a lot better than the 145 I owned.


As for the Guilia I was very tempted to buy one but have held off for now and waiting to see if Alfa release another hatchback and let other people find the minor faults that come with a new line of cars.
 
1,254
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J_Chmielinski
In addition to the previous responses, the 1.9 JTD diesels in cars like the 147, 156, 159, Brera, Spider, GT are great in terms of reliability. I know it might be heresy to put a diesel in an Alfa, but if you want one that won't let you down, go for it. Definitely avoid the TwinSpark petrol motors. Those are quite horrible.
 

Scaff

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In addition to the previous responses, the 1.9 JTD diesels in cars like the 147, 156, 159, Brera, Spider, GT are great in terms of reliability. I know it might be heresy to put a diesel in an Alfa, but if you want one that won't let you down, go for it. Definitely avoid the TwinSpark petrol motors. Those are quite horrible.
These days the petrol is just as reliable and a much, much nicer set of engines.

I had the 1.4 Turbo, kicking out 170bhp and its a great engine that never missed a beat.
 

homeforsummer

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Those are quite horrible.
I'm not sure if any TS engines were ever put in anything sold in the US (maybe the 164) so it's not really an issue for Duke (nor will the old 1.9 JTD be, for that matter - though you're right, it's a good engine), but this statement probably needs clarifying anyway.

They're not by any stretch "horrible" engines. They're relatively thirsty for their capacity and quite "vocal", though the former is only an issue if you're running one on a shoestring and the latter only if you don't actually like the sound they make - and since they were often considered one of the best-sounding four-cylinder engines of the era, that's probably a minority. They were also made decent power for their size, at least earlier on in Alfa's use of the units, and using an alloy block and head they were quite light.

While they're not "horrible" engines, they are a bit "needy". Wise cambelt and water pump intervals are about half that which Alfa itself recommended, they do burn some oil (though a healthy one shouldn't be excessive), and they generally don't suffer fools - you can't just do an oil change now and then and hope for the best, as you might with something Japanese. Though Alfa's TS engines are far from being the only units of the era for which this is the case.

In other words, great engines, but must be well-maintained.

But again, not particularly relevant here. Not an engine sold in the US, and 4C aside I believe the Giulia will be the first Alfa sold in the States since the 164.