Motor Trend long term review - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 09:00 AM
Del
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I gave up on C&D years ago when I realized that their chief aim was to just get in people's faces, regardless of actuality. I do get R&T but I get pretty tired of reading about how wonderful German cars are, esp for the uppity set, lol. I always think I will save a little money and finally cancel that mag.

I also read Autoweek, perhaps a little more realistic, but obviously not the same as when I started reading it's long lost parent Competition Press back in the 60s?
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Del

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1989 Milano, Shankle Sport
1991 164S, stock
1994 164LS (~Q)
1972 Morgan 27

previously owned since 1964:

62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 06:58 PM
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I get what you guys are saying, C&D did drive the s*^t out of the car but that's what car is made for. Learning about these faulty batteries coming out of Europe (Italy) I believe strongly if someone had just put a new American battery in it all those electronic glitches would have magically corrected themselves. What really pisses me off is Alfa did not do that. When you have a myriad of crap like they had but none of it ever disabled the car don't you, just for the hell of it, check the main power source that feeds all of the electronic dodads and see if it's bad? What do you have to lose. I don't KNOW that it would have fixed those problems but would have bet some healthy $$ that it would.

I have a Ti sport/perf Q4 and had a couple of little glitches over 2.5 years like the stop/start not working when I thought it should. I didn't really care that much because I do just defeat the system sometimes, but after I read about some of these cars having bad batteries I had mine checked and yes it was bad, replaced under warranty, and now the sto/sta works every time not just sometimes. And that's on a car that's running great.

The real damage here is that people who would have given Alfa a serious look might now just look completely past the Alfa sign out side and go somewhere else. I just don't get it.
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by alfamale44 View Post
I get what you guys are saying, C&D did drive the s*^t out of the car but that's what car is made for. Learning about these faulty batteries coming out of Europe (Italy) I believe strongly if someone had just put a new American battery in it all those electronic glitches would have magically corrected themselves. What really pisses me off is Alfa did not do that. When you have a myriad of crap like they had but none of it ever disabled the car don't you, just for the hell of it, check the main power source that feeds all of the electronic dodads and see if it's bad? What do you have to lose. I don't KNOW that it would have fixed those problems but would have bet some healthy $$ that it would.
Yup... that would have made sense to at least try that fix! I sure would have.

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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 07:52 PM
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My feeling is that FCA Italy just didn't figure out how to run quality dealerships, as the Asians have done for a long time. If you are going to sell upscale automobiles, do a decent job of acknowledging customer concerns, drop snobbishness, and make people feel welcome, esp with efficient/competent service.

Our friend in Hartford with a Camry (not even an upscale car, lol) has always feel like the dealership really cared when she brought the car in for a service or an infrequent problem or concern. They ushered her in, always had the correct answers, and got her car out in very short order. They knew the cars, and offered no excuses. When it came time to replace it, she said that there was no question, the dealership quality made the difference. They never blamed her for anything.

Del

Seattle

1989 Milano, Shankle Sport
1991 164S, stock
1994 164LS (~Q)
1972 Morgan 27

previously owned since 1964:

62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6

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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 08:19 AM
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In Canada FCA attached Alfa Romeo to Ferrari/Maserati and FIAT to local Chrysler dealers. Alfa Romeo is moderately successful in Canada whereas FIAT pretty much collapsed, again.

In addition to making cars very differently to Asian or European manufacturers dealers of such cars are also run very differently, and not in a good way. It's a pretty weird cultural thing. North American designed cars do not sell well in the export market. The dealership style would definitely not export well.

I would say in general that Europeans expect to service their cars routinely whereas North Americans regard servicing requirements as defects.

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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 09:46 AM
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Wasn't the newer Dodge Dart actually an Alfa Giulietta, but redesigned 'for the North American market'? As such then, blandly disguised and much softened, they expected more sales than they got, and the model was canceled.

We drove a Giulietta in Italy and had a bunch of fun with it. I think it should have been sold here as the smaller Alfa brother (unsoftened) of the new Giulia to give Alfa more models to sell, even if it was a generation behind, and then replace it with a newer version.
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Del

Seattle

1989 Milano, Shankle Sport
1991 164S, stock
1994 164LS (~Q)
1972 Morgan 27

previously owned since 1964:

62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6
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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 12:41 PM
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Yes as was the 200. The 200 was a very good car indeed. The Dart suffered from one ergonomic fault: wiper switch was on the dashboard, American style, instead of a steering column stalk. Dumb mistake. The 200 used the European style stalks. Otherwise the Dart was an excellent car.

The current smaller Jeeps are Giulietta based or FIAT 500 based and are also the better for that.

While we digress about FCA products I mention that the 4C is a modern Dino 206. Light, powerful and built from lightweight modern materials. Power to weight is better as is performance. Apart from the somewhat agricultural exhaust note there's a lot to live about that 4C. It's even very small....True to the Italian sportscar heritage.

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post #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 01:19 AM
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All of my Alfa friends have reported no big ills from either the 2L or QV models. And granted (and I suspect) the C&D article was slanted towards perpetuating the Italian reliability story. But I've seen on a couple of You-Tube videos (The Smoking Tire as one example) where they suffered s/w 'throttle control' issues and the car went in to limp mode. So there are some 'ills' to sort out in some of these new quads. Can't say what the serviceability/availability of the 2L Turbo cars are though there has been some Service Bulletins issued for both variants, which is not uncommon for new cars.

It is a bit of BS that the auto ragazines fall so quickly into historic stereotypes when a couple of maladies are concerned.... BUT given various service levels(mechanic know-how/experience) at different dealerships, many owners can experience a wide range of down time depending on whether they have a quality service repair shop behind them or not. Of course, all the good service, and reliable cars never make the news cycle....

Ron
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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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I respectfully disagree. The Dart and 200 were absolutely terrible cars. Reliability was awful, and despite decent driving dynamics, the overall experience is underwhelming. Noisy unrefined engines, poor sightlines, cheap plastic interiors... I'm happy Alfa didn't attempt a comeback with a version of this car, as it would have been a disaster. The production run of these cars was in fact ended early for these reasons.

The Giulia is night and day with respect to the 200. Simple but useful dash, good build quality, and exceptional chassis dynamics.

And the 124 Spider should have been an Alfa. I know the mantra about Alfas only being made in Italy. But with a more Alfa-inspired design, the 124 could have been a huge hit. It's a great little car as-is. I nearly bought one before my wife made me get the Giulia Q (not complaining!!!!!).

This is inherently the problem with FCA. No overall cohesive strategy. Great engineers, lots of passion, and a talented design team. But the overall view for where each brand sits is missing (except for Jeep). I hope they get this fixed.


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Yes as was the 200. The 200 was a very good car indeed. The Dart suffered from one ergonomic fault: wiper switch was on the dashboard, American style, instead of a steering column stalk. Dumb mistake. The 200 used the European style stalks. Otherwise the Dart was an excellent car.

The current smaller Jeeps are Giulietta based or FIAT 500 based and are also the better for that.

While we digress about FCA products I mention that the 4C is a modern Dino 206. Light, powerful and built from lightweight modern materials. Power to weight is better as is performance. Apart from the somewhat agricultural exhaust note there's a lot to live about that 4C. It's even very small....True to the Italian sportscar heritage.
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Stacy Faught -- Alfas: 1983 GTV-6 (3.5l), 2018 Giulia Quadrifoglio. Non-Alfas: 1991 Corvette ZR-1 (500+hp Haibeck-built 32v 5.7l)
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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 01:53 AM
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OneThumb said: " And the 124 Spider should have been an Alfa. I know the mantra about Alfas only being made in Italy. But with a more Alfa-inspired design, the 124 could have been a huge hit. It's a great little car as-is. I nearly bought one before my wife made me get the Giulia Q (not complaining!!!!!). "

Alfa really needed to bring the Duettotanta to life, whether via the MX-5 platform or another. They really missed the boat on this sexy, small, agile convertible!!! They could have co-opted the MX5 platform with Fiat, giving their version either a 2L Turbo, or a small displacement V6! Would have been such a gorgeous car!!!

(PS: Onethumb: you got me by 1 post!!! lol )
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Ron
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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 09:04 AM
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The real Giulietta we drove in Italy was actually not that bad in presentation, inside and out. We did enjoy it, and didn't think it a cheap car. Our feeling was that it was very degraded when changed into the 200 and Dart.

Del

Seattle

1989 Milano, Shankle Sport
1991 164S, stock
1994 164LS (~Q)
1972 Morgan 27

previously owned since 1964:

62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6
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post #27 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 05:01 PM
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I respectfully disagree. The Dart and 200 were absolutely terrible cars. Reliability was awful, and despite decent driving dynamics, the overall experience is underwhelming. Noisy unrefined engines, poor sightlines, cheap plastic interiors... I'm happy Alfa didn't attempt a comeback with a version of this car, as it would have been a disaster. The production run of these cars was in fact ended early for these reasons.

The Giulia is night and day with respect to the 200. Simple but useful dash, good build quality, and exceptional chassis dynamics.

And the 124 Spider should have been an Alfa. I know the mantra about Alfas only being made in Italy. But with a more Alfa-inspired design, the 124 could have been a huge hit. It's a great little car as-is. I nearly bought one before my wife made me get the Giulia Q (not complaining!!!!!).

This is inherently the problem with FCA. No overall cohesive strategy. Great engineers, lots of passion, and a talented design team. But the overall view for where each brand sits is missing (except for Jeep). I hope they get this fixed.
You're comparing the Dart and 200 to the Giulia? You needed to compare them to the Chevy Cruze.

I drove both. As well as the Cruze and its UK version, badged as a Vauxhall.

I stand by my assessment that both Giulietta based cars were very good to drive. I was not fortunate enough to drive a real Giulietta. I am quite ready to accept that the original Giulietta version of these American modified models was a better car.

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post #28 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Renaldo View Post
OneThumb said: " And the 124 Spider should have been an Alfa. I know the mantra about Alfas only being made in Italy. But with a more Alfa-inspired design, the 124 could have been a huge hit. It's a great little car as-is. I nearly bought one before my wife made me get the Giulia Q (not complaining!!!!!). "

Alfa really needed to bring the Duettotanta to life, whether via the MX-5 platform or another. They really missed the boat on this sexy, small, agile convertible!!! They could have co-opted the MX5 platform with Fiat, giving their version either a 2L Turbo, or a small displacement V6! Would have been such a gorgeous car!!!

(PS: Onethumb: you got me by 1 post!!! lol )
Although the MX5 is a very good car there was no point making this weird 124 tribute version. For one thing the original 124 was pretty awful. For another the 124 MX5 is very ugly compared to the Mazda version.

Using the Mazda platform for any Alfa would be a very stupid idea. No Alfa sportscar has ever sold into the MX5 price bracket.

1991 Alfa Romeo 164L 5 spd
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