Questions about Stelvio reliability - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Questions about Stelvio reliability

Hello guys, I am looking for a compact luxury SUV and wanted to check out the Alfa Romeo Stelvia. Alfa is new for the US market. For the owners here, I know it is too early to tell but in general I here from a lot of people that Alfa has a bad reputation for reliability. Has this been an issue you considered before purchase or have any comments/info to share, it would be very helpful.
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 08:06 AM
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Stelvio and Giulia both share the same drivetrain and underpinnings so you may want to check the Giulia section as it has been out a year longer. FCA has been producing Alfa's worldwide outside of North America during the time they were unavailable here. New Stelvio carry a 50k factory warranty as well as optional longer extension.
Alfa reliability has always been the responsibility of the owners maintaining the recommended service. The one weakness today is the lack of dealership service locations. You will be able to service Alfa's in metropolitan areas , but in rural areas there may be issues.
We have been very satisfied with our Stelvio although it is only a few months old. Since we have a dealership close by, service was not a consideration. FYI your first scheduled service is not due until the end of the first year. That shows some factory confidence.
Cheers, Jon
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Present:
1967 Spider
1974 GTV (1969 Tribute)
1993 Spider ( project)
2018 Stelvio
Past:
1964 Giulia Sprint. 1966 Giulietta 101 Sprint
1967 Super 1968 GTV 1974 Berlina
1979 Alfetta Mille Miglia 1987 Milano
Non Alfa:
1953 MGTD 1958 TR3 1962 AH 3000 MKII
1969 AMX
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply.
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 12:34 PM
Del
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" in general I here(sic) from a lot of people that Alfa has a bad reputation for reliability"

IMO, an old story from the past, as even the last Alfas we received in this country have been reliable enough based on my own experience. Have used them as DDs for decades. It does require a decent/reputable dealer, and an aware owner, to see that the required maintenance is carried out.

I've noticed through the decades that more than a few owners of Alfas neglected needed servicing and preventive maintenance (which in most cases is not more than other makes require). I don't know why this is the case, don't know what they were thinking, how they regarded the marque. The car got blamed far more than it should have.

Much of that is the fault of flakey Alfa dealerships, but much is also on the owner.

The Stelvio and Giulia should be fine regardless of what Consumer Reports thinks, provided the dealerships are competent, which remains to be seen. Hopefully, they will emulate the Asian practices, not the standard and often disastrous European Car USA dealerships of the past.
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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 #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 03:31 PM
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We just finished a 2,800 mile road trip in our Stelvio.

The news is there is basically no news, i.e. not a single glitch. The trip took us through snow (traction laws over Vail Pass) to 102 degree ambient temps and the car handled everything really well and was comfortable for 4 people. The adaptive cruise control was especially helpful on the longer sections of straight/boring roads.
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 05-22-2018, 07:11 PM
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I believe that the new Alfas are being backed by a much larger company than in the past and the current car industry is much more competitive compared to the past. The addition of social media gives extra information that was not available in the past. My sister just bought a Stelvio and will get information about it.
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 05:28 PM
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My 70's era Alfas were basically hand made cars on an assembly line. In some ways that is good and in others not so much. Cars today are all manufactured using statistical process controls, ISO Standards, and methods unheard of way back when. The end result is tighter specifications, higher build quality, and longer lasting automobiles of any marque.

The passenger seat is 15 miles an hour faster than the drivers seat.

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74 GTV restored daily driver
71 Berlina in 2L restored driver
the ones that got away:
1959 750 series Giulietta Spider Veloce
1962 Giulietta Spider normale
1965 Giulia Sprint normale
1972 GTV
1974 GTV
1974 GTV
1977 Spider
1974 Spider
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 07:23 PM
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The new TopGear could not break one ... managed to break 2 Volvos!

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'71 1750 Series 2 GTV:
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 09:07 PM
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The above comments are correct - especially the bit about owner neglect. Alfa unreliability is a myth. Don’t believe it. Alfa engines are bulletproof if maintained properly and all Alfas are a joy to drive like almost no other. You look forward to driving them to the shops. All of us on this board will attest to that.
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Current Alfas
2010 159 ti 1750 TBI sedan (red).
2004 GT 3.2 V6 (Stromboli Grey).
2008 159 TI Sportwagon 2.4 JTDM (Stromboli Grey).
1987 75 3 litre (red). My first 75 and now my son's.
2000 156 2 litre Twin Spark, ( Cosmos Blu metallic), my daughter's car.
2000 156 Monza Twin Spark, (Cosmos Blue metallic), sonís girlfiendís car.
1999 GTV 3 litre 24 valve V6, metallic black, (sonís new car).

Non Alfa
1988 Range Rover Classic Highline 3.9 V8

Past Alfas
1989 75 3 litre, written off by runaway van.
1990 75 3 litre Potenziata (black), now sold & living in Newcastle NSW.
1990 75 3 litre Potenziata (grey, sadly deceased due to fire).
1982 GTV 2 litre, red, (daughter's first Alfa)
2 x 1992 164s, (1 red, 1 grey).
2 x 1988 33s, (both red).
1985 GTV 2 litre, (white).
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-21-2018, 10:15 PM
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I have been driving Alfas since 1968 and have driven more than 650,000 miles. I have owned eleven Alfas and the three that are owned currently have driven about 420,000 miles. I know that the Milanos are more reliable than the earlier Alfas and have driveshaft donut problems as well as rear brake caliper wear problems. I believe that the Giulia and Stelvio should be more reliable than my Milano cars. I restored a 1957 Spider in the 1970's and drove the car about 70,000 miles without any problems. I believe that many Alfas produced before 1965 were not properly maintained and had a poor reputation.
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 08:33 AM
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First off, you should go and look at the cars....these are NOT compact SUVs. They are huge !
AND if you are not an enthusiast who will put up with a car that has some unusual habits, stay with the Toyota or Honda.
Old Alfa owners love the cars for what they were decades before.
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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 09:35 AM
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I totally agree that you cannot compare the new Alfas with cars that were produced more than 30 years ago. I would never recommend buying a GTV to a first time buyer unless they want to have a weekend driver or if they like to collect older cars.
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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 04:22 PM
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When they were new, the mid/late 60's GTs were pretty darn reliable, at least the drivetrain. I put 260k miles of DD going to work and back driving, plus a couple of trips around the West on my 64 Sprint GT. The only real problems I had with it were the crappy Dunlop brakes and the lower inboard front suspension bushings. The drive train and clutch just wouldn't quit. And, the body didn't rust at all.

The later 78 Alfetta was pretty darn reliable as well. We put 180k miles of DD on that car, no rust, original clutch, did not touch the drivetrain, except for a driveline rebuild, and it still lives on in Massachusetts. Yes, the 75 Alfetta did rust quickly, because I drove it in DC during a couple of winters, not here. Was actually more fun to drive than the 78. Gearing I guess.

The pristine Milano has 100k miles on it, and the drivetrain is untouched, including clutch. Has required a new rear suspension bushing, a waterpump change when new on warranty. Once again, other makers components can be considered suspect, such as Bosch electrical stuff. Always suspect in my experience through the years.

The 91S has 190k miles on it of DD, and the basic drivetrain is bulletproof, having not touched it except for the usual maintenance. Clutch untouched since the car was new, AFAICT. Other components, yes, some of those were/are unreliable, but built by other companies, such as the fuel pump and steering rack.

So, I found them to be pretty reliable, of course, not like your average Toyota I guess, but still good enough for DD plus some hot rodding, lol.

Making restored older cars as reliable is a little chancier, since it takes more money, time and effort to bring them back. Still, once the drivetrain is restored to a as new condition, I wouldn't hesitate to take it on the road for a trip or use it as a DD. The other stuff, usually made by others, electrical, whatever, is always going to be the main buggaboo. The body, it will be what it is, is the owners choice.

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

Last edited by Del; 06-22-2018 at 04:28 PM.
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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 06:44 PM
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I have a restored 1961 Sprint Veloce that was driven for more than 190,000 miles. The 1987 Milano Silver has 109,000 miles and the 1988 Milano Verde has 244,000 miles. The Milano clutch is good for about 100K miles and engines will run more than 200K. The Giulietta engines last about 100K.
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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 10:47 AM
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I recently purchased a new Stelvio. I've driven nearly 5000 miles with it, and I've had no problems at all. Of course, long-term reliability remains to be seen. I did consider Alfa's previous reputation for questionable quality, and I decided to pay for the extended warranty, something I've never done before. I hope the extended warranty turns out to be a waste of money, but we'll see.
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