Actually, Alfa Romeos Are Extremely Reliable

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It has been brought to our attention at Jalopnik that we have been very wrong about the car brand “Alfa Romeo.” We have called it unreliable, when it is in fact not. It is very reliable. Luckily, the Real Car Men have explained it to us. Please forgive us for this transgression.


You see, after publishing our accounts of problems with the new Alfa Romeo Giulia, and other owners’ problems, and recalls, and recounting well-worn jokes about the cars’ historic lack of reliability, the Real Car Men who take their brand loyalty very seriously have informed us we not qualified to tell you about it. Have any of us even driven one? Who knows.

(For the record, we actually really like the new Giulia a lot—all of our review coverage has been exceedingly positive. But we’re apparently jerks for pointing out that the brand has a reputation problem, and that one of our test cars had to be returned early for a glitch.)


So, sit back and let the real Alfa Romeo people of the internet tell you why this car brand is so great and reliable and why we at Jalopnik are all bad people. All emphasis in the below messages is ours.

First, an email in response to this post, which used objective sales numbers to compare the Giulia’s low sales to competitor cars:

First of all Tom congratulations on writing a maligning “hit piece” on a car, apparently just to get some Jalopnik Internet “hits”. The Giulia is getting fantastic reviews all around the world from the automotive press, even the base and Ti models performed far above the competition. Why is there no mention of that in the article?

It’s been 22 years since the last 1995 Alfa 164 was sold in America and not a single nut or bolt is the same on the new Alfas. So what’s the point of comparing it’s reliability in the historical sense? The very best Ferrari engineers were put on the Giulia project and the results are not only stunning but even embarrassing competitors like BMW and Audi. That’s the real story, why won’t you write it? The Alfa base cars have sharper steering, faster throttle response and a much faster top speed of 149 mph than any competitors. The 191 mph Quadrifolio is 36 mph faster than the M3 or the C 63S. Why not mention it? Your premise of reliability issues are dead wrong. Where is the evidence of Giulias breaking down or sitting on the side of the road? The 2 liter cars have been fantastic and reliable performers right out of the box and they are priced like a high-end Camry. Trying to compare sales results on a brand-new car to decades long entrenched competitors is absurd.

I work for a Alfa dealer and we have sold about 30 units so far including three Quadrifolios. I’m in the same town as BMW manufacturing. We have less than 20 cars in stock but I sold 42% of my inventory last month. Lots of BMW customers have come in to compare and the recurring theme is they are bored to death with their current Bimmer and it’s non-exclusivity. Perhaps that would be a good story. Every Alfa Giulia we have sold has been right out of the box so I think you need some hard facts some facts to back up your bad reliability premise.


There is definitely no evidence of Giulias breaking down or stranding people on the road. We definitely do not know anyone who has experienced this.

Next up are two emails in response to this post of mine, which was in line with your average “Mustang at Cars and Coffee” joke—except with Alfa reliability as the main theme. Here’s the first:

Just for your information I have a Giulia QV. It was delivered on May 11. It has 1,800 miles. It has not experienced a single issue…not a code, not a stall, nothing. Not a single issue. It could be because I own the car and treat it like I paid for it. Too many times auto journalists receive cars and treat them with utter disrespect…will they fail? Of course. A car with the QV potential is a true temptation to be thrashed. Your sarcastic article on the Stelvio only proves that you have incredible bias to perpetuate Alfa stereotypes. I just wanted to let you know that there are Alfas out there that are reliable. I own many Italian cars / supercars….the QV is among the best ever.


The next person, who used his university email address, was even better. There were five other email messages from him just like this:

A friend pointed me to this article otherwise I’d have never seen it. Broadly-speaking, there are writers and there are hacks. A headline like that puts you in one camp and it’s not the good one. I hope you do better going forward if you aspire to make automotive writing a career. Good publications have knowledgeable car people and knowledgeable car people, over the age of thirty at least, tend to appreciate Alfa Romeo. No matter how much you might think you are impressing the Millennials who staff and read Jalopnik, you are probably making few friends among real car people (never mind Jalopnik commenters, who are no more car people than Breitbart or Salon commenters are political scientists). Just my opinion. Good luck, though I doubt that unless you start writing at Automobile or CAR I will have any idea how things turned out for you.


Oh, hell, let’s show you another one of his emails in this chain too:

Just couldn’t help myself being your article was so smug. I had to return the favor. But really, do you all (Jalopnik writers) really know anything about cars? One wouldn’t think so from what I’ve seen, at least these last few years. I’m really being serious now. I’ve owned several Porsches and BMWs (and Fords and Hondas, so it’s not just “pretentious” makes), and a few months ago I bought a Giulia Ti. Having received the need software updates, the Giuia’s has been perfect. Really the best sedan I’ve ever driven, even better than my E46 ZHP, which I didn’t think anyone could beat with one of these new drive-by-wire cars. But speaking of BMWs, with that E46 I had to worry about cracking subframes, VANOS issues, and a cooling system made of paper mache, and the E90s with a laundry list of N54 issues. With my 996 and 987 Porsches, I was worried about an IMS failure that could happen any time. About a $13K problem if it did (my ’04 911 did in fact lose its engine at 16.5K miles a year before it was mine; I’d have never bought it with the original Porsche-designed bearing). Ac couple years ago all GT3s were recalled for engines starting of fire. ’16 GT350s would go into limp mode if you hadn’t bought the track pack (and that wasn’t correctable with a flash update, as is the case with the Giulia’s issues). What in AlfaRomeo’s history compares with these problems? There’s a lot of objective data available in Europe after all. Never mind, I’m sure you have no idea of any history. Yet I’m sure you are a very nice person. So keep writing your articles, but knowing your subject should really be a goal of yours if you want to do this for a living. I don’t think that is pretentious advice.


(I do this for a living! But enough of him.)

Here’s another Alfa message, in response to a post about a Giulia failing on half of the Jalopnik staff and leaving us entirely freaked out on a New York highway after 10 p.m. over the summer:

Honest question, why is Alfa held to such high scrutiny around here when so many other brands when launching new platforms plagued with teething issues get a pass?

Is the goal to have this car and brand fail? Why can’t they be given a chance to sort this shit out before screaming bloody murder?

Thie is a software issue not a reliability one, the car didn’t leave you stranded. This post is sensationalism at its worst.


Is that our goal? No, we don’t care one way or another. But the automakers’ goal should be to sort stuff out before they put a car on the market.

But here, by far, is the best Alfa response we inexperienced imbeciles at Jalopnik have ever gotten—far better than the Alfa Bros we have long deleted from our email inboxes, and far better than just about anything on this earth.


It was, again, in response to a post about us getting stranded on the way back into New York City:

WOW what an anti Alfa propaganda , like in 1930s when bloke called Adolf did similar thing to its people, but wait...there is more to it, Alfa Giulia Q officially is now the best super sedan, a place where Bmw M3 and Merc Amg C63 were for last two decades and Germans are not happy about it! Maybe its not coincidence that this Magazine is owned by the Germans after all...


Our “Magazine” is owned by Americans, good sir! Americans!