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A History of Shoddy Quality
When people talk about Alfa Romeo, they typically associate it with shoddy quality and a brand that constantly has a problem. It's even been rumored that some Alfas of old would break down before they left the dealership lot. In fact, some of them even broke down simply trying to start the engine.
Which is why I have to warn everyone, even folks who are so filthy rich and have nothing better to do with their money: NEVER EVER buy an Alfa Romeo, especially the 155, 156, 159, 166, GTV—the list goes on. I can go on for a fortnight about just how horrible these cars can be. Even the Golden Trio of motoring journalism— Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May—all agree that Alfas are dreadful.
If you decided to buy an Alfa, what are you saying to yourself? You've messed up your life, made bad choices, and now you're just waiting to die? Let's get right to the point: Alfas are garbage. I promise you. You're better off buying a French car like a Peugeot or a Renault than an Alfa.
And then: enter the Giulia.
When the Giulia came out in June 2015, the world was stunned. Where did Alfa come up with something like this? It looks beautiful. Dare I say it? It's one of the most beautiful cars I've ever seen.
This is the successor to the godawful 159. Granted, the 159 was a relatively handsome car, but its quality was just horrid. The Giulia, on the other hand, seems to have.... matured?
Never before have I seen such an improvement in quality and craftsmanship. How did Alfa do it? I think I know one reason: they have a sort of close relationship with the Prancing Horse: Ferrari.
Yes, they've had a close partnership for years, but only recently did it seem like Ferrari stepped up the quality of Alfas. Take, for example, the Giulia Quadrifoglio. Ferrari claims that the 2.9L twin-turbo V6 under the hood of that car isn't the same one they use on their Portofino minus the two cylinders.
You might be compelled to ask why I'm comparing the engine to a V8? Well, the V6 on the Giulia Quadrifoglio shares the same general architecture as the V8 found in Ferrari and Maserati.
That said, personally I wouldn't buy the Giulia Quadrifoglio for the simple reason that it's rear-wheel drive only.
I want something with all-wheel drive and the three other variants of the car—the Sprint, Ti, and Veloce—all come with an optional AWD system. And they're cheaper and more comfortable too.
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The test unit I got mysteriously appeared in my front lawn. I thought someone was playing an IT prank on me so I fetched me musket and stormed the front door - only to find no one there and myself freezing to death, as I had ventured out in just me jocks.
Seeing as no one was around, I turned to make my way back into the house when I heard a sort of clinging sound at my feet. Behold, the keys lay bare on the ground. Why'd the agent just leave it there and why'd they leave without me signing anything? No matter, it's there and I shall test drive it.
This is the Sprint model with all-wheel drive. Since it's the base model, it doesn't have the flappy paddles, but that's just fine by me. I do absolutely adore the black and silver Alfa Romeo logo on the steering wheel. It's a tad bit more classy than it used to be.
I've been driving now for about half an hour at this point and already, I'm in love with the car. The 280 horsepower turbocharged 2.0L inline 4 engine is quite responsive, and since it's got 280 horses, there's plenty of room for overtaking.
Add to that the standard-across-the-range 8-speed torque converter automatic and it really is quite the sporty luxury. Of note is the steering. I am impressed at how precise and accurate this is. Alfas of yesteryear didn't know what a turn was but this feels like an F1 car—very nimble round the corners.
The brakes aren't as good as the German brands, but it's a hell of a lot better than the old Alfas.
A Nice Surprise
Now, don't jump the gun—I haven't been able to get a feel quite yet for the all-wheel drive system this car is equipped with. I know it's there and I think that's why it's become so precise? I don't think I've felt it when I almost slid doing 45 in a 30 corner. Is it really there? Probably. Did it take control and prevent me from falling in a ditch? Who knows?
Or was it the brakes? The brakes are the weakest link in the Giulia, as it's a drive-by-wire system similar to the Acura/Honda NSX. It's probably why Acura/Honda is discontinuing that car.
I'm definitely not taking this to the track; after all, it's an Alfa. Yes, I admit I still have the stigma and stereotype of old Alfas being crappy quality cars. However, I will say upfront that the new Alfas have improved significantly compared to the past models.
Overall, I'm quite impressed with this car. I'm not really willing to take this over an Evo X MR or BMW M235i xDRIVE. The brakes are good at most times, but they are a bit dodgy, especially at the worst of times, if you ask me.
I might have to buy an aftermarket hydraulic brake system for this thing.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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