Is Alfa Romeo reliable? An honest look at the brand
- Is Alfa Romeo reliable?
- How reliable are consumer reports?
- Why is Alfa Romeo unreliable?
- Common Alfa Romeo problems
When you are looking at cars, reliability is an important factor. So important, in fact, that it is one of our top priorities when looking for a new car.
But, is this the case for those who are looking at buying an Alfa Romeo? As Which? said; “It’s widely accepted that anyone who buys an Alfa Romeo does so with their heart instead of their head”. Is this true? Are Alfa Romeo’s really that unreliable?
In this article, we look at whether Which are right, and whether Alfa Romeo’s are really as unreliable as people say, and how they fare against their competitors.
Is Alfa Romeo reliable?
No, is the short answer. As it stands, Which? is looking pretty accurate with its summary of Alfa Romeo.
ReliabilityIndex gives Alfa Romeo a rating of 214 for reliability, which is very poor. The UK Reliability Index takes into account the following:
- The factors of a repair
- The cost of the parts
- The frequency of the failures
The average of all cars is 100, and the UK average index is 118. So the lower the number, the more reliable the car is. And as we said, Alfa Romeo has a score of 214. Reliability Index state that the average age of an Alfa Romeo is 4.9 years old and the average mileage is 54,857 miles.
WarrantyDirect also scores Alfa Romeo as poor in terms of dependability.
However, if we look at the Auto Express reports from those that own the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the reviews are completely different. In fact, if we looked at those reviews alone, Alfa Romeo would look like one of the most reliable brands around.
That said, Auto Express, themselves have said that there is a problem with reliability, and in their Driver Power Survey of 2015, the Giulietta came 69th, which is quite a fall from the top ten when it debuted in 2013.
And of course, in the Which survey, Alfa Romeo came in the top 5 for most unreliable car manufacturers, with a reliability score of just 69%.
Everything but the driver reviews are telling us that Alfa Romeo are unreliable cars.
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How reliable are consumer reports?
Because everyone but the actual drivers are telling us Alfa Romeo are unreliable, how do we know if the consumer reports are reliable themselves?
To be honest, they are pretty reliable. Consumer surveys ask those who own the cars, and they also draw upon recalls and faults. WarrantyDirect, who work with Reliability Index, gather their results from their own data. WarrantyDirect sell extended warranties and have over 50,000 cars to gather their data from.
So, they are pretty reliable.
Why are the drivers on AutoExpress telling us differently? It could just be the people who are commenting. Consumer reports have a much wider range of people to gather results from, and the sample on AutoExpress is considerably smaller than the ones WarrantyDirect have had.All in all, consumer reports and surveys are probably the most dependable way of knowing the longevity of a car.
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Why are Alfa Romeos unreliable?
There are a few reasons why Alfa Romeos are considered unreliable.
According to Reliability Index, one of the main problems falls to the Axle and Suspension. This accounts for 25.91% of all faults. Electrical faults come in second with 18.13% of the faults.
Jalopnik has said that the car’s quick development time could be to blame for the unreliability of the car. The Alfa Romeo Giulia was developed in just two and a half years. This is nothing compared to the six years Mercedes tend to spend, or the seven years Volvo spent developing seats for their newXC90.However, Alfa Romeo is rebranding, according to Alfa Romeo. Well, at least in Australia. It has been reported that the new Giulia will come with a three-year, 150,000km (almost 100,000 miles) warranty, which is considerably better than some of their rivals. They are also offering a three-year capped-price servicing deal. Unfortunately, this is only happening in Australia as far as we know. But that’s not to say they won’t bring this incentive over to Europe should it go well down under.[vc_single_image image=”49911″ img_size=”article-image”]Alfa Romeo is not the only one that have had to rebrand after reports of unreliability. The likes of Fiat, Skoda and Dacia have done the same. And look how successful those brands are now.
Common Alfa Romeo problems
If you are buying a used Alfa Romeo or you are simply looking towards the future then you should be aware of the common problems that people face with Alfa Romeo’s. These include;
- Suspension problems
- The front suspension can fail, and you will know this if you hear a knocking noise
- Door alignment problem
- This is more common in the 159 and you can tell if there’s a bit of a breeze coming in
So it’s worth looking out for these if you are looking for a second hand Alfa Romeo.
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I have a Alfa 159 it has never let me down great to drive road holding is excellent if they are looked after then you should never have a major problem best car I have ever had
Hello Rick, thank you for sharing your experience with your Alfa Romeo 159. This will be very useful for OSV’s readers.
I am now driving my 5th Alfa – this one is a 2018 Giulia Veloce and I love every moment I am in the driving seat. I have heard people express concerns about Alfa reliability ever since I bought my Alfa 33. This was followed by a 164, 147, GT but I have not experienced the reliability issues others speak of. I have kept most of my vehicles for around 150,000 km so I think that speaks volumes but they have mostly been serviced by Alfa specialists and I think that makes the difference. There are so few Alfas on the roads in Australia that dealers (who usually cover multiple brands) do not build or retain expertise in the brand. My very few poor experiences (i.e return to get a problem diagnosed/fixed, etc) have been at the hands of dealers so I think AR Australia has some work to do. I love driving and my current Alfa is the pinnacle of the cars I have owned. I’m really pleased to see that Alfa have announced a 5 year warranty – if you want to change perception that’s a good start but they need to follow through on better training within the dealer network and support for Alfa buyers.
Hello Liz, thank you for sharing your experience with your Alfa Romeo vehicles and dealerships. This will be very valuable for our readers.
I have a 2013 Alfa Giuletta Sportiva diesel and it’s the most wonderful car I’ve ever had. I have had NO problems for 8 years and it is my one joy in life. And it’s Alfa red so it goes faster! Deb
Hello Deb, thank you for sharing your positive experience with your Giuletta car. This will be very helpful to our readers in their buying decision.
Well I’m sorry to report that my 2020 alfa Romeo stelvio diesel
Broke down at a busy intersection here in perth
26000kms on the dial 2 log book servicing done by the dealer
So sad to say after spending close to $65000 dollars on this machine
Was the biggest mistake of my life thank god it’s still under warranty
My next car will be a Japanese full wheel drive …just like the one I traded
For this heap of unreliable junk!
Hi there James, thank you for sharing your experience with Alfa Romeo. I’m sure our readers will find it very informative and helpful towards their vehicle buying decision.
I purchased a new 159 in 2007: a 2.4 diesel. It has done 150 km and never missed a beat. Still have it and I love it. It drives superbly around town and excels in country touring. Service the vehicle correctly and it is ultra reliable. And it’s the best looker on the road. What I don’t like about FCA is their hellbent fanaticism on making everything in the new cars black. Even the headlining. It dues to make sense in a country like Australia where black attracts heat and shows up every speck of dust.
Hello Ray, thank you for sharing your experience with Alfa Romeo. It’s fantastic to hear that your 159 is still going strong.