Alfa Romeo is one brand with heritage value. It was developed in Italy as a manufacturer of premium automobiles in 1910. Even after having such rich history, the brand sells only a few hundred cars over the year.
Increment in the sales of Alfa Romeo has been inconsistent with the industrial growth of the automobile sector. So, what is the reason behind these low sales figures? Is it because Alfa Romeo is not reliable, or are there any other reasons?
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Why is Alfa Romeo so Unreliable?
Alfa Romeo is unreliable, mostly because the company spends too little time developing its new models. Because of that, their cars are often problematic to own.
Let’s get into details.
- Low sales figures are a worry for Alfa Romeo, hence they have been trying to rebrand. Changes in SOP’s & quality protocols on such a large scale have resulted in the poor reliability of Alfa Romeo.
- Engine, suspension, and electrical systems none are free from defects. No matter which year model you buy, you will face extremely high problem frequency. This is what makes Alfa Romeo less dependable.
- In the competition of introducing new models sooner, Alfa Romeo does not give proper time for product development. Alfa Romeo Giulia was developed in two and half year period only. The result of such hastiness is bound to be unreliable.
Also read: Are Italian Cars Reliable? Myths Debunked!
How Long Does Alfa Romeo Last?
According to several consumer survey reports, Alfa Romeo cars do not last longer than 55,000 miles. With proper maintenance and some luck, you would be fortunate enough to get 75,000 miles out of your Alfa Romeo. With an average mileage of 12,000 miles, Alfa Romeo is expected to last a little over 4.9 years.
Users have been criticizing the short life span of German cars, which tend to last between 100,000 and 150,000 miles. Alfa Romeo doesn’t even cut close to it. And there is no comparison to Japanese and Korean brands. Whose cars have an average life span of over a decade and can cross 250,000 miles mark quite easily.
How Reliable is Alfa Romeo Compared to Other Car Brands?
Alfa Romeo has been ranked 3 among the 5 least reliable car brands, however Japanese brands like Toyota, Lexus, and Honda have been ranked among the most reliable brands. This says it all about the reliability of Alfa Romeo. It doesn’t even come close to lesser reliable European brands like BMW, Mercedes, and Volkswagen.
Alfa Romeo doesn’t stand a chance against American brands like Chevrolet and Cadillac as well. It might seem that comparison between bulk production brands and Alfa Romeo is unfair, but we must consider that Alfa Romeo targets masses as well. But their competitors are way ahead in terms of reliability.
How Often Does Alfa Romeo Break Down?
To say the least, Alfa Romeo breaks down very often. The industrial average problem frequency is 140 problems per 100 vehicles, and the problem frequency of Alpha Romeo is around 200 problems per 100 vehicles. This means that it is below the market standards by 60 points.
Alfa Romeo owners spend a lot of time in workshops. Where an average car spends 3-4 hours in a workshop during the year, the workshop time of Alpha Romeo is more than 6 hours. In addition to routine maintenance, Alpha Romeo has a relatively higher probability of encountering a major breakdown.
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What are the Most Common Problems with Alfa Romeos?
The following are the most common issues reported with Alfa Romeos:
- Axle & Suspension Defects
- Electrical System Failure
Axle & Suspension Defects
Something that should not be compromised in a premium segment car is the comfort of the user. But the bad suspension of Alfa Romeo denied this basic necessity to drivers and passengers. You would hear a strange noise coming out of suspension. With more than 25.91% of all problems reported, it was the most common issue in Alfa Romeos.
Electrical System Failure
One thing that is common across all models of Alfa Romeo is twisted electronics. Multiple recalls have been issued on Alfa Romeo cars due to defects in electrical systems. A survey reported that 18.13% of Alfa Romeo cars encountered a minor or major failure of the electrical system.
How Much Does it Cost to Fix an Alfa Romeo?
Yes, being a luxury segment car, Alfa Romeo is very expensive to fix as well. The average maintenance cost of Alfa Romeo is reported to be $885 per annum. This cost is low at the start, however, it goes on increasing as the car ages. This is very costly if you compare it to the repair cost of Lexus that is $551 per year.
Skilled mechanics charge you by the hour, even for a minor repair. This is due to a lesser number of service centers for Alfa Romeos. The spare parts are equally expensive, so it doesn’t help as well. The routine maintenance checkup, oil, & filter of an Alfa Romeo will cost you around $350. That is well above the average cost for an oil change.
Do Alfa Romeos Have Rust Problems?
Alfa Romeos do have a tendency to catch rust. The rust problems can exceed the point of part replacement. But most of the time rust catches only those areas which are exposed to excessive moisture, like wheel domes and undercarriage.
The paint quality of most Alfa Romeos is satisfactory, however, the problem lies with the build quality. The quality of steel is inferior, that’s why it’s common for paint to peel off and catch rust at times. But then it is an issue persistent with other Italian brands as well. Like Fiats are also known to be rust buckets.
How Much Will You Lose on Alfa Romeo Depreciation?
The amount of money you lose on Alfa Romeo is fairly dependent upon the condition of your car. An Alfa Romeo which has been maintained well and is in good shape has an above-average resale value. After 5 years of operation, it tends to lose only 54% of its value.
An Alfa Romeo Giulia which was purchased for $43,816 5-years back will pay you $20,247 in return today. But this might not be always true. If your car has some major defect, or it has too many build quality issues, then it will pay you a lot lesser.
How Much is Alfa Romeo Insurance?
Newer models of Alfa Romeo have above-average insurance costs. Although the minimum annual premium for full coverage is around $2,000. But users have reported that the end cost of insuring Alfa Romeo is about $2,500. This is above the average cost of similar segment cars, which cost less than $2,000 for insurance.
The real problem is insuring an old Alfa Romeo. Alfa Romeos tend to break down a lot and their parts prices are extremely high. Keeping these things in mind, insurance companies can charge you somewhere between $3,000-$4,000 for the insurance. So, it is better to sell your old Alfa Romeo than to insure it.
What are the Most and Least Reliable Alfa Romeos?
Following are the most reliable models of Alfa Romeos:
- Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Alfa Romeo Giulietta has received a 98.6% reliability score on whatcar. It has outranked its German competitors like BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. It is definitely worthy of all the praise. It is a complete family car that will not fail you.
- Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is certainly one of the best cars produced by the company. It is a complete package of exquisite exterior and immense power. 2021 model of Giulia Quandrifolglio is offered with a 2.9-liter turbo engine. The car is known to be extremely dependable and trustworthy.
The following models of Alfa Romeos are reported to be the most problematic and least reliable:
- Alfa Romeo MiTo
MiTo was an experiment of Alfa Romeo that went terribly wrong. The car had a sluggish engine and poor response. The suspension of MiTo was so stiff that it would feel like you were riding on a handcart. It neither had the looks nor the reliability.
- Alfa Romeo 4C
4C continued its test run from 2013 to 2018. The car was introduced to markets in haste. Lacking the proper R & D behind it, 4C was a disaster, as one would expect it to be. Again, the suspension of the car was very bumpy and handling was found compromised on multiple occasions as well.
Are New Alfa Romeo Models More Reliable?
New Alfa Romeo models are generally regarded as may more reliable in comparison to older ones. The basic reason behind it is the improved build quality of the new Alfa Romeos. The underlying issues of suspension and poor electronics have been addressed. This makes new Alfa Romeos more dependable and durable.
Alfa Romeo is attempting to rebrand completely. They are now building a reputation based on reliability rather than just being a manufacturer of big beautiful cars. As a result of this dynamic change, New Alfa Romeo Giulia has been rated 4 out of 5 for reliability.
What are the Most Reliable Alfa Romeo Alternatives?
Alfa Romeo is known for manufacturing exclusive cars of the luxury segment. So, the best alternatives to Alfa Romeos will be German cars that offer a similar level of exclusiveness and have an edge of being more reliable as well.
Following are the best alternative if you’re looking to replace your Alfa Romeo.
- BMW 3-Series
BMW 3-Series has garnered critical acclaim for its reliability. The classy 3-Series is studded with exotic features. It has a comfortable ride and offers a soothing experience. With a power output of over 300 hp, it can fulfill your power thirst as well.
- Audi A4
The owners of Alfa Romeo usually purchase it for its beautiful exterior, Audi A4 has the looks to substitute your Italian beauty. It comes in multiple variants with top-of-the-line trim producing as much as 242-hp with a 3.0-liter engine. It is a perfect amalgam of power and elegance.
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