Author Topic: Thinking of buying my first Alfa.  (Read 6751 times)

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Anonima

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Thinking of buying my first Alfa.
« on: January 23, 2017, 10:28:40 AM »
Hi everyone!
I'm wondering if anyone could give me some advice on buying my first Alfa? Because I'm thinking of buying another car sometime in the future and I can't get Alfa out of my head, but I'm worried about all the costly problems the may come along with it, and the fact that everyone around me is saying its a terrible idea isn't helping at all.
I live around 2 hours from the closest Alfa dealer (Geelong and Ballarat) so I'm not wanting to have to drive all the way there every time something goes wrong, although I think there may be a place here (Warrnambool) that can do it. I'm thinking a Giulietta qv or possibly a 159. Any help would be greatly appreciated, Thanks in advance!

poohbah

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Re: Thinking of buying my first Alfa.
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2017, 03:07:29 PM »
As a general comment, if you buy one in good nick with a full service history (and up to date) that has been properly maintained you should have no dramas.

And next time some smart Alec says you are crazy for looking at an Alfa, ask them how many times (and the cost) they have had to take their reputedly more reliable VW, Audi, or Beemer back to the workshop to resolve major electrical issues, transmission failure etc etc ...

Plenty of used car reviews confirm the ownership experience of comparable "prestige/sporty" vehicles can be far worse than for modern Alfa Romeos.

The most powerful counter argument is the more rapid depreciation of Alfas compared with similar makes. But if you are buying second hand, you are actually cashing in on that depreciation - as long as you don't expect to get most of your money back in 3 years.
Now:    2002 156 GTA
            1981 GTV
Before: 1999 156 V6 Q-auto
            2001 156 V6 (sadly cremated)

Anonima

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Re: Thinking of buying my first Alfa.
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2017, 03:55:13 PM »
As a current VW owner I can confirm that haha.

Will I be alright taking it to a non Alfa specialist to get it serviced? because the closest is around 2hrs away.
Are their any common problems to look out for?

thanks!

poohbah

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Re: Thinking of buying my first Alfa.
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2017, 04:11:14 PM »
I'd check with the Victorian members on here for a recommendation closer to your home.

Now:    2002 156 GTA
            1981 GTV
Before: 1999 156 V6 Q-auto
            2001 156 V6 (sadly cremated)

kaleuclint

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Re: Thinking of buying my first Alfa.
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2017, 04:25:37 PM »
Will I be alright taking it to a non Alfa specialist to get it serviced? because the closest is around 2hrs away.
This is a very pertinent question.  The Giulietta and 159 are both nice cars to own, but would I entrust mine to a non-specialist?  Have to say no. 

I AM happy to entrust my Benz to a non-MB specialist (happens to be an Alfa specialist...).  I'm also happy to cop a 45 minute drive to their workshop and same back again.  I have an Alfa dealer 5 minutes away; I don't trust them -- maybe they are good with Jeeps??

Warrnambool?  By the time you drive home from a specialist in Melbourne you're quarter of the way to the next service!
2011 159ti 1750TBi

Anonima

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Re: Thinking of buying my first Alfa.
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2017, 06:50:36 PM »
That's what I'm worried about. Having to drive that far would get old very quickly!
thanks for the info

kaleuclint

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Re: Thinking of buying my first Alfa.
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2017, 07:37:21 PM »
Just an opinion mind.  There must be other people who live a long way from a specialist and continue to properly maintain their Alfas.  Don't let me put you off too easily!
2011 159ti 1750TBi

poohbah

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Re: Thinking of buying my first Alfa.
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2017, 08:39:11 PM »
I'd go onto the Victorian members section at the top of the forum page and just make a general inquiry whether there is anyone in your general region who they'd recommend.

I'd also ask one of the known Alfa specialists in Melbourne for a recommendation of a decent mechanic or workshop in the provinces - the decent guys will always know someone they can point you to.

As a general rule, if you can find a European car specialist in the region, (hopefully with at least some experience in working on Alfas too) they should be fine for regular/minor servicing. But for any major work (like cambelt changes, major mechanical/electrical faults) I'd still make the effort to head for the big smoke.

I'd also say that while my personal preference would be for the 159, relatively speaking they are getting long in the tooth, so given your concerns over servicing etc, you might be better off looking for near new Giuliettas, preferably still under warranty.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 08:48:13 PM by poohbah »
Now:    2002 156 GTA
            1981 GTV
Before: 1999 156 V6 Q-auto
            2001 156 V6 (sadly cremated)

Colin Edwards

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Re: Thinking of buying my first Alfa.
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2017, 09:22:12 AM »
Hi Anonima,
Their are a couple of Alfa owners down Colac and Camperdown as I recall.  Also a very active group of Alfa lovers in and around Ballarat.  One of these may able to suggest an experienced service provider in the south west. 
Given your looking at the 159 or Giulietta, both support advanced on-board diagnostics so fault resolution can be pretty straight forward IF your technician has the correct tools and technical support. 
I have a 2009 159 V6 and the missus a 2015 Giulietta QV.  Previous to the QV she had a 2012 Giulietta Veloce TCT - the first one registered in Australia!  All three cars have been virtually trouble free.  Apart from a misfire in my V6 due to the plugs not being replaced when they should, running costs are no different to most other European imports. 
As others have stated, a fully documented service history is most important.  Alfas are no different to any other car.  They will suffer if not serviced correctly.  If I had my choice of car, it would be a RWD only 159 with a 2000cc MultiAir Giulietta QV engine!!!   Sadly Alfa never made one! 
Present
2020 Giulietta Veloce
2018 Abarth 124 Spider
1987 75 3.0

Past
2015 Giulietta QV
2009 159 3.2 Ti Q4
2012 Giulietta TCT Veloce
2006 147 Ti 2 door Selespeed
1979 Alfasud Ti 1.5

Anonima

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Re: Thinking of buying my first Alfa.
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2017, 11:35:00 AM »
Thanks for the advice everyone! I'll go make a post and hope there's a place around here that can service one.
And yes I think the 159 is getting on a bit now (still looks amazing though!)
I reckon my ideal Alfa would be a brand new Giulia Quadrifoglio!

poohbah

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Re: Thinking of buying my first Alfa.
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2017, 12:13:32 PM »
My plan is to wait for the usual Alfa accelerated depreciation to kick in, so I can afford a Giulia QV in 4-5 years. It should have lost at least 70% of list price by then!
Now:    2002 156 GTA
            1981 GTV
Before: 1999 156 V6 Q-auto
            2001 156 V6 (sadly cremated)

alfamisa

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Re: Thinking of buying my first Alfa.
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2017, 02:13:49 PM »
My plan is to wait for the usual Alfa accelerated depreciation to kick in, so I can afford a Giulia QV in 4-5 years. It should have lost at least 70% of list price by then!

A fair observation, but one hopes(expects) with these new crop of Alfas that along with performance rising, depreciation will inversely diminish.

By 4-5yrs one might expect to find, after initial lease owner, the second owner selling them and you can only hope that it hasn't lost at least 70% of it's life!

Anomina, on issues of Alfa Romeo reliability, let's face it the people that buy them aren't choosing it as just a shopping trolley, the Germans/Koreans have that covered, so they get pushed harder than perhaps they should. As others have said, buy a good one, usually ones with long time same owner, well serviced by competent mechanics and you shouldn't fall into the "low ball bargain, high cost repairs...endless whinging of reliability" camp. These tend to be "newbs" to the brand and don't last long.
The Alfa Romeo heritage "rinascimento" (renaissance) continues in each and every new model...the first "rinascimento" being 1915.

Anonima

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Re: Thinking of buying my first Alfa.
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2017, 05:58:27 PM »
So generally if I buy a good one and take it to a good mechanic and I shouldn't have to much trouble?

kaleuclint

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Re: Thinking of buying my first Alfa.
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2017, 12:35:40 PM »
A "good mechanic" is problematically not the same as an 'Alfa mechanic', let alone a 'good Alfa mechanic'. 

If you observed someone like Alex Donnini at work you'd appreciate the value of AR diagnostics and firmware updates that a general "good mechanic" probably won't have access to.  Similarly Matty and his team at Alfa Men know what to look for and often go well beyond the scheduled service checklist.  They also know about modifications and improvements -- and accessing better, cheaper parts.

Ultimately this is the specialist v. generalist maintenance argument that has played out in this forum before. 

Perversely I suspect your "good mechanic" would still be a better option than dealer service!
2011 159ti 1750TBi