Saturday, April 17, 2010

Nice Giulietta review, shame the reviewer has lost the plot

Here's a nice review of the new Giulietta. That's great.

But the problem here (that wrecks it for me, sadly, as I'm particular about tiny details) is that the first few paragraphs are little more than ill-formed opinion on what ails Alfa, rather than a review of a car. It was starting to sound like a rehash of the usual 'Alfa hasn't made a decent car in 30 years' line but it became increasingly obvious that the sort of apparently obvious flaws Alfa may have as a car maker are also to be found in the skills this motor noter let loose with a keyboard. I was wary (but forgiving - it's apparently a US-based blog after all) when it seemed that the writer was unaware that there was another Giulietta beyween the first and the latest one, but then this clanger (see quote in para below) dropped.

Oh dear, an almost 30-year-old chassis, eh? Exactly which chassis is imagined here - perhaps ARNA or 33? Now my recollection is that the 147 is a cut-back 156 chassis. And the 156 was introduced with a fresh chassis - again, trusting my memory only - in about 1997.  That's not quite 30 years, is it? (OK, it's getting closer, but why exaggerate like this?) Neither the ARNA nor 33 look remotely like a 156 or 147 in terms of body construction (not truly being a chassis per se in any case) and had more to do with the Nissan Pulsar and Alfasud respectively. Can this writer be referring to the only other FWD "chassis" I can even remotely imagine is relevant here, the 164? As that was a shared development with FIAT and SAAB and again quite unlike a 156 I guess not. So - unless there's secret knowledge here - we have yet another Alfa reviewer with a warped sense of history and the opportunity to share it with us.

But the actual review was fair enough. So why not just review the car? 

2011 Alfa Romeo Giulietta First Drive
The Giulietta replaces the Alfa Romeo 147, a technical dinosaur that we nonetheless actually like a bunch. There were various bits and pieces introduced to the front-wheel-drive 147 over its nine-year life cycle that helped compensate for the shortcomings of its almost 30-year-old chassis.

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