Monday, May 16, 2011

Gasp - an almost "good" review for an Alfa. Still loaded with cliched prejudice, though

DISCLAIMER: I've always preferred smaller, more economical cars with some sporty, stylish flair. Brand doesn't matter that much - but Alfas generally seem to satisfy best. And they have been charming, reliable and solid performers.

But it seems that motor-noters just can't break free of the tired old cliches - they have to be trotted out again and again. Usually it's "trading on past glories", "all style no go", "long arms, short legs" or "not as well built or reliable as a...". At least they have shaken off the rust tag - I hope.

From my personal experience my 3 Alfas - 1982 GTV, 1981 Giulietta and 1989 33QV - were/are not as absolutely, boringly faultless as my Hyundais, Mazdas or Toyota but were/are more fun to own. And they were/are on a par with my somewhat fragile VW Golfs. From what I have seen and heard from friends that's pretty well how it is still. And FWIW my Toyota rusted faster than any Alfa I've ever owned....

Anyway, the review is mostly positive...
Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV
Finally, there's a worthy Italian alternative to some of the default hot-hatch choices, writes Bruce Newton.
Although it lapses into dangerous territory. What exactly was wrong with MiTo sharing a platform with FIAT's Punto? And which production car isn't a watered-down version of a concept?
Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV
The Giulietta QV is Alfa's latest attempt at Italian soul-stirring. Thankfully, it is neither a rehashed Fiat like the MiTo city car, nor a compromised production version of an exquisite concept such as the Brera coupe.
As for the Giulietta not being a "rehashed" FIAT, bear in mind that it's still a FIAT shared platform.... and design work started before the MiTo.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV
Alfa engines traditionally sing their way into the heavens, prepared to sacrifice some lower-end tractability to do so. But not in this case, with the rev limiter cutting in at just over 6000rpm.
"Traditionally" meaning when they are the smaller, shorter stroke motors and often in comparison with other, less sporty car makes. But not when thinking generally of Alfa engines which come in all shapes and styles of bore, stroke and piston number. I guess I could agree if I didn't drive an '82 GTV 2.0... which has a low-end torquey kind of engine.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV
The Giulietta QV is a modern Alfa Romeo that can wear the shield with pride. It's flawed, of course … hey, it's an Alfa. But little detracts from the fundamental quality of the engineering base and the package assembled atop it.
Not too bad over all.

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