Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce 2017 review

It's a review by "CarsGuide". Well, at least it's an 8/10 review.

But seriously, when are these lazy, myopic motoring journos going to let go of the old "rust and unreliability" mantra? It's always upfront in these reviews, even though I've personally had no problems with rust, apart from a leaking battery in the boot of an '82 GTV. OK, maybe it's more common than I've experienced but it does seem a bit prejudiced.

As it is my 1981 Giulietta snapped the throttle linkage, but all of those plastic throttle bits from that era break. It's a known issue. I club raced it and wore out some tyres and an exhaust baffle. Chewed up spark plugs but no rust or thrown drivetrain donuts.

My 1982 GTV had a raft of problems in the early1990s, but it had sat for a while and the seals shrank. After that it was my daily driver. The clutch and then the brake master cylinder went, and some oil leaks appeared. All fixed at that time. Another 10 years later and the clutch cylinder went again. Surface rust only, but no respray yet.

And the dampers leaked on my 1985 33 (replaced under warranty). Otherwise perfect.

Seriously I had more rust in my Toyota Corolla.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Why so big, and why so powerful? Giving the Stelvio a pass...

As in "I'll pass, thanks". Not a pass mark.

Still, it will sell heaps, if the product and service side stacks up in the real world.

Here's a review. A good one, too, that rewards Alfa for joining the game.

So what is an Alfa Romeo Stelvio? An oversized, over-weight 4WD for the overweight, oversized luxury car buyer. From Alfa's point of view they are late to the party and have a lot of ground to make up. It's a game of catch-up, where other premium brands have been feasting for too long. It's clearly about profit and profit margins being bigger at the top-end, and it's a game they have to join to survive.

As cars go, it's a lump - as you'd expect. It's not particularly about the line and the style, although they have done OK to make it look presentable. It's well made, apparently. And it has enough grunt to overcome the mass and make it stupidly fast. 

Which is my next point. Why so much mass? Well, it comes with the luxo-barge overkill design brief, sadly. It has everything, except a svelte figure.

If you want a practical, usable car instead, get a MiTo. It's much more suitable for driving, especially up the Passo dello Stelvio. Actually, if you are looking for the mountain pass, it's here.

But maybe use a bicycle instead.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Faster, faster, faster... stop.

It's expensive but not over-the-top. It's fast and furious but classy as well. It has an Alfa badge and a Ferrari-worked engine. And it's a sedan.

I like it, but it's too big with too many doors.

Well at least it's getting good reviews.

Aussie website reviewers Cars Guide like it, even if they lack any depth of understanding about the earlier Alfas. All they can compare it to are regular, ordinary cars, as if that matters. It's a step forward in some ways, in that they aren't obsessing about quirky seating positions, but they really lack any insight beyond "sounds good" and "goes well". I like (and prefer) the quirky stuff myself.