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Alfa Romeo Giulia: How Reliable It Actually Is

The Alfa Romeo Giulia is an astonishing, performance sedan. Can it debunk the myth of unreliable Alfas?

Alfa Romeo is an old European name in the car industry and has enjoyed a glorious motorsport history, at least in its earlier decades. That said, while Alfa Romeo has given us some pretty amazing cars, over the last decade and a half – 8C, 4C, Giulia, and Stelvio – the company continues to be perceived as a carmaker that doesn’t have the highest reliability. However, this isn’t as true as many would lead you to believe, as we take a closer look at a 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia, courtesy of the YouTube channel, _fast4alfa.

Alfa Romeo Giulia: How Reliable It Actually Is
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The video is actually provided by the owner of the car, who has had it since May 2021 and has put over 20,000 miles (approx. 32,200) on it, since. Those include highway, city, track, and autocross, and the owner points out, he has been very happy with it, so far.

The model we are looking at is the Giulia Q4 Ti Sport, which is the one under the Quadrofoglio, and has the 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four, with 280 horsepower and 295 pound-feet (400 Nm). This particular one has all-wheel drive, although it’s rear-wheel-drive-biased, and a ZF, eight-speed automatic. This allows for a 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) sprint in 5.2 seconds, although this particular one has a tune and a downpipe, and is capable of a 4.5-second sprint, and a high-12-second quarter-mile time.

Alfa Romeo Giulia: How Reliable It Actually Is
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Engine 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four
Power 280 HP
Torque 295 LB-FT
Transmission ZF, eight-speed automatic
0 to 60 mph 5.2 seconds
Quarter mile 12 seconds

Although the four-cylinder Giulia shares, virtually, the same chassis as the QV and GTAm, the owner points out that it’s not a perfect car and talks about any potential problems you may or may not experience, as well as how to address them.

Corroded battery terminals

Alfa Romeo Giulia: How Reliable It Actually Is
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This one is a bit weird, but makes sense, given that the cars are shipped from Italy, by sea. The battery is located in the trunk, just behind the right taillight, so it’s easy to get to. That said, because of the salty air, the terminals tend to corrode, which if left unattended, can cause electrical gremlins.

It’s an easy fix – either buy a new battery or clean the post terminals. It’s also worth noting that this goes only for Giulia models that are being imported to North America, as cars for the European market are being transported by land.

Radiator leaks (earlier models)

Alfa Romeo Giulia: How Reliable It Actually Is
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Again, it’s nothing frightening and it’s an easy fix. Earlier models can suffer from leaks due to a bad radiator seam at the top or bottom (usually at the bottom). This is on earlier cars (like this 2018 Giulia) and Alfa Romeo has put out a service bulletin for the issue. The fix usually involves replacing the radiator, which takes approximately three hours.

Charge air cooler relay

Alfa Romeo Giulia: How Reliable It Actually Is
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The third potential issue, you may experience with a Giulia is a bad relay that goes to the charge cooler – the part responsible for cooling the compressed air from the turbo and cools it before it gets to the engine. The symptoms are obvious, as the engine will not give you full power. The owner has experienced this issue and, during the diagnostics, it showed the following code: DTC U1008.

As the owner explains,it is, essentially, a fuse located in a fuse box, in the right wheel arch. It’s the same fuse as the one for the rear window defroster, which is also located there. For the best possible access, removing the wheel is advisable, after which it’s a matter of unscrewing a couple of bolts, in order to get to the bad fuse and replace it.

Is the Alfa Romeo Giulia the new performance sedan benchmark?

Alfa Romeo Giulia: How Reliable It Actually Is
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After discussing the potential issues you may or may not encounter with an Alfa Romeo Giulia, the owner walks us around the exterior and interior of the car, which he praises for the perfect blend of form and functionality.

Having driven multiple versions of the Giulia, I can confirm that it is more than capable of competing with the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Genesis G70, Lexus IS, and other sporty sedans, in terms of chassis, comfort, and overall performance.

As mentioned above, this particular Giulia has an ECU tune and a downpipe. Although the owner does not share the horsepower and torque gains, we see that the car manages a consistent 4.5-second 0-60 mph (97 km/h) sprint and a 12.9-second quarter-mile time.

Final thoughts

Alfa Romeo Giulia: How Reliable It Actually Is
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Alfa Romeo Giulia is the brand’s first rear-wheel-drive sedan since the 1985 Alfa Romeo 75. As such, the Giulia served as something of a Genesis for the Italian brand and it really proved that Alfa Romeo can, once again, compete with the more consistent German offerings, in the segment. What’s even more important is that Giulia debunks the myths about Alfa Romeo cars being unreliable.

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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