Sunday Times’ Driving Section Experiences Issues With Alfa Romeo Giulia
Issues make headlines after sour driving experienceby Kirby, on
To say that the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia is an important car for Alfa Romeo would be like saying Stephen Curry can shoot the basketball. It’s plainly obvious that a lot is riding on the Giuila to be as successful as Alfa hopes it would be. It’s a sobering reminder of the Italian automaker’s place in the automotive hierarchy and if a recent test run on the car done by the Sunday Times’ Driving section is any indication, Alfa Romeo still has some work to do with the Giulia.
According to Driving’s James Mills, a handful of the Giulia models present suffered technical difficulties, including two cars with malfunctioning infotainment systems and another plagued with jammed parking sensors. The supposed issues aren’t the kind of developments that Alfa Romeo would’ve liked to receive, not when so much is at stake for the company. They’re disconcerting to say the least, especially the ones involving the malfunctioning sensors. When asked about the problems, Wester indicated that the problems could be tied to the car’s computer system, which is apparently a lot more complicated than our feeble minds could comprehend.
It’s a sensible explanation and the whole episode could be attributed to just plain bad luck. Beside, as worrisome as these issues are, the Italian automaker still deserves a lot of credit for heavily investing on the car and seeing to it that some of those investments appear to be promising. It’s not a cheaply thrown together car by any means. The exterior looks every bit as an Alfa should look, right down to the triangle grille and the sculpted body lines. The interior looks spiffy and comfortable.
It’s not doom and gloom yet for Alfa Romeo, but none of the positive things about the Giulia can escape the bigger reality that the company isn’t playing with any house money here. The Giulia is the house, and if it goes down, Alfa could very well go down with it. Bad luck or not, it’s incumbent upon the automaker to get these issues sorted out as soon as possible.
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Why it matters
I read Driving’s review of the Giulia, and when the issues were mentioned, my first inclination was to think that Alfa just loaned the reviewers a bad bunch of Giulia models. Other automakers have suffered similar fates in the past. It’s not the first time it’s happen, nor will it be the last.
But here’s the point: Alfa cannot afford to have these issues. It’s not BMW, Mercedes, or Audi, all of whom can brush aside an episode like this, attribute it to bad luck, and move along their merry way. Alfa can’t do that because it’s got a lot riding on the Giulia to be successful. I don’t claim to know this, but if the company’s CEO admits as much, I’ll take that to the bank.
These malfunctions also come at an odd time for Alfa, which was only a few days removed from announcing its plan to offer Autopilot technology on the Giulia. It’s no secret that autonomous driving tech is the rage in the auto industry these days. It’s also still in its embryonic stage and is still subject to years worth of testing and development, more testing, more development, and well, you get the picture. It’s still not an exact science in itself and if Alfa Romeo really has every intention to offer Autopilot tech on the Giulia, it needs to make sure that it has a car that can accommodate the technology without episodes of unrest.
I want the Giulia to succeed because I want Alfa Romeo to succeed. But I also understand that it’s a battle that’s not going to be won overnight. There will be some issues. I just hope that the company can dig deep within its own sense of determination and perseverance so it can bring out the best out of the Giulia. Consider this episode a reminder that as promising as the new Giulia is, it still needs a lot of work to get to that next level where it can really and truly be a legitimate contender to the Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5 Series, and Audi A6.
Read our full review on the Alfa Romeo Giulia here.