Cant really agree with you ALFADOIT - as you say most cars have their foibles, BMWs included. Alfas are of average build quality and at least average reliability, theyre no where near as bad as their reputation suggests.
But your post is particularly ironic for two reasons :
You site swirl flaps as a problem and say that you told your friend to get a D3 - the cars that are most known for swirl flaps failing are BMW diesels ! The later CF4 JTD flaps do fail, as you know from experience, but its comapratively rare (I ve had 2 1.9 CF4s, one with 99,000 on another with 113,000, no broken swirl flaps), BMW ones fail a lot, theyre known for it - Google "swirl flap" and, apart from the wikipedia listing, ALL entries on the first page refer to BMW swirl flaps !! So its a bit harsh to single out Alfa (should really be FPT as its a Fiat engine) - the way all swirl flaps are engineered seems to cause problems, maybe the blame should lie with Pierburg as they designed the Fiat/Alfa/Opel/Vauxhal ones AND the BMW ones. Not knocking BMWs here, either, they make some of the best driving cars around.
The airbag thing again is a known issue with seat mounted airbags on loads of cars - lets face it, youve got a plug coming out of the floor mounted on something that moves back and forth and up and down and that can have up to 100Kgs sat on it, its not that surprising that every now and then a loose connection develops, its not hard to sort either and as I said it happens on lots of cars. I know this from experience - I work for a used car dealer and it happened only the other day - a slightly overweight young guy took a car out for a test drive and after he left the airbag light came on ! The car ? um, a 3 series. I wont bore you with a list of all the cars I ve known it happens to, but you get my point.
Its true that on later 147s and GTs the underseal application from the factory was, er random (I ve heard of some cars with underseal one side of the floorplan and not the other !) and certainly the 147/GT door handle design isnt the best. Again, I ll save space by NOT listing similarly stupid things done by other manufacturers or the other types of cars that have door handles that can break. Overall, Alfas have average build quality, not the best, but way way better than they used to be and competitive with any other mainstream car manufacturer.
And whilst your car was built in 2010, its a 2004 design, based on a car designed in the late 90s (and the starting point for that late 90s design was a car designed in the mid 80s), so it aint a 2010 car really, its a 2004 car and has 2004 standards of build quality, which were competitive back then with everything else, but, like now, not as good as top line makes like BMW etc, but certainly not "fragile" or "flimsy".
I m not wearing rose tinted specs, not trying to say Alfas have the best build quality, but their engineering and quality is generally good in my experience (owning 5) and much of a muchness compared to other cars (which I have quite a bit of experience of due to work). Sure, I ve got annoyed with my Alfas, or wondered why the hell stupid Alfa did this or that or didnt do the other, but I ve also done the same with most of the other cars I have to work with as well.
And ironically enough, "average Joe" doesnt "steer clear of Alfas" anywhere near as much as he used to, since Alfa's late 90s boom peaked in 2005 (obviously average Joe wasnt steering clear then), people havent so much steered clear as not been able to "steer near" cos alfa didnt make the car they wanted - they replaced the 156 with the massively bigger 159, left the 147 & GT in production for far too long cos of continually delaying their replacements and they cut the range back to just the Giulietta and Corsa, sorry I mean Mito, no wonder sales dropped, but they didnt drop for the reasons you suggest, they dropped due to mismanagement.
So I cant really agree with your sentiments at all - I dont think Alfas quality is anywhere near as bad as youre saying, although I can understand why you may feel like it if this is your first Alfa. Maybe youve just been unlucky and Veloces sold you an overpriced dud ? Although I do wonder why you didnt pick a better one if it was in such bad condition when you got it ?
Last edited by typos1; 24-02-16 at 13:48.