Well, that's what I've seen others say!
Is a lot of it perception? Are the 159/Brera/Spider any more unreliable or are there other factors at play - poor dealer experiences, lower expectations, prejudice etc.?
I know for a fact that there are many people here (possibly including myself) who would never go back to Alfa if they had suffered as many repeat trips to the BMW garage as i have had; but I'll keep buying BMWs because generally, IMO, the cars are good and the overall experience is fine.
Another example is how brilliantly Skoda did in the VAG era, in all the JDPower surveys etc. Now, I was Skoda mad and had a few but I can't honestly say that there weren't any issues with the car - in fact, my 2nd Vrs Octavia left me stranded on the roadside but I still bought another, again, because the overall experience was so good.
Examples, just in my ownership, of common faults/issues with some of my cars. Some are niggly, some are more serious, but all things that have come up time and again on the various forums.
- BMW 330d - dodgy MAF, dead turbo at 20,000 miles.
- BMW 335d - haywire iDrive, no FM if heated rear window on, oil leaks galore. Others had cracked alloy wheels on a regular basis.
- E70 X5 - has only just been returned after having a battery draining issue seen to for the umpteenth time. I could not have left that car for a week without the battery draining, sometimes even overnight it would lose significant charge. faulty module, took ages to diagnose, despite being a known 'issue'. E70 also has a glovebox that has a mind of its own and various other 'bugs'.
- Skoda Mk1 Octavia - dead coilpacks x2. Got to the stage where owners were buying up spares from dealers. This was a worldwide problem with the ubiquitous 1.8T lump used in the VAG group cars, including the TT. Almost a case if when, not if, they failed.
- 2nd Mk1 VRS spewed petrol all over the M6, 2 hours after picking it up, due to some fitment mistake at the factory. Left me, my wife and 9 month old daughter stranded on the hard shoulder. I bought another Skoda! (I hasten to add this wasn't a common issue)
- Seat Altea FR TDi - clogged DPF - agains, millions of complaints on various VAG forums.
I'm sure if I racked my brain, I could come up with loads more common problems on the many cars I've owned.
So, that's not to excuse the issues some of us have - rocking seats, hesitation, DPF issues etc. I'm just really interested to hear what others' views are on this. Personally, i think it's a bit of everything - lower expectations (more newer Alfa owners, like me, coming in to ownership with baited breath, as it were), dealer experiences etc. that all go together to make up the ownership 'experience.'