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(Post Link) post #1 of 26 Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Arrivederci!

Well, after 5 years of continual Alfa ownership, three in the Giulietta QV and two in the Giulia QF, my time with Alfa is finally at an end for the forseeable future.

I'm in two minds about it. Part of me will miss the Giulia. It's a very special car and I've enjoyed almost every minute of driving it when I could open it up. Though the last proviso is also part of why I'm going a very different route with the next car. It's such a fast car with such high grip levels that I don't think I've ever really been that close to the limits that journalists praise it so much for. Fear of ending up in court or a coffin were always in the back of my mind.

Overall, it's been a very reliable car with only niggling issues that have needed rectifying but, therein lies the less fun part of Alfa ownership, the dealers. It's not that they've done anything wrong or broken anything. It's just that they don't care. Farming out the Quadrifoglio contract to an Arnold Clark Motorpoint service centre that mainly deals in 500s, Corsas, Clios etc was never going to be a premium experience and the initial nonsense from Alfa about how well Giulia customers had to be treated fell rapidly by the wayside.

I won't bore too much, but to get a courtesy car always meant a 3-4 week wait. The car was always a dirty, and occasionally smelly, Panda and that was on the occasions they had actually booked the courtesy car I'd asked for. I don't know if it's due to Alfa holding things up or Arnold Clark, but every issue required 2-3 visits before it was sorted and you'd often not hear again from either, having to constantly chase up warranty claims, one of which took 9 months to eventually resolve. Most of the time felt like I was banging my head against the wall and, polite as the service desk people were, they never knew anything about the warranty claims and couldn't tell me anything about the progress of claims.

Now the car is over two years old, it's out of manufacturers warranty and into the murky world of dealer warranty and the niggles are slowly increasing so I'm bailing out. I wanted to get a two seater this time and I did consider a 4C but the same issues of dealing with Alfa would remain. I looked at the A110 too but the only dealer for Scotland is, again, Arnold Clark so I'll politely bow out of that, and I couldn't get my wife to fit in the Elise. Amazing cars but she suffers from knee problems and would only be able to get in by taking the roof off every time! Briefly considered the Supra as well...until they unveiled what it looked like and that put paid to that! And I don't do Boxsters or Z4s.

So, and many will laugh at this point, I'm trading down to an MX5 2.0 as a daily driver, of all things, though it will be treated to the BBR Sport 220 package just as soon as I can get a holiday and take it to Brackley. I took one on an extended test drive last weekend and I haven't grinned quite so much since I first started driving! It's quick, rather than fast, but it's so light and so much fun, and the new engine makes it feel like an old school VTEC now. If only Alfa had made a Spider out of that chassis! I highly recommend not overlooking them in favour of more expensive machinery. With the left over money, I'm buying a weekend toy. I have no idea what it will be yet, and it could still end up being an older Alfa, but I also have a major hankering for an FD RX7 before the prices go too high and beyond sensible levels. Even after owning Evos, STIs and the Giulia, the best handling car I ever had was my old Prodrive fettled RX8.

We're still Alfa owners because we still have a MiTo TwinAir runaround for the wife and my eldest son, but any thoughts she had of Stelvio ownership are also well and truly gone after dealing with good old Arnold.

BTW, if anyone in Scotland is after a part worn set of Michelin Alpin 4s for a QF, I have them cluttering up the garage. Drop me a line.

Thanks for all the debate, banter and arguments on here. I'll look in, occasionally, but I can't see me owning another Alfa while the only service option locally is the current one. It was Arnold Clark's customer service that made me give up Alfas 22 years ago and they've managed it again.

Current: Giulia Quadrifoglio
Previous:Giulietta QV TCT, Evo X FQ330, WRX STI 330S, RX8 PZ, RX8, Civic Type R, Civic SR VTEC, Civic ESi, Alfa 33 Permanent 4, Civic VTI, Metro 1.3GS
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(Post Link) post #2 of 26 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Sorry to see you go Ali. Have you considered a more sensible option - like moving somewhere civilised with a wider choice of (still mostly rubbish) Alfa dealers. Guess not!

I'm still totally in love with my QF. I've done the BMW M, Audi RS, Porsche 911 thing and can't really think of a car under £100k that I'd want to swap into. I've got a very vague hankering after a Lexus LC500 (5 litre petrol), but only at the point that I'm happy to cruise around and not worry about grip and road-holding.

Good luck with the Mazda.
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Wow! Mazda MX5, that really is trading down, but then you appear to have had more issues in your few years of Alfa ownership than I've had in 38 years of the same.
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Wow! Mazda MX5, that really is trading down, but then you appear to have had more issues in your few years of Alfa ownership than I've had in 38 years of the same.
Not really, just different. QF ownership is sporadic moments of adrenaline and terror mixed with longer periods of frustration when stuck in traffic. I took an MX5 out for 2 hours and had a grin on my face the entire time. Hadn’t had so much real road fun since I started driving 31 years ago! And it releases equity that can go into something depreciation free.
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Sorry to see you go Ali. Have you considered a more sensible option - like moving somewhere civilised with a wider choice of (still mostly rubbish) Alfa dealers. Guess not!

I'm still totally in love with my QF. I've done the BMW M, Audi RS, Porsche 911 thing and can't really think of a car under £100k that I'd want to swap into. I've got a very vague hankering after a Lexus LC500 (5 litre petrol), but only at the point that I'm happy to cruise around and not worry about grip and road-holding.

Good luck with the Mazda.
I actually looked at an LC500 and it is a lovely car, but the same on road frustration of not really being able to challenge it remains. I want small, light and high revving with a manual box. There’s not many cars left like that.
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So, and many will laugh at this point, I'm trading down to an MX5 2.0 as a daily driver, of all things, though it will be treated to the BBR Sport 220 package just as soon as I can get a holiday and take it to Brackley.
At least you didn't go for the Tesla mate. Every man and his dog appears to own a Tesla round Edinburgh. Good luck with the Mazda MX5, my next car needs to be an estate. Just realising how impractical the car is when you own a dog
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Saw your post in the Alfabook Scotland Facebook page. A shame you’re leaving Alfa but having had nothing but poor experiences with Arnold Shark I understand why.

I could never understand why Glasgow, the UK’s 5th largest city and gateway to the entire west of Scotland went for so long without Alfa representation after West closed. A real mistake to give a franchise to AC out in Linwood.

Hope you enjoy the Mazda!
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Hey Ali. I sure will mss you around here! We are part of the original group who recieved their cars just over 2 years ago. I agree with your sentiment on the dealers, down here I have only a couple and they are 150-300 km away and my experience with them has been tepid at best. like you my car has had a number of small issues but nothing serious and I continue to love it and like Hamfisti cannot think of another car south of 100K GBP to replace it with. I luckily have another year left on my warranty so for now will continue to enjoy it every drive.

Well done on the MX5. Brooking on here who was also an early adoptor but sold his car some time back due to dealer ineptitude also bought the latest MX5 and loves it. Ive looked at them and they do have appeal. I like the lines and we owned a series 1 car almost 20 years ago and although it did not have alot of power it was a real hoot to drive (caution wet tarmac and tight roundabouts in second gear!). Huge amount of car for the money and total relibaility with a good after sales network. Youll really enjoy that car and no doubt will find other interesting options begging for the left over hard earned...

Travel well.
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(Post Link) post #9 of 26 Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I’ll look on my Alfa days with fondness (the bits away from the dealers) but I’m also getting out of the power war. Like I say, I haven’t grinned as much in my 2 years of QF ownership as I did in 2 hours of Mazda test drive. I’d forgotten what it’s like to really be able to push a car on public roads without risking life or license. Looking forward to it immensely. Whoever gets the QF next, look after her and sorry about the cargo net. You should probably just bin it!!!
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Why would you even think of persisting with the dealer after warranty? Surely there’s a recommended independent somewhere local? Or have a holiday down in Cambridge once a year while your Alfa gets serviced a Alfaworkshop.
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Totally different dealer experience here, Alexanders in Thornaby are the complete opposite to what you describe, they've looked after my 4c and the rest I've earned over the years.
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Why would you even think of persisting with the dealer after warranty? Surely there’s a recommended independent somewhere local? Or have a holiday down in Cambridge once a year while your Alfa gets serviced a Alfaworkshop.[IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/images/smilies/rofl.gif[/IMG]
I wouldn’t want the QF out of warranty, full stop! If that engine goes pop, I’ve heard of quotes of £20k for a new one!
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I wouldn’t want the QF out of warranty, full stop! If that engine goes pop, I’ve heard of quotes of £20k for a new one!
Unfortunately, it’s the price you pay for a Ferrari pedigree.
But treated reasonably there shouldn’t be any issues with its reliability. I’ve heard a major service bill is heart-attack inducing.
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Unfortunately, it’s the price you pay for a Ferrari pedigree.
But treated reasonably there shouldn’t be any issues with its reliability. I’ve heard a major service bill is heart-attack inducing.
Year 3 or 4 is over £2000! It seems to depend on territory. It's year 3 in the US but year 4 here, which is probably why they were so willing to give away free 3 year servicing in the early days!
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As good as the Mazda is i would go 124 Abarth. As for the QV i agree under 100k there is nothing better.
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I actually looked at an LC500 and it is a lovely car, but the same on road frustration of not really being able to challenge it remains. I want small, light and high revving with a manual box. There’s not many cars left like that.
so have I i even joined the forum a year or so back...if only they did a nice blue that was available on the non ltd edi ones.
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As good as the Mazda is i would go 124 Abarth. As for the QV i agree under 100k there is nothing better.
that would probably be still with AC though if they hold fiat and alfa...?!
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I wouldn’t want the QF out of warranty, full stop! If that engine goes pop, I’ve heard of quotes of £20k for a new one!
First one on ebay out of an early wreck was at £12000, one their now for £7000...... buy it now, put a bit of glass on it to make a coffee table 'til you need it...

Don.
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Fully understand your rational on this and the reason I backed away from a QF and settled for a Veloce, more than enough fun we can have off the track.

However, surprised you did not got for the older flat 6 Boxster, bigger and better 2 seater than the MX5 and as much fun with a better exhaust noise and absolute bullet proof.
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I have had an FD3 RX-7 and it was a brilliant car. It might be the same fear thing amplified as the QV though. It is the closed thing I have ever drive to a race car on the road (and I have had a few race cars, so I am NOT talking metaphorically). It does NOT suffer hamfisted or sloppy driving, but drive it with good technique and precision and it is just wonderful. It will do exactly what you ask of it, no more, no less - the RX8 which I considered to replace my FD3 was a pale imitation and way too soft and slow.

Given what you said about driving the QV, I'd check the RX-7 is right for you with a proper drive. I miss my old car - which was stolen (twice in less than 24 hrs - first for use in an armed robbery, dumped and restolen by a 12yo who got involved in a high speed police chase including helicopter before crashing into a wall and writing it off as uneconomic repair) ... find a good one though, too many have been buggered about too much.

edit - I just thought of how I can sum up the RX-7 with a single example - in 3rd gear at 40mph in the wet it will light up the rear in standard form - there is no TC or any electronics, so it requires good driving skills.
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I have had an FD3 RX-7 and it was a brilliant car. It might be the same fear thing amplified as the QV though. It is the closed thing I have ever drive to a race car on the road (and I have had a few race cars, so I am NOT talking metaphorically). It does NOT suffer hamfisted or sloppy driving, but drive it with good technique and precision and it is just wonderful. It will do exactly what you ask of it, no more, no less - the RX8 which I considered to replace my FD3 was a pale imitation and way too soft and slow.

Given what you said about driving the QV, I'd check the RX-7 is right for you with a proper drive. I miss my old car - which was stolen (twice in less than 24 hrs - first for use in an armed robbery, dumped and restolen by a 12yo who got involved in a high speed police chase including helicopter before crashing into a wall and writing it off as uneconomic repair) ... find a good one though, too many have been buggered about too much.

edit - I just thought of how I can sum up the RX-7 with a single example - in 3rd gear at 40mph in the wet it will light up the rear in standard form - there is no TC or any electronics, so it requires good driving skills.
Sounds blissful! The FD won’t be a daily. That’s the MX’s job. It’ll be something special to enjoy at weekends and holidays. I nearly bought one 20 years ago, when I also nearly bought an S2000. Then our first child came along and I had to buy the EP3 Civic Type R instead! Time to get back on track after 20 years of 4 seaters!

As to the 124, it would be the exact same service centre that’s let me down with the Giulia, so no thanks. I also far, far prefer the high revving Mazda normally aspirated engine to the 1.4 turbo. It’s like an old school VTEC. I also think the ND looks far better than frumpy 124, especially with the Mazda optional aero kit, BBS alloys and Eibach Pro kit ( all under warranty).
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However, surprised you did not got for the older flat 6 Boxster, bigger and better 2 seater than the MX5 and as much fun with a better exhaust noise and absolute bullet proof.
The part where you say “bigger” is the problem. I want completely back to basics while such things still exist. The Boxster is too comfortable and coddling. It’s very nice, but a bit grown up.
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I am surprised you would go for the aero pack when it means you cannot add mud flaps.
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Sounds blissful! The FD won’t be a daily. That’s the MX’s job. It’ll be something special to enjoy at weekends and holidays. I nearly bought one 20 years ago, when I also nearly bought an S2000.
I had an S2000 after the FD3. The FD is a much more intense car ... and better handling, but you pay for it at the pump. The rotary is a wonderful engine but give it some stick and it really drinks. With my RX7 race car, we worked on 3 mpg in race conditions, no, that is NOT a typo ... it is a single digit! Don't be surprised to see 18 mpg or less in the FD if you are 'having fun', less if its at a track day when 10-12 is easily seen.

The S2000 was and is a great weekend car, but the front in earlier models was a bit 'pointy'. First time I drove one was at Silverstone and it nearly caught me out. Its not so noticable on the road. I also gather that later models were more balanced, closer to the FD which is just brilliant as I recall. Mind you a lot has moved on since then, so I wonder if it will still feel as good ...
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I had an S2000 after the FD3. The FD is a much more intense car ... and better handling, but you pay for it at the pump. The rotary is a wonderful engine but give it some stick and it really drinks. With my RX7 race car, we worked on 3 mpg in race conditions, no, that is NOT a typo ... it is a single digit! Don't be surprised to see 18 mpg or less in the FD if you are 'having fun', less if its at a track day when 10-12 is easily seen.

The S2000 was and is a great weekend car, but the front in earlier models was a bit 'pointy'. First time I drove one was at Silverstone and it nearly caught me out. Its not so noticable on the road. I also gather that later models were more balanced, closer to the FD which is just brilliant as I recall. Mind you a lot has moved on since then, so I wonder if it will still feel as good ...
I certainly remember the S2000 feeling quite vague in the tail and certainly not a car you'd feel confident having a sneaky roundabout drift. I did try the later revision with the TCS and it was better but had lost some of the front end sharpness. My last drive in an FD was so long ago I can't really remember it. Was around the early 90s! The thirst isn't an issue. I had two consecutive RX8s as my daily for 5 years. A Mazdaspeed optioned 231 and then a PZ. They drank like there was a hole in the petrol tank but I didn't really care. 17-18mpg was the norm but they put a massive grin on my face so it was worth it.

I'm not one of those folk that feels the need to climb up some kind of car ladder, getting ever faster and more expensive models each time. I'm lucky enough, having sold my business for a large mountain of cash, to be able to afford most cars, but I just like cars of all types and this time I decided I wanted a back to basics normally aspirated roadster with a manual box. There aren't many left so it was the Z4 2.0 (ugly and soft), 718 Boxster (expensive and that new engine is horrible), Elise (my wife has knee problems and literally couldn't get in it) or the Mazda, which made me giggle constantly for an hour! Easy choice! I may go back to a more expensive car next time around but nothing that Arnold Clark are the main dealer for!
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