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(Post Link) post #1 of 108 Old 01-06-13 Thread Starter
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god awful guilietta purchase

Right, first off this is a bit of a rant and apologies If I've posted on the wrong section. However I'm more than a bit peeved with my recent G purchase, and thought I'd share my experience. I bought a 2 year old G 170 diesel 16000 miles on the clock from a well known Alfa dealer. At the time I suspected it was ex fleet (probably hire car) as they had a few in stock with the same mileage. I asked the sales guy: "Is this ex fleet", and he replied rather evasively: "I dont know" and shifted off topic rather quickly. Anyway, I wasnt that bothered as I had an ex fleet Alfa previous (Brera) and it was largely fine. Turned up for my test drive and the passenger side mirror was missing - bit odd and got some vague explanation when the sales guy realised. All OK, happy enough and so purchased. Driving away from the dealers noticed a squeeking rear seat (which became increasingly audible and was not there on test drive). Within a few days a range of niggly things developed (1)Squeeking drivers seat (2)Water in the boot lock (3)Creaking clutch (4) Realised the spare key did not work (it had not been coded) (5)Chrome trim around rear door started to come off (6)Part of the plastic undertray under the car was hanging down (7) Chrome ring around air vent in the back dropped out, (8) poor valeting job and (9)get this - when I opened the rear ashtray it was full of cigarette ends!!. (1)Plastic casing around bottom of drivers seat near gear stick loose and odd piece of seat fabric sticking out. OK so dealer comes and collects the car and sorts some of the problems out, leaving a couple left. Now the drivers side door panel starts vibrating and it is obvious that the plastic/door card is slightly separating from the metal door (when compared to the passenger side). Finally a knocking noise from the front end develops (now 3 weeks after purchase) and the culprit on inspection is a an o/s drive shaft going bad. I guess the moral of the story is that if you buy an ex fleet car, many are fine, but many are not - so buyer beware! I also worry that at best some dealers are haphazard with how they prepare and inspect cars and just want to get em out of the lot, and at worst patch cars up that they maybe should be thinking twice about selling. What really got me is when I part ex-ed my Brera with this dealer they had three guys at once crawling all over the car and listing every damn niggle and fault they could come up with to pressure the price down.
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Salesmen do gain a lot from the blindness that comes over us when we should be looking a used car over! Just after I got my new Giulietta two years ago I got a mailing about a used car event,(probably the first batch of Avis Veloce Diesels) and it suggested they were as good as new, but that would assume the dealers prepare them or they go to a conditioning centre. What happens if a rental car needs warranty work? Or even an ashtray emptied...
It sounds like there were some clues telling you to look a bit closer but you were hooked and the blindness had set in.
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And also godawful spelling of Giulietta . Lol.
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(Post Link) post #4 of 108 Old 01-06-13 Thread Starter
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Agree on all points. I have learned a valuable lesson, although I'm sorry to say it I've had many cars over the years (all of them used) and the Alfa's have been consistently of the poorest build quality. Their pluses simply outweigh the minuses for me. Interestingly, I was speaking to a gentleman who owns a large plastics factory and development company in Sheffield. He told me had had just come back from a conference where a plastics guru (!!) was talking about the plastics used in cars. He apparently started his presentation with all manufacturers have reached high standards in the field of interior plastics apart from one company - Alfa! Oh well.
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He apparently started his presentation with all manufacturers have reached high standards in the field of interior plastics apart from one company - Alfa! Oh well.
More stupidity. FIAT/Alfa get their interior plastic parts from the same suppliers as other manufacturers. The only real differences are in the surface patterning.
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They may well source their plastics for similar sources, however I have absolutely no doubt that the quality of the interior (of the G) is inferior to many other car manufacturers (and I've owned many cars including several Alfas). Take a look at the plastic surrounding the G's steering column, it looks as if a dog has cut it out with his teeth - sharp jagged edges all over the place (there is a post on this forum with many others complaining of this problem, and some of the pics posted are truly shocking). And don't open the passenger door to look at the side of the dash - gaps you could fit a babies arm into! Again others complaining of this issue. Whilst Alfa may source the plastics from the same manufacturers as other car companies, they have undoubtedly with the 'G', used swathes of hard plastics (just take a look at the interior door panels). VW Golfs are dull as dish water and I wouldnt touch one, but you don't see swathes of hard roughly patterned plastics lining their doors! When my G was in for the repairs I got a bottom rung Fiat Punto. It was easily as good in terms of interior quality as the G and after 500000 miles not a squeek or rattle to be heard. Now, I've bought a G and think its a great car, and given I'm on my third Alfa I will tend to defend them. However, if we think that Alfa have turned a corner in terms of all areas of quality control were probably kidding ourselves. Sorry to be so blunt.
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Hi A couple of things to add here I had a chance several years back to purchase a new alfa (finance position being much better than today) but when I came down to signing on the dotted line I could not do it! I have been an alfisti owner/driver for thirty years and this should have been the time I never thought would come , a brand new car ? but knowing what I know and have learned over the years depreciation ,build quality,dealer stories and ridiculous repair costs at dealers I just could not do it! Thought then as now how sad this was that not even myself could put pen to paper? Alfa seem to have a very strange customer policy that I will never understand???

Second on the "fleet" points you've raised A few years back I worked for the then National Car Rental, (now Europcar) It came to my notice that most of the cars that came on and off fleet were listed by the suppliers Ford Vauxhall,Peugeot as demonstrators lent to the companies not rental / car hire this meant that most cars appearing on the forecourts were never even listed as being rentals??? This I belive was against the law certainly under the disclosure of true history. Could be mistaken but when ever I raised the point it was always ignored.
From my experience Nobody but the very few have any respect for the hire car. Included in this is the rental companies who's only interest in the condition is the profit they can make from charging the customer for scratches and dents??
I don't think I would ever buy a new or nearly new car if only for the depreciation never mind the rest?
I will always own an alfa but only because I can look after the car and do most of the work myself. I have for a long time thought that if you buy a 5 year old car that has been privately owned you nearly always have much better value for money SOOO SAD BUT TRUE
 
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lottie, did you get it from mangoletsi?

my old 156 from them turned out to be an ex hertz fleet car. salesman had said it was an ex alfa uk company car, only when i got the docs did it show hertz uk as the previous owner. he gave me some c0ck & bull story about alfa uk leasing all their company cars through hertz, which tbh i just don't believe. hire cars will have been abused by virtually every driver they've had, and that will be a lot of drivers. gibot's point above about a 5 year old car from a private owner is a very good one

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Originally Posted by ACAPULCO AL View Post
lottie, did you get it from mangoletsi?

my old 156 from them turned out to be an ex hertz fleet car. salesman had said it was an ex alfa uk company car, only when i got the docs did it show hertz uk as the previous owner. he gave me some c0ck & bull story about alfa uk leasing all their company cars through hertz, which tbh i just don't believe. hire cars will have been abused by virtually every driver they've had, and that will be a lot of drivers. gibot's point above about a 5 year old car from a private owner is a very good one
I had the exact same thing happen to me when I bought a 156 from Fish Brothers in Swindon.

I was told it was previously owned by Alfa, but it was in fact ex-hertz. And given the fact it only had 17000 miles showing it had had a hard life considering how it drove.
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If a Fiat Group car has a registration starting WM, WN, WP or WR or occasionally AJ or AK, then there's a reasonably high chances it's been a rental car.

Those registrations apply to areas where the ports are located that Fiat Group cars come into - W's being Westcountry (Portbury near Bristol) and A's being Anglia (some Fiat Group cars also dock in Anglia). I'd imagine what happens is the cars are registered at the docks and then sent straight to the hire companies without going to dealers round the UK first. There are other cars with these registration prefixes that won't be hire cars since (in Bristol at least) there are dealers who also use the same DVLA office and therefore get the same prefixes. However, many will be ex-fleet.

This doesn't apply to the majority of other W or A prefixes as many of the others cover other areas of the Westcountry or Anglia away from the docks. For example WK & WL is the Truro area and it's highly likely these cars will just be regular dealer stock.

Fiat UK Company/Demo cars seem to have reg's starting with R - R is the prefix for Reading and this is the nearest DVLA office to Fiat UK HQ in Slough.

Obviously this is only a guide and some cars have so few miles that it's irrelevant who their last owner was, but the basic info may help someone avoid a car they don't want.
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Hi all. Thanks for the replies. Al - I actually purchased it from Piccadilly Alfa in Knaresborough. I had my suspicions about its history as a fleet car. Piccadilly had got about 5 170 diesel Veloce's, all with very similar mileage at the same time, and all competitively priced. Pretty sure it was a batch of ex-fleet/hire cars. Did not even have to wait for reg doc as when I opened up the black folder with all the gubbins in it an Avis mirror card fell out. Gibot, I'm sure your right about the 5 year old private seller being a better bet. At least you know its been looked after and cared for. Its surprising how much damage can be done in a short space of time from a bunch of folk who probably thrash it during their brief time with the car. My previous Brera was an ex Fiat contract car and it was sound, so I thought I'd take another chance. The frustrating thing is I was torn between a used QV and the 170 diesel and ended up plumping for the sensible option as I have a kid on the way and wanted to save some cash on cheaper fuel costs. QV more likely to have been from an individual rather than fleet. Your point about disclosing history is also very interesting. I have absolutely no doubt that the sales guy knew exactly that this was ex fleet but decided to give me a "dont know answer" - complete bobbins. At the end of the day I knew there was a good chance of this car being fleet and took a chance. Wont make this choice again though and will keep fingers crossed that once I get the niggles ironed out under warranty that car will be OK. I will probably contact ARUK with a complaint - only in so far as if dealers take on such cars they should at least condition them properly and have the decency to remove the fag ends! I've had dealings with ARUK once before a number of years back, and they were not much help I have to admit. Hopefully though we will all continue to enjoy Alfas
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Thanks Liam, thats really interesting. My cars prefix is WV which I think is Bristol? The reg doc actually lists one previous keeper - says FGA Contracts Ltd care of Hudson kapel Ltd. Hudson Kapel seem to be a company that 'de-fleet' cars. I'm assuming this was an ex AVIS car I found some AVIS stuff left in the gumph that I got with the car. Would it have AVIS on the reg doc, or would they simply lease cars from FGA?? Bit of a minefield for the uninitiated! Cheers
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yes I hope so? the one thing I will add is that a lot of cars are sold as one owner the one owner does not include hire as this is misleading but as it has only been the legal property of one company it does not break the rules ?.?? I thought however that it was the same rules as used for taxi's and the like it had to be open declaration?. Must be a loop hole some where or some one finds it more advantageous to over look it than enforce it?
Some cars are shipped to tax cheap places in bulk to then be shipped back here a used with no or minimal use so as to avoid tax then supplied to rental companies aswell?
I must say to be fair there are fleet cars on lease hire that do have just one driver but which is which is a conundrum ?
the biggest worry is that something like 87% of all new purchases are fleet/company so trying to find a genuine one careful owner is a bit like the needle in a haystack
You and most people on the forum know that little bit more than most and should trust your instincts . but that shinny metal makes the heart rule your head!
Wish you all happy alfa ing?. at least they always put a smile on yer face
 
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More stupidity. FIAT/Alfa get their interior plastic parts from the same suppliers as other manufacturers. The only real differences are in the surface patterning.
Irrelevant, plastic's rarely ever split and corrode into dust so it's not the quality of the parts. Incorrect QA testing and using cheap applications bolting them together causes rattles and pieces falling off.

A few pence here and there on thousands of cars adds up.. A car should not be falling to pieces at 16K.

I'm quite unsure how someone could mistreat a car that badly to cause all them problems, bar whacking it with a hammer on a daily basis!..

I've had cars with 200K on the clock with no rattles etc..
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I think to a degree you have answered your own question " A few pence on thousands of cars all adds up " the people with spreadsheets don't put the cars together and in most cases "never the twain shall meet"' this is the way we chose to cut corners for the ever lower cost higher turnover. In most cases the customer ends up worse off one way or another. One less trim clip can cause a door panel to be fragile and that is how you make good quality bad. But as they say "profit is king" happy motoring.
 
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I think to a degree you have answered your own question " A few pence on thousands of cars all adds up " the people with spreadsheets don't put the cars together and in most cases "never the twain shall meet"' this is the way we chose to cut corners for the ever lower cost higher turnover. In most cases the customer ends up worse off one way or another. One less trim clip can cause a door panel to be fragile and that is how you make good quality bad. But as they say "profit is king" happy motoring.
It wasn't a question, more of a statement (I'm not the OP in case of any confusion) ..

But yeah, pretty much how it goes.. It's a shame what penny pinching by the finance department does..
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Irrelevant, plastic's rarely ever split and corrode into dust so it's not the quality of the parts. Incorrect QA testing and using cheap applications bolting them together causes rattles and pieces falling off.
Yes, but that's not down to the quality of the plastics themselves. ABS is ABS. As for rattles, every single make and model of car gets rattles. Is a BMW better built because BMW dealerships know where to stick the pieces of PU foam tape to stop rattles? Once again, the problem isn't the product, it's the after-sales.

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I'm quite unsure how someone could mistreat a car that badly to cause all them problems, bar whacking it with a hammer on a daily basis!..
That would be a good way to simulate what happens to rentals

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I've had cars with 200K on the clock with no rattles etc..
And I've had cars with 10K on the clock that did. Anything built after 2008 or so won't have the luxury of using vinyl materials, which were traditionally the go-to solution for removing trim-rattles.
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In my previous 'life', I was a Fleet Controller for Hertz and I have to say that as a total petrolhead it broke my heart to see the way the cars were treated. Having said that, the Alfas stood up to it pretty well, certainly far better than some of the others - Vauxhall, Peugeot and Renault immediately spring to mind on that score as far as things breaking or falling off and VW/Audi and Ford when it comes to electrical/mechanical glitches.

In terms of day-to-day care and maintenance, anything safety or function related was dealt with immediately (things like damaged tyres, broken lights, windscreen damage, warning lights) but 'cosmetic' dings and scrapes on the bodywork or damage to upholstery, carpets, door trims etc were only repaired (or should have been, ) when the car was defleeted.

If the car was leased, it would have the manufacturer listed on the V5, would be kept for no more than 6-8 months or 15-18k miles or so (there were financial penalties for exceeding whatever the limits were for each particular model) and would be returned to the likes of Hudson Kapel or Paragon who were meant to restore it to forecourt condition before ultimately disposing of it through the respective dealer networks.

If the car was bought by Hertz, then it had Hertz on the V5, would be kept for anything up to 30 months and 35-40k miles (you can imagine the state some of them were in by then, ) before going to one of 3 Hertz Sales Yards, where it would be prepared (usually by 3rd party contractors) for sale, sometimes to private individuals but usually 'in bulk' to car supermarkets and large multi-franchise multi-outlet organisations such as Arnold Clark.



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I have nothing good really to say or add to what has already been said.

Except...
Even getting a brand new G with only 2 miles delivery mileage doesn't guarantee no issues... It's a general shoddy and inferior build quality issue, not necessarily a general use and abuse in the rental market problem...

Never again

Going to Jaguar next time round.
 
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Grahameo, I don't know what kind of new Jaguar you'd get for the price of Giulietta. I wonder, if there had been a new 159-size car from Alfa, would you even have considered the Giulietta at all? I don't mean that in a critical way, just wondering if what you really wanted was a bigger car, but you had to "settle" for the Giulietta because Alfa had nothing else to offer you.

Giulietta's interior is actually pretty good for its class of car: not the best (that'd be VW at this price range, but as a drive, the Giulietta beats it hands-down), but not the worst by a long way. The brand image might seem more like Audi, Volvo or BMW, but the price of the Giulietta is much lower than these: you can't out-drive a Golf, Focus, etc. and be better appointed inside, and still be the same price as those..
Still, I think that anyone coming from a 159 or 156 will be disappointed with the Giulietta's finish, because it's a class below those cars. I've said it a lot, but I do think in hindsight that Alfa made a mistake with pricing this car - it could have been about €1000~1500 more expensive (putting it level with Volvo's V40, somewhere between VW and Audi), and that extra money should have been spent on the interior materials. It's the one area that owners have complained about repeatedly.
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...
When my G was in for the repairs I got a bottom rung Fiat Punto. It was easily as good in terms of interior quality as the G and after 500000 miles not a squeek or rattle to be heard.
...
Are you sure it wasn't a 127?
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Unfortunately the lease and PCP figures on a G make it as expensive as a BMW or Audi despite the list price.

I look at what I pay per month and what I could also get for that money, and whilst I am very happy with most aspects of my QV, the interior and build is poor.
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Kris's comment above is very opportune. I've just got back from the Trafford Center in Manchester about 10 mins back where they were showcasing the new Volvo V40. I got myself inside and was extremely impressed by the quality of the interior. The door casings are streets beyond the 'G'. Lovely soft touch plastic (top section and leather stitched trim) . Even the lower level plastics, although harder were of an excellent finish and fit. If only they had put that quality of trim into the G I would be seriously happy. The price of the V40 new is slightly more than the G, but not massively. In some ways the G is in an odd position. Its hard to know what market they are after, the Golf/Focus segment (which I think is most likely), or the A3/BMW1/Volvo. Having said that whatever segment they were after they have still fallen short of the mark. Alfa can build quality interiors. Having moved to the G from a Brera I can vouch for that. The Brera was very solidly built inside and out (almost a bit too solidly weight wise!). I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the new Giulia will be more like the 159 in terms of interior quality, and perhaps I can then wait for used prices to make it affordable for my pocket. Very interesting post from RomeoRaiderz - thanks for the info. It also highlights another point that someone else made that the issue is not so much one of rental/lease cars, but one of inherent build quality. Having said that, I think that dealers should be careful about eyeballing their cars fully after taking in batch cars from lease/rental companies. I may be being a bit harsh, because it would not surprise me if some de-fleeting companies do a pretty surface level patch job on cars that passes initial muster from dealers, but after a few weeks of use, the cracks start to show. Its a complicated life being an Alfa owner, but I still like them a lot.
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I was talking to our site aircon engineer (used to be on here, had a 159), anyway, he now has a Volvo V70 estate (the normal estate "car" one).

Anyway, we were talking about the suspension rattle on my G, and he said if the Volvo went in every time it rattled then it would never be on the road. To quote him he has never had a car with so many rattles as his Volvo....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grahameo View Post
I have nothing good really to say or add to what has already been said.

Except...
Even getting a brand new G with only 2 miles delivery mileage doesn't guarantee no issues... It's a general shoddy and inferior build quality issue, not necessarily a general use and abuse in the rental market problem...

Never again

Going to Jaguar next time round.
As you said , you've said it all before. I considered an Xtype estate for my wife and she went as far as testing one at the local dealers. She was so unimpressed she didn't know what to say to the poor salesman . Have you actually looked at the seats in the XJ with their eighties sew style and piping that apes the Ford Scorpio? And for four or five times the price of a Giulietta .
The press quality and details such as the roof joint on the Giulietta are way ahead of the 159 with under-crowned wavy door pressings on the older car , but you are welcome to your opinions.
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