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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been a whole year, doesn't time fly?

So in the XMAS spirit (happy XMAS / NY to you all) one year ago exactly I bought a QV to replace a Focus ST. Every year I seem to replace my current car, it looks like this year is no exception.

Question is, will I be sad to see it leave?

Well before I get to the summation, here is an account of the past year.

Technical issues:

None to report, it has been truly reliable. Slight issue with brakes ceasing when not used for a couple of days, which quickly dissipated after a decent run.

Driving experience:

The QV has quite a linear power delivery as opposed to the Focus ST.

As an enthusiast, I do appreciate the slightly unruly nature of the Focus although it became tiresome when doing the daily drive (especially in the wet) and the Focus always found amusement in trying to wrap you around a tree unless driving without any gumption whatsoever (e.g. trying to exit a round about quickly).

The QV rarely if never had this issue, although it could be unhinged if you tried hard enough. This on balance took away some excitement. As the Focus / QV are polar opposites in power delivery the only unfair comparison I can invoke is both their replacements. A BMW 335D M Sport X Drive, which is happy to toodle around in a more pleasant / boring fashion until (without much coaxing) you press the hyperspace pedal..

But no matter what scenario you decide on, the BMW keeps it's composure. I understand the BMW is much more powerful / expensive / well engineered (due to budget) and again it's an unfair comparison, but the ultimate point being the QV felt in most cases too sedated unless extensively provoked.

Which leads to my major bugbear about the QV, the dim-witted / semi-unresponsive gearbox. I've not driven many semi-auto's before, my most recent comparison is again the BMW. The QV many a time became confused, hung high rev's and had too much lag when pressing on. None of the characteristics the BMW suffered. Sure using the TCT is one option, although as an inconvenience found little reason to.. The QV should of ideally been mated to a six speed manual transmission.

The steering I can only describe as "adequate", nothing particularly wrong with it. But didn't have the mind bending G-force inducing appeal of the Focus ST, I sensed little in the way of body roll also due to the power delivery traction was rarely an issue.

Suspension is reasonable, it rarely get's flustered over bumpy surfaces. The seats are relatively supportive whilst comfortable, not on par with the BMW but personally more enticing than the Focus ST's bucket seats.

The DNA setup I never "got", not once did I have a reason to use N or A. When we had a soft pattering of snow / ice beginning of this year. I found the G. to be reasonably sufficient in these conditions using D mode, if fuel economy was a primary concern then a different car would be ideal.

Price and ICE:

For the money (23K), you receive ample amounts of kit as standard. Sat Nav, heated seats, DAB, Bluetooth phone interaction system, dual climate control / AC, automatic lights / wipers. Pretty much all the mod cons you need, the interior isn't premium although not lacking compared to the Focus (22K) which had far less kit.

I found space all round decent, nothing to complain about in that area.

Summary:

Wrapping up, the QV is an all round decent effort by Alfa. As a financial decision you get a lot of car for your money. But the question is, will I miss it? I'd have to say no, as much as the car is a decent all rounder it's supposed to be an enthusiasts car. Which there was little that gave me that impression...
 

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Interesting read, Shadowamd. I nearly bought a QV last year, but decided not to. Instead, I'm almost exactly one year into ownership of my QVline spec 1.4MA TB TCT 170bhp and I could still pretty much agree with everything you say in your review. As its the 1.4 and not the full-fat QV, I didn't have the expectations that "an enthusiasts car" (as you nicely put it) would have raised. On the contrary, I've been pleasantly surprised by how good the little 1.4 is, and I think it goes well with the TCT.

I do agree the TCT can be a bit quirky - it irrationally seems to hold gears much longer than it needs to, especially in D mode. A quick blib of the paddles corrects it easily enough and provides some fun opportunities for driver engagement ;).

So, a good all-rounder, fun to drive when you want, nippy, power when I need it, a fairly capable cruiser. Enough space, reasonably well appointed, and not a bad place to be as a driver. I don't regret not buying the QV (kinda do regret having sold my "fettled" 2.4 159 though...). Not sure I'd rush to replace the G with another G myself...maybe I'll wait to see what the Giulia is like (if it ever gets a UK release in anything other than limited numbers of the 500 bhp version).

What made you choose the 335 as a replacement?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Interesting read, Shadowamd. I nearly bought a QV last year, but decided not to. Instead, I'm almost exactly one year into ownership of my QVline spec 1.4MA TB TCT 170bhp and I could still pretty much agree with everything you say in your review. As its the 1.4 and not the full-fat QV, I didn't have the expectations that "an enthusiasts car" (as you nicely put it) would have raised. On the contrary, I've been pleasantly surprised by how good the little 1.4 is, and I think it goes well with the TCT.

I do agree the TCT can be a bit quirky - it irrationally seems to hold gears much longer than it needs to, especially in D mode. A quick blib of the paddles corrects it easily enough and provides some fun opportunities for driver engagement ;).

So, a good all-rounder, fun to drive when you want, nippy, power when I need it, a fairly capable cruiser. Enough space, reasonably well appointed, and not a bad place to be as a driver. I don't regret not buying the QV (kinda do regret having sold my "fettled" 2.4 159 though...). Not sure I'd rush to replace the G with another G myself...maybe I'll wait to see what the Giulia is like (if it ever gets a UK release in anything other than limited numbers of the 500 bhp version).

What made you choose the 335 as a replacement?
Yeah was quite impressed with the Mito QV and G. 170JTDM, had quite a bit more personality about it.. Glad you're enjoying yours..

Why did I go for the 335D? Well there's the 4.6 second, 308 HP, 465 lb foot 3.0 I6 in it.. It's official MPG is 51.3 (so I'll get 40 probably).. It's super comfortable, drives like a dream (4wd too so good for everything).. Pretty practical too, plus BMW are doing some majorly daft deals this time of year.. The price of it scarily wasn't a massive amount more than the QV :D..

So it's a car I thought I couldn't afford, but was one of those ridiculous cars I always wanted to own.

I was actually looking at getting a Mustang, after I looked at the cheap interior, massive bonnet and £551.00 a month payment (much more than the BMW) I wasn't that keen TBH.
 

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Good review on the QV, which version of the Focus ST did you have?

I find the G a decent enough car, but the build could be better. And due to the steering and chassis it isn't really an engaging drive.

I think with a few tweaks it could have been class leading, because for style and value it is certainly up at the top...

Never driven a TCT, but then I am a bit biased and would always choose a manual if I could.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Good review on the QV, which version of the Focus ST did you have?

I find the G a decent enough car, but the build could be better. And due to the steering and chassis it isn't really an engaging drive.

I think with a few tweaks it could have been class leading, because for style and value it is certainly up at the top...

Never driven a TCT, but then I am a bit biased and would always choose a manual if I could.
It was the 2013 252HP model so AFAIK the current one, just an out the gate release. I agree and as the roads are becoming so restrictive (in which I never speed anyway) to have any driver satisfaction, you need a well equipped chassis and instant access to torque. I'd happily sacrifice power for a responsive drive..

The only reason I went for the 335d Xdrive was because the 330d Xdrive (4wd) was more expensive than the 335 for whatever reason. The base 330d (rwd) is cheaper though (but not by much)..

The Focus would of been perfect if it had a limited slip diff or at least a better vectoring system, it had diesel like access to power. Relatively no lag and tons of torque low down..

End of the day, that 335 will be OTT for sure. Unless I get it on a track day it'll be wasted, but on the plus side I'll not be left wanting.. Hopefully I might keep this one a little longer.
 
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I can see why you went for a 335d Xdrive, a work colleague has just got his and it's a very nice fast machine.
He also got a cracking deal and for not much a month so it was a no brainer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I can see why you went for a 335d Xdrive, a work colleague has just got his and it's a very nice fast machine.
He also got a cracking deal and for not much a month so it was a no brainer.
Yeah, price wise it came in about the same as a fully spec'd Mondeo Titanium X.. It was far cheaper than the base Mustang (2.3) without any options..

Very much a no brainer, not sure why they are pretty much throwing them at people. But not complaining either..
 

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Not sure why they're lobbing cars at people!
They get the cars back after lease to sell again and if they're worth less than the agreed value they're underwritten anyway. It's worth their while to buy share of the market. The Giulietta will be obsolete by three years time unlike the BMW which will have been replaced by something that doesn't devalue the used cars.
 
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Yeah, price wise it came in about the same as a fully spec'd Mondeo Titanium X.. It was far cheaper than the base Mustang (2.3) without any options..

Very much a no brainer, not sure why they are pretty much throwing them at people. But not complaining either..
Did you px your QV or sell it privately in the end.
 

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Some of the lease offers out there are crazy. 335d, RS3 and Golf R are all very tempting which is why there are so many on the road.

Nice honest review of the GQV btw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Not sure why they're lobbing cars at people!
They get the cars back after lease to sell again and if they're worth less than the agreed value they're underwritten anyway. It's worth their while to buy share of the market. The Giulietta will be obsolete by three years time unlike the BMW which will have been replaced by something that doesn't devalue the used cars.
I have speculations, end of year figures / new competitors etc. although of course unsure.. The final figures came through at 3K deposit and 349.00 a month over 48 months, it had been discounted 12K. The Alfa was 279.00 and 2K deposit.

It's not like it's a base beemer either, BMW have a tendency to nickel and dime you.. That price includes mod cons like sat nav / rear parking sensors (camera), Bluetooth audio, DAB etc. So for a 4WD, 313HP car with a boat load of mod cons it ain't bad..

All I can say is the Giulia better bring something amazing out of it's hat.!

@rjc

I PX'd it, lost quite a bit of money on it.. But not bothered, it's my sixth Alfa I'm used to it by now.

@goram

Thanks :)..
 

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That is an excellent deal. What annual mileage can you do? I had a quick search earlier and came up with deals that were cheap but limited to 8,000 miles per annum.
 

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I have speculations, end of year figures / new competitors etc. although of course unsure.. The final figures came through at 3K deposit and 349.00 a month over 48 months, it had been discounted 12K. The Alfa was 279.00 and 2K deposit.
Its hard to work out how they can do these sorts of deals -the 335 is not even in the same class/segment as the G. Local dealer here has the 335 xdrive at just over 40k. What is a G cloverleaf in that case? Or is it just the case that people just don't 'buy' cars anymore and the real competition is in the finance deals.
In any case good luck with your new car, it sounds impressive at that price.
 

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That is crazy cheap, where do you guys find such deals? Is it all
Dealer based or drive the deal kind of thing?

Quick question, if you chuck the BMW in after a year, what would be your likely loss? I know nothing about these things, sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That is crazy cheap, where do you guys find such deals? Is it all
Dealer based or drive the deal kind of thing?

Quick question, if you chuck the BMW in after a year, what would be your likely loss? I know nothing about these things, sorry.
Just shop about at dealers mainly, Alfa especially have been knocking massive amounts off list for a while now. Best to do it when they're at the end of a fiscal period when they just want to shift numbers..

Tough question, I've roughly calculated the value of the Beemer at the end of the second year. I'd probably just break even on it, after the first year I'd expect quite a bit of negative equity..

I've been swapping cars every year for years and can't accurately predict what's going to happen, then again I'm not in a rush to dump the Beemer, probably keep it a couple of years at least. It's one of my three "must haves"..
 

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The 335D X-Drive is a peach of a car. A whole world of difference from the Giulietta - albeit at a significantly higher price.
Agree, but then how is the OP able to get it at a price that is not significantly higher than the G? The list for the BMW appears to be nearly 40% higher than the G is it not? or am I missing something?
 

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It's all to do with residual values. (And a bigger potentially subsidising deposit at the beginning ). The BMW is priced higher but retains a higher percentage of that price at the end of the lease. The discount on the Alfa is more visible which means that people's perceived initial price is lower and the residual is based more on that than the inflated list price. This is partly because the "QV" is more often a private purchase due to its lower suitability for fleet use; fuel consumption and ironically residuals.
BMW have said they could sell their cars for less than half list price and still break even and this is what they sell them for three years later when they sell them second time. It's all about keeping the cars on the BMW system but Alfa prefer to sell the QV outright with up than encouraging lease and pcp which would mean underwriting the value and selling them at Alfa dealers when they're secondhand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Agree, but then how is the OP able to get it at a price that is not significantly higher than the G? The list for the BMW appears to be nearly 40% higher than the G is it not? or am I missing something?
Well it's partly to do with what CUE says, residuals. But that's one proponent, so starting off we have a car and the total cost is 43.5K..

Firstly, buy a car when end of year figures are due (End of Q1 is a good time as well), they'll further subsidise the car to shift numbers. For example here's a standard quote on a 330D M sport going on over XMAS period:

£399.00 per month, BMW deposit contribution £8,457.10, customer deposit £999.00, Total amount of credit £27,958.90. Looking at figures including the massive BMW addition and your deposit you're actually paying nearly 10K less out the gate without any negotiation.

Then the optional final payment is 14,049.36, which is quite hefty but brings down monthly payments. As cars are seen as "commodities" not unlike a PC nowadays, they don't expect many to pay that. But as CUE said, they'll offest the residual value of the GFMV against the end payment (of course it's a PCP deal) so that's what BMW expect the price to be at the end of your agreement.

Now BMW just like Ford etc. know exactly how much your car will be worth in four years time (or they're betting they do). If you don't buy the car, they'll not only earn money on interest, they'll also re-sell the car higher than your GMFV and earn off that too (hence restrictions of mileage / wear etc.). Unless they pull a VW then who knows :).. They wouldn't stand to gain as much if you bought it at the end of the term, but they'd get plenty out of it anyway so it doesn't really matter.

When I got the G, it pretty much worked in a similar way. The car was 30K, I had 5K dealer contribution and then I offset the deposit by 2K myself then finally I had a final payment of 10K I believe?? But all in there was only 7K difference between that and the BMW, £3360.00 of that is made in additional payments (monthly) then I have a £15.850K final payment which covers the rest.

All in all, what it comes down to is residual value and what the manufacturer / dealer offers as an incentive. At the moment the G. Cloverleaf deals aren't great, but you can tell by the GMFV A) They don't think their cars will be worth much at the end (so residual value = lower, therefore car costs more across 48 Month period) and B) they want YOU to buy the car at the end of the lease term.
 
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