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This is my first post! Thank you guys for supporting such a friendly and informative online community.

I've been looking at Stelvios for quite some time now. I absolutely am in love with the vehicle, for many reasons; but have serious concerns of reliability and long term support in the US. This will be my first European or even remotely nice car. I was always into bikes, have had many Ducatis and other nice machines, and just drove the same crappy old Japanese car for the past twelve years.. I got rid of all my bikes and am looking at something nice (and hopefully Italian) for my primary vehicle. This will be my DD, and I drive about 20k miles per year in the LA metro area...

I got a chance to check out the 2020s. The interior is absolutely glorious. It is a massive leap forward for AR, and IMHO much nicer than any German car in the same price category or even a few notches up. However, it seems AR has been silent on addressing reliability issues. Has anyone heard of anything on this?

Help because I need a car asap! Mine got totaled by some guy that fell asleep at the wheel. At least he was a nice enough guy and honest about what happened. Don't let me get a Q5!
 

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I love my Stelvio and it is such a pleasure to drive. It is the first car I have owned where I am demanding/expecting more out of the maker (Alfa in this case) so I am active with the warranty and getting updates. My only recommendation is to make sure your car (cause you’re going to buy) has the latest software. Demand to know everything before you buy. You will never have more leverage. I run data centers and I would never accept old firmware on systems. And believe me when I say this... All new cars we are driving are data centers on wheels.

now I would recommend 4 wheel drive and the performance options.
 

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Long term support.

Both FIAT and Maserati have been around longer, with no threat of withdrawing from the US despite horrible press and sales every year since launch.

What makes you think they would pull Alfa before the other 2 Italian brands? Some website or magazine? Why do they think Alfa will go first? Oh..they dont give a reason....they just bring up the subject with nothing to justify thier claims? Well that should tell you everything you need to know.

Reliability.

Maybe they haven't addressed the supossed issues because....those issues are primarily complaining and hot air. In other words they dont really exist.

Do Alfa's breakdown? Yes, some of them do.

More than other brands? Not really.

But those 3 year old Car and Driver and Consumer Reports stories about the Guilia...

Neither magazine had a breakdown invloving a tow truck...they have had those on other cars, but not an Alfa. Yet more is made of the warning lights on the Alfa than is made about a Model 3 becoming a brick while parked, or a Macan having to be towed away because it destroyed its rear differential during testing (both happened with the lastest models).
With the Model 3, the bias becomes even more apparant when you realize the Guilia was blasted because Alfa took a week to fix it and a week is too long...but the Telsa was praised for only taking a week...because a week is short? (Same magazine)

Maybe the real issue is a week FELT too long to be without the Guilia (because they wanted to drive it). Where as a week without the Tesla was no big deal, plenty of other cars to drive, didn't even really miss it.

Most people who own Alfas look for excuses to drive them and enjoy them. The same cannot be said of most other automotive brands.

To back my reliability claims up, notice no magazine, blogger or youTube reviewer can point to any catastrophic failures on the Stelvio during testing..not even any warning lights. Been at least one comparison test where the other vehicle has had a failure but the Stelvio did not...

Since the 2 articles from C&D and CR,there havent been any issues with any Guilias either...and again, those articles are almost 3 years old now. Perhaps Alfa isn't saying they fixed those problems now..because they were already fixed, a year ago or more....

If you want an Alfa...get an Alfa.
 

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If your first concern is reliability and you drive 20K miles per year, then you probably should look to something else, although there is no guarantee going that route either. I think anyone who buys (or leases) an Alfa does so knowing the reliability risks and is willing to accept them for the joy of driving one. That is the way I approached my decision.
 

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Get one before you talk yourself out of it. Most issues (not all) you read here are MY 2018 electrical issues related to the sh...ty OEM Varta batteries in the early builds. We waited to order an MY '19 (Jan '19 build date) thinking the second year model would show improved reliability. We took delivery last March and trouble free from day one. It's almost time for 1rst year free service so will get to meet the service tech at the dealer for the first time.

Also some of the issues posted are not issues at all if new buyers would simply read the owner's manual. Before buying you can download the manual and get a heads up on how it all works.

You will also notice seems like 50% of the discussions are on modifications that happy owners want to do to their cars from cosmetic to mechanical.

If you buy/lease don't skimp on features. Get the upgrade packages if you can swing it so no regrets down the road.

I would expect MY 2020 to be the best yet so what are waiting for???
 

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I got a 2019, my daily driver, beginning of May last year and am on track for 20K miles per year. A lot of the miles are in remote parts of Oregon with no cell phone reception and very little traffic. Never any hint of a problem that might leave me stranded. I don't think about reliability. I just get in and go.

There have been a few lemons reported on this forum. But it's hard to know how often that happens. People with bad problems will post here to get help. People with no problems just drive them and may not even join a forum such as this. Alfa Romeo USA probably has the best idea of the percentage of trouble free Alfas. But they aren't likely to publicize the information unless it is 100% trouble free.

I've been driving for nearly 60 years and can only remember being stranded twice. A VW bug in the 60's had a fuel pump fail. And an ancient International pickup in the 70's also had a fuel pump fail. Other than that I've had good luck with cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I've been driving for nearly 60 years and can only remember being stranded twice. A VW bug in the 60's had a fuel pump fail. And an ancient International pickup in the 70's also had a fuel pump fail. Other than that I've had good luck with cars.
This is impressive! I've been driving for about 18 years and have been stranded plenty of times! Good to know that I'm not completely insane for looking to drive a Stelvio ~20,000 miles per year.

I do agree that Alfa Romeo is receiving unfair treatment and bias in basically all commercial publications. And Tesla is praised while I think they are complete piles of crap. Test drove a 3 last week... At least you can play games or engage a whoopie cushion emulator while you are parked, ha.

The bottom line is I am comparing this to the Q5 and X3. All vehicles have issues... Even my Honda had several significant ones from day one (starter clutch failure, steering rack bolts loose, recalled paint, etc.).. At the end of the day, how does the Stelvio 2L compare to its competition, honestly?

I would probably go with a Sport RWD to further reduce moving parts and stuff that can break. Slightly better mileage too. And I won't have to consider replacing all four expensive tires everytime I drive over a nail, which happens pretty often on LA roads...

I love the 2020 but almost all hitting dealers in California are Nero Edizione, and I strongly dislike this look. I live in LA and am well under 40, so I guess I should be the target market for this aesthetic; but I think it just looks cheap. Reminds me of rattle canning old bikes or cars in high school. There are a few Lussos here and there, but those have a lot of features I don't need and they are quite pricey. I'll break this out into a new thread once I have some more info from dealers...
 

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I do agree that Alfa Romeo is receiving unfair treatment and bias in basically all commercial publications.
I believe that a poor rating from Consumer Reports for a car is a strong recommendation. At least for cars in Alfa Romeo's class.

I've certainly had new cars with problems, but none that left me at the side of the road.

My first Alfa, a 1969 Spider, had a slight hesitation when starting out. The owner of the independent shop where I took it for service finally asked if I could leave it. He came in in the evening when he was by himself and went through everything. He eventually found that a jet in one of the Weber carburetors was the wrong one. He replaced it and all was good. It had come from the Weber factory with that wrong jet.

All of those extra features were not only don't need for me, but definitely don't want. When I went to the dealer I said I wanted a 2019 red Stelvio with no sun roof and none of the automated nanny features. They said they didn't have anything like that and said they searched other dealers and said what I wanted didn't exist.

So I did my own search and found a dealer in the Seattle area that had two with the features I wanted. The local dealer got a lot more flexible after I pointed that out.

So you might want to search further afield for 2020 inventory, if for nothing else, for the leverage you can apply to the local dealer(s).
 

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If your first concern is reliability and you drive 20K miles per year, then you probably should look to something else, although there is no guarantee going that route either. I think anyone who buys (or leases) an Alfa does so knowing the reliability risks and is willing to accept them for the joy of driving one. That is the way I approached my decision.
We have a 2018 Stelvio and it has been as reliable as any new car I have owned. A couple of recalls and early issues with battery that corrected themselves when full charged. 43,000 mi and runs like a top.
 

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We have a 2018 Stelvio and it has been as reliable as any new car I have owned. A couple of recalls and early issues with battery that corrected themselves when full charged. 43,000 mi and runs like a top.
Happy to hear it runs like a top. Hope someday it runs like a car..... :) (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Seriously, I am glad to hear it. I have a 2019 that I'm leasing. Unfortunately, I have a leg condition that prevents me from taking long drives. When I turn it in in 2 1/2 years, it will probably have less than 15,000 miles on it. Nevertheless, I'm enjoying mine immensely, and hope it will not give me too much trouble while I have it.
 

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If your objective is getting from point A to B, get a Honda CR-V. I have one now, and have had many before. Bullet proof. But that’s not why you’re here. My other car is a 2017 Macan coming off lease soon, and I’m here because I’m strongly leaning to a Stelvio to replace it. Like the Macan, it has an undeniable intangible, a pure fun factor I haven’t found in the other European models. And the price point is making me think I‘m getting in on an off the radar secret. The reliability concerns are legit perhaps, but again, if all reliability is priority 1, see first sentence. Good luck and keep us posted!
 

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My Stelvio is more reliable than the 1997 Honda Civic I owned.

Neither has broken down, however the Civic - from new - burned between 1 and 2 quarts of oil between every oil change, the Stelvio doesn't.

As an added bonus the Stelvio is easier to do my own maintenance on also, simply because there is more room under the hood.

The reality is, any new car on the road from any manufacturer has a better chance of being reliable than not.

...any used car also has a better chance of being reliable than not too. Because, most cars are reliable...but not all....from any manufacturer.
 

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This is my third Alfa. Before the Stelvio was a Giulia. No problems. Get a Ti sport (with heated seats) and never look back!
 

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Well 2020's are still too new to know if any issues are specific to model years, but the general theme seems to be related to the battery and infortainment. with 2020 its new so just hope a new one doesnt have its own set of bugs/issues.
 

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Based on my experience with a 2018 Stelvio I would advise you look elsewhere.

At only 20 months in service and 23k miles, it has been towed five times and been at the dealership for a total of 23 (and counting) days. Tow required as vehicle is either in a limp home / crawl mode or in the case of the battery completely unresponsive.

Alfa has been unhelpful and the dealership experience severely lacking. They’re set up to service Chryslers, not entry level luxury cars. Most of the issues I list below that required a tow they couldn’t even provide me with a loaner.

  • Severe water leak from behind the glove box into the cabin while going through the car wash. (Saturated passenger's shoes)
  • Battery - required tow
  • Coolant temperature sensor - required tow
  • Leaking coolant valve - required tow
  • Knock sensor fault - required tow
  • AST and ESC fault - required tow
  • Severe brake squeal
  • Radio unresponsive or display does not come on
  • Service shifter fault
  • RR lift gate button stuck in depressed position
 

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Based on my experience with a 2018 Stelvio I would advise you look elsewhere.

At only 20 months in service and 23k miles, it has been towed five times and been at the dealership for a total of 23 (and counting) days. Tow required as vehicle is either in a limp home / crawl mode or in the case of the battery completely unresponsive.

Alfa has been unhelpful and the dealership experience severely lacking. They’re set up to service Chryslers, not entry level luxury cars. Most of the issues I list below that required a tow they couldn’t even provide me with a loaner.

  • Severe water leak from behind the glove box into the cabin while going through the car wash. (Saturated passenger's shoes)
  • Battery - required tow
  • Coolant temperature sensor - required tow
  • Leaking coolant valve - required tow
  • Knock sensor fault - required tow
  • AST and ESC fault - required tow
  • Severe brake squeal
  • Radio unresponsive or display does not come on
  • Service shifter fault
  • RR lift gate button stuck in depressed position
Hello jbbmach5,
We certainly regret to hear about your ongoing concerns. If you are experiencing any current concerns, please do not hesitate reaching out to us privately. At this point, I would be happy to learn additional details of your situation to determine how to best assist. We look forward to hearing from you.
Laura
AlfaRomeoCares
 
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