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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I bought a new 2019 Stelvio two weeks ago, because my local dealership was running a €10.000 discount on all MY2019 cars in stock. I got my Stelvio Super (with the Business Package and a few more extras) 2.2 diesel (190 HP) for €38.900 instead of the regular €48.900. A sweet deal.

Before buying the car, I didn't actually see it in person - I just wired the payment and came to pick it up a few days later.

Now, I know that Italian cars in general aren't built that well and that Stelvio can't compete in terms of build quality with its German rivals (however, no German or any other rival can compete with it in terms of driving experience). Nevertheless, after picking up the car and closely inspecting it at home, the whole build quality thing is a bit worse that I hoped. Let me list all the things I found (I'd also post a link to all the pics and videos, but I can't because my account is new).

1) The central armrest doesn't close smoothly. I think even a Dacia does a better job.
2) One of the door seals is somewhat loose.
3) There's a quite a gap between the doors and the body of the car.
4) The hood isn't perfectly centered.
5) The exhaust isn't perfectly centered.
6) The ISOfix plastic covers are broken.
7) The steering wheel has a few scratches on it (this car was never in the showroom, tho).
8) The infotainment screen is super grainy (it's especially visible when it displays a green color on the maps)
9) The tire pressure isn't correctly reported (it doesn't matter if the tires are cold or warm).
10) There is a slight damage on the body paint.

I wonder, is this more or less normal? Do you have any of these issues on your Stelvio?
 

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My panels are dead straight. My paint (while really hard and brittle) was as close to perfect as I’ve seen and my original (and replacement under warranty) display are fine. I do get wind noise from the driver door seal, but none are loose. The center console isn’t awesome feeling because it’s a friction catch instead of a spring catch, it’s fine though and loosens up once you use it for a bit.

Based on what you are describing that sounds like a demo or loaner car. Possibly a return when someone thought twice about it. I wouldn’t take delivery of a car with scratches or damage being sold as new.
 

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That sounds like a disaster and not at all my experience. I have 32k miles and am very satisfied with build quality. Some materials could be better, infotainment +\- depending on expectations and needs, no software issues. Driving dynamics awesome. I’d not be taking delivery it sounds like it was in an collision!
 

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I would tell them to keep it and refund me. Something sounds very wrong.

I can not find a single one of the problems you describe; I looked carefully after seeing your post. In fact I'd say exactly the opposite.... everything I see is well-fitted, seams matching with close tolerances, parts working smoothly/as-designed. To me this is probably the best-built car I've owned certainly at least from a cosmetic perspective. The paint looks absolutely incredible; beautiful. I've gotten many very positive comments on the (looks of) the car.

Have not checked tire pressure read-out against a gauge, and the center console isn't the best-feeling device but it opens and closes perfectly.

Driving it... I know it's an over-used trope but I actually do look for excuses to drive it. Outside of being very sporty and responsive, after driving a Wrangler for 5 years it's so, so much more comfortable and smooth-riding. It takes corners without listing, and takes bumps that jarred my teeth in the Wrangler without feeling a thing.
 

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My 2019 Ti Sport has none of the problems described. Maybe capprix's car was crash damaged? This experience is a reminder not to buy sight unseen. Always inspect a car or home purchase in advance.
 

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all this issues nedd to be reported to the dealer and to the alfa romeo customer care. all this issues are easly resolved without problems. its only a lost of time, no more.
ask for a service car and tell them that you need a perfect car.
very easy, no panic.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, here's a shortened link with the videos and images: shorturl.at/eAMW6 (please copy/paste it to your browser - my account is new and I can't post links)

@Knightofargh
The car had 0 kilometers on it and it still had some wrapping to take off. It was never in a showroom, either. Dealerships here in EU don't dare to play around, because the fines are astronomic.

@Peter A
Good to hear that your Stelvio is problem free! Nah, it's not that serious. Please take a look at the link for pics and videos.

@jon m
Yeah, the driving experience is second to none.

@108
They would't dare. This is the main dealer for AR/Fiat/Maserati/Lancia. Please take a look at the pics. Maybe I'm just panicking. :)

@Marzio
Already reported. I'm going there on THU.
 

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This is why you dont buy cars sight unseen. Have them send you pictures at least.

Looked at your pictures and video.

1) Armrest. That's how it works. The movement will get easier. Call it bad quailty if you want, almost 2 years of being opened and closed several times a day, and my armrest still fits tight with 0 rattles. To me that is good quality.

2) Door seal. Does it come free from the body? From your video, it looks like the seal is soft, fluffy and compresses easily..which it should. If it actually comes loose from the vehicle that should be repaired.

3) Door gaps are very comparable to an Audi. If your's aren't go back to the dealer. By the way..this is why you inspect - and drive - a car before buying...even a German one.

4) Cant tell if the hood is off center. Again go to the dealer to fix.

5) Yup..your exhaust is crooked, very crooked. No that is not normal. Not even a little bit.

6) How are those ISOfix covers broken? Looks like they work to me.

7) Yes there are scratches on your steering wheel. No those are not normal. Either a dealer representative or the truck driver that brought the car to them did that and it should be fixed.

8) That is how the screen looks. It is a low resolution screen, so yes it is grainy. The 2020 model fixes that.

9) Tire pressure reporting. If yours reports bad...again that is for the dealer to fix. Mine is within 1 psi of my hand guage.

10) Damage to the paint. Make excuses for the dealer all you want, wont change the FACT, this is their fault/problem. Those should have been caught on pre-delivery inspection.

It seems rather obvious your vehicle was damaged either during shipping or storage. It may have fallen off the transport truck (seen it happen, most of the time a ramp slips while the car is being driven off the truck causing one side to drop a couple feet and slam to the ground), or maybe an employee scratched things accidentally....doesn't matter. Either way making excuses for the dealer while acting like the manufacturer just cant build a car correctly is ridiculous.

Your vehicle was delivered to you with some of the body wrapping still on it? If so..that is an example of your dealer doing an incomplete job. That wrapping needs to be removed for the pre-delivery inspections to be completed.

If it was still on, then your dealer did not inspect the car properly.

Possibly they didnt inspect it, so they missed panel alignment problems, steering wheel scratches, exhaust misalignment and some paint damage that should have been fixed prior to delivery....OR it could be they knew about the damage and thought if they called and told you delivery would be delayed a week or more to fix the damage, you would get angry and either back out of the deal or want further discounts. To avoid this issue they just delivered the vehicle as-is figuring they would deal with any problems after the fact....if you even noticed them. Which you might not.

Dealers only get fined if the customer complains. Could be the dealer thought you would be more likely to blame the manufacturer than them..so they figured giving you a damaged car would be a safe bet on thier part.

Ps. I highly suspect your car fell off the transport. The exhaust is the giveaway. Aligning that at the factory is beyond easy, however due to the nature of the exhaust hangers any type of solid impact will cause the exhaust to become misaligned. An impact like say, falling two or three feet because a ramp slid out from under the car.

The steering wheel scratches reinforce this, it is very likely the person driving the car scratched the wheel when the vehicle fell and the steering wheel jerked out of thier hands. Door and hood alignments are the same...very likely to become misaligned after a drop.

Either way, dont make excuses. These cars are built well, as well as any vehicle from any manufacturer. Your panels and exhaust should be aligned and there shouldn't be any scratches on the leather of any new car.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi @ALFAOFFROAD

Thank you for taking the time to provide such a detailed answer.

1) The video doesn't do the best job of showing it, but the feel just isn't natural. I had 2019 Mazda CX-5 for a test and closing the armrest had a luxurious feel to it. I'm going to the dealership today and I'll check a few other armrests on the 2019 models.

2) Yes, it comes free from the body. The dealer saw the video and they said they'll fix it.

3) I'll have the opportunity today to compare my car to other 2019 models. They still have plenty of them (and actually zero 2020 models - the sales aren't that good here, the best sellers are German and Japanese cars).

4) It's a very minor misalignment, probably 1 mm. But the car is in white, so it's more obvious than in other colors.

5) This is probably the biggest thing, yes.

6) They are broken on one side. Please see how the cover comes loose.

7) It's a minor thing, but it's annoying, especially, because it's a brand new car.

8) OK, noted.

9) We'll check that today at the dealer.

"Your vehicle was delivered to you with some of the body wrapping still on it?"
The car was moved from the parking lot to the showroom and the seller was actually preparing the car for me when I got there.

"Ps. I highly suspect your car fell off the transport. The exhaust is the giveaway."
I've heard that this can happen, yes. I'll ask them to lift the car so I can check if there's any damage to the exhaust.

I'll have more info when I get back from the dealer.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I came back from the dealer.

1) The central armrest doesn't close smoothly. I think even a Dacia does a better job.
- It's the same in every Stelvio. I got spoiled by the 2019 Mazda CX-5.

2) One of the door seals is somewhat loose.
- They'll change it.

3) There's a quite a gap between the doors and the body of the car.
- Every Stelvio is a tiny bit different. I inspected 6 of them.

4) The hood isn't perfectly centered.
- Some were better centered, some were worse. They can adjust this in-house.

5) The exhaust isn't perfectly centered.
- Some were better centered, some were worse. The car was lifted and there's no sign of any damage to the exhaust or anything else.

6) The ISOfix plastic covers are broken.
- It's their fault, but they won't admit it. They'll try to compensate me with the service costs.

7) The steering wheel has a few scratches on it (this car was never in the showroom, tho).
- They wiped the scratches away with a special polish.

8) The infotainment screen is super grainy (it's especially visible when it displays a green color on the maps)
- It's in every Stelvio up to 2020.

9) The tire pressure isn't correctly reported (it doesn't matter if the tires are cold or warm).
- 0.2 bar difference is supposedly normal.

10) There is a slight damage on the body paint.
- They don't admit that it's their fault, but then again, it's not that big of an issue.

They also have a few Maserati Levante's in the showroom and in the parking lot and man, those are even worse. I guess I got spoiled by Japanese and German cars. However, I think that all manufacturers are cutting corners these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just want to clarify, that despite all these "issues", I still wouldn't trade Stelvio for any other car in its class. :) It's basically a baby Ferrari.
 

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The interior of my 2003 VW Passat is head and shoulders better than the interior of my relative's 2017 Passat.

Thicker leather, bigger seats, the hard plastics are thicker and softer, the switches move nicer, the interior lighting is more even, the guages look more expensive, more thoughtful features, like the sunvisor in the center of the windshield and sunshades for the rear windows. The turn signal stalks feel better in the '03.

Dont get me started on BMW. The interior of a 2002 3 series is more expensive looking and feeling than a brand new 7 series.

Yes....all manufactures are cutting corners in thier interiors, including, and especially, the germans. Why no one is talking about it flabbergasts me.


Btw: The same holds true for the Stelvio. The 2003 Passat has better plastics, better switchgear, better lighting..etc....very frustrating. The Stelvio does have better leather at least....the leather on the Stelvio's seats really is phenominal quality for the auto industry (where even Mercedes uses "leather" that is actually 30% or more...vinyl.)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The salesman at this AR dealership worked for 15+ years at a BMW dealership, before moving to AR last year. He said exactly the same thing. Even BMW's aren't as well build as before. A lot of the quality inspection, that was before done at the factory, is now left for the dealers to check and fix. It's all in the name of cost saving and making the production faster.

I can't wait to see the 2020 Stelvio. I'm really interested to see how the interior was improved. However, I'd never spend more than €40K on a car, so buying a 2020 would be out of question. I got lucky that I landed this 2019 version for a great price. In reality, I think I'd be just as happy with a brand new CX-5, but AR Stelvio is more special.
 

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I also think it fell off the transport thus your "sweet " deal... ouch

The germans specialize in 'leatherette" except for PREMIUM models. My 1993 164L had Ferrari coachworks THICK leather. Most American cars except Caddy and Lincoln call their interiors leather but they are really leatherette. The seats in the masi , RRS and Alfa are REAL leather. The Mazda leather is leatherette IMHO. The Evora is suedetex but the leather sections are excellent. Hope they get int all straightened out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
You can check out the current Stelvio inventory from Avto Triglav here: www.Avto.net: Največja ponudba Alfa Romeo (about 25 cars).

Every 2019 Stelvio is discounted from €10K to €12K. The issue is that Alfa Romeos in general don't sell very well and they want to clean out the MY2019 cars. So far not a single MY2020 is available. And as I was told, not a single Quadrifoglio was sold in Slovenia. It's not a money issue (€50K+ cars are a common sight), but I think that people in the Western Europe prefer classic luxury brands, like Mercedes, Audi and BMW.

Alfa Romeo is a very niche brand and in the past they did a lot of damage to themselves by producing extremely unreliable cars. German and Japanese cars (later Korean cars, too) always excelled in reliability, while cars from Italy, Spain and France were always seen as very unreliable. Even today, cars from brands like Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat, Renault etc. are endless money pits. Extreme unreliability killed once a very famous brand Lancia. Maserati is, like AR, losing money. Fiat was also saved 5 minutes to midnight.

I had the hood up, while explaining all the interesting details to a friend of mine, while another friend went by and shouted: "Classic Alfa - it's already broken!" Now, I know he was just joking, but it's true - Italian cars were always very unreliable.

Nevertheless, I think AR got their game together. Now they are offering a 5 year warranty here in EU. The only other manufacturers who dare this are Toyota, Kia (7 years), Hyundai and Mazda. Everyone else has a 2 or a 3 year warranty.

So, the deep discounts are to clean up the inventory, not because there was a fault with the car. As as I said, they lifted it up for me and everything is perfectly fine. As I inspected other Stelvios, I saw similar issues. Basically, it's like someone said - you need to shop AR's as you shop for fruit. You need to check out every car in the inventory and pick out the best one.

EDIT: I'm not sure if people are aware of this, but EU-spec and US-spec cars are often times very different. For example, a Ford Mustang sold in US starts at $26K, while in EU, it starts at $44K. The suspension, the engine, the safety cell - it's all very different. Also, in US, Audi's, MB's, BMW's etc. are sold up to 35% less than in EU, while having a LOT more equipment. I often read that MB's are very unreliable in the US, but in EU, they are topping the reliability charts every year.

What I think is happening is that AR is beefing up the Stelvios for US and keeping the classic Italian versions here for us to enjoy. :)
 

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Re prices. EU taxes anything they can't tariff, and the mustang would get both.
Plenty of us people have rented alfas, and other than getting diesel, no comments about different quality.
 

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I had a 2011 supercharged Jaguar XJL 5.0. It was a wonderful car, awesome, fast, quiet, agile for its size. The leather on the steering wheel, seats, dash...all top grade with gorgeous stitching. Except for those soft touch buttons that turned sticky. Fast forward to 2018, had a Jaguar XF loaner, $65k sticker price, and an XE loaner, the interiors and switchgear were just cheap. Then I had a 2018, XJ loaner, top of the line, could not believe how low-rent the leather had become. Sad. I would like to have an end of the line XJL 575 in my garage but not with an interior like that. I will say that I drove an F-type R trim that had a nice interior, but drove like a barge compared to the Stelvio. Good cruiser I guess.
 

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I had 3 Jaguars. 98 XJ which was gorgeous except for the floaty rear end but beautiful everything. My 2004 XJ VDP was kept for 10 years and one one the finest cars I ever owned. My 2012 XK was also a brilliant car and Ian ian callum masterpiece of style, but the suspension was pretty lousy. They tried to make a sports car out of a GT car so it was darty and overly stiff in the back end which made handling and tracking nervous. F Type just left me flat and we just don't need sedans in our life. F Pace rides like a brick so it would truly suck on my frost heaved back roads in the winter.....that gets old quickly.
 
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