Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
We know the car’s good, but what of Alfa’s infamous customer service?
TTHERE IS A GIULIA-SHAPED hole on my drive as I write. No, the Quadrifoglio hasn’t been dismissed back to Alfa UK for unacceptable behaviour, rather it’s gone for a service. It’s refreshing that, in 2017, a car with 503bhp requires a once-over every 9000 miles, as the Alfa does. I’ve long been suspicious about service intervals that are more than double the UK average yearly mileage. Is this really any good for a performance car? Or any car, for that matter? I would much prefer – and welcome – more frequent check-ups, especially for a car with enough performance to circulate a certain German racetrack in under eight minutes.
In a previous life, when I was working for a Porsche-focused publication, many of the specialists put the reliability woes experienced with Boxsters, 996s and early 997s down to their extended service intervals. It meant any problems could worsen over time, rather than being nipped in the bud. I never did see the appeal of running a 911 for 20,000 miles without checking the condition of its flat-six’s oil. I wonder how many intermediate shafts could have been saved if a service was required every 10,000 miles?
Back to RJ66 KZB. For all the praise that has been bestowed upon the Giulia since its launch, the commentators of this world – predominately those on social media but also a few of us in good old-fashioned print – have added something along the lines of ‘let’s hope the dealers don’t screw it up’ to any comment piece. Quite.
Happily, my local Alfa emporium, County Motor Works in Chelmsford, couldn’t have been more on the ball. A call on a Thursday was met with the offer of a service appointment the following Monday, although if I needed a courtesy car I’d have to wait another seven days. I could do without a set of wheels for the day, so went for the earlier slot. As well as the service, I asked them to investigate a clicking sound from the front suspension when the car was on full lock at parking speeds. It had materialised after a replacement set of tyres were fitted last month by Alfa UK.
It turns out that Giulias – and particularly Quadrifoglios – are rare in my neck of the woods. More so examples with any issues to report, so a memo was sent to Italy with the diagnostics of the problem. They promptly told Alfa UK to dispatch a technician to inspect
our Giulia, although this meant I wouldn’t get it back the same day.
On Wednesday I got a call to say I could collect KZB, the message arriving a few hours after Alfa UK had delivered a courtesy car on behalf of the dealer – a car I was expecting a day earlier… Good job I had planned to work from home that week.
The problem? When the car was with Alfa for new tyres, it also got a new set of ceramic brake discs, and one of the backing plates was catching under full lock. Problem solved, and this Alfa dealer passed the first test.