Despite being a BMW fan, I desperately want the Alfa Romeo Giulia to be so good it gives me, as well as other buyers, pause when considering a BMW 3 Series. I want it to be the Alfa Romeo that Alfa Romeo wants it to be. I want it to be so bleeding good that it surges Alfa’s return in the US. The reason for that desire is simple: the more great cars on the road, the better for us as consumers. And the more great cars BMW has to compete with, the better BMW will get. Competition breeds excellence, I’m a firm believer in that. The market needs more great cars.
Unfortunately for Alfa Romeo, the Giulia is off to a rough start. The standard Giulia, that is, not the BMW M3-fighting monster Quadrifoglio (which when said properly in Italian is the best damn name for a performance car). The Quadrifoglio is said to be brilliant and genuinely worthy of taking on the BMW M3. But the standard car is suffering some issue that could render it futile against the mighty BMW 3 Series.
For starters, a lot of things are breaking. This is typical of Alfas of the past, but we were hoping that the Italian firm would put some more money and effort into quality control with the new Giulia, especially given the brand’s new desire to compete with the ever-so-sturdy Germans. In a few brief drives with the Giulia, the UK’s Sunday Times had three cars fail on them, with some having to be towed away. In one, the infotainment system failed completely, in another the engine warning light came on and the cruise control stopped working and a third had more issues with its infotainment system. That’s inexcusable in such a new car. Admittedly, these are minor software-related issues, which can be problematic in a new car as modern cars have roughly twice the amount of programming code as an airliner, plus these could possibly be pre-production vehicles. However, take a look at how many of its German competitors have issues like this at launch. Zero, the answer is zero.
Aside from minor issues, though, the Giulia is said to drive brilliantly, even the standard car. It supposedly handles like a 3 Series with the comfort of an A4 and has more style than both. It looks better than any other sedan in the segment and has a very fresh looking interior that’s quite lovely. But if Alfa can’t get its quality up to at least close to par with the Germans, the Giulia is going to be another lame duck car that no one will want to risk spending their hard earned money on. The BMW 3 Series might not be the looker that the Giulia is, but if it’s far more reliable, guess which is going to sell more. Toyota doesn’t sell millions of cars for their driving dynamics.
I’m honestly hoping that Alfa can get these issues remedied come launch time because, as BMW fans, we should want this car to be good. The more options we have the better and the better the competition, the better BMW becomes. The current F30 3 Series is probably the least exciting 3er ever made, but BMW was kind of able to get away with that because at the time of its launch, it’s competition wasn’t any better either. So, with the Jaguar XE and Audi A4 stepping up as well, if Alfa Romeo can challenge BMW, the next 3 Series will likely be one helluva car.