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The Alfa Romeo Giulia Years To Avoid

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Green Alfa Romeo Giulia

Source: Pixabay

Italian cars have long been celebrated for their inspirational design, thrilling performance, and unique flair that sets them apart from other automakers. They embody the “La Dolce Vita” spirit, offering a taste of the sweet life with a masterful combination of style, speed, and sophistication. Among the greats of Italian automakers, Alfa Romeo holds a special place, and its Giulia model is a model everyone should take note of.

Described by TopGear as the “first Alfa you want to buy in a long time,” the Giulia was first introduced in 2016 with the promise of providing a great blend of sportiness and athleticism, plus the design panache you can expect from Italian automakers.


THE MOST RELIABLE YEAR FOR THE ALFA ROMEO GIULIA

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If you want to buy a used Alfa Romeo Giulia, you have several model years to choose from. However, the Giulia has had good and bad years, like all cars. So if you’re buying a used sports car, you’ll want to prioritize reliability when purchasing. This is especially true since you’re buying a luxury sports car, and let’s be honest, Alfa Romeo doesn’t have the best reliability reputation.

So for today, we walk you through the Alfa Romeo Guilia years to avoid, discuss their potential issues and owner complaints, and also the best years you can safely buy as used. Let’s take a look.

Which Alfa Romeo Giulia Years To Avoid?

Below are some of the worst Alfa Romeo Guilia years to avoid if you’re a used car buyer due to various reliability issues and a higher number of customer complaints.

  • 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia
  • 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia
  • 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia

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2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia

One of the most important pieces of advice we can give to used car buyers is to avoid first production or debut years. The main reason is that new models often have “teething problems” or “growing pains” typically resolved in later production years. These can range from minor annoyances to significant mechanical or electrical issues. That’s quite true for the 2017 Guilia.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2017 Guilia has received 40 complaints and four recalls, making it one of the most problematic Giulia models. What made the 2017 Giulia such a deal breaker is its engine issues.

An owner bought the 2017 Giulia, and they complained about engine issues after only five years of ownership. According to the report, the car started producing a loud ticking sound from the engine. The noise was so alarming that anyone who heard it couldn’t help but ask, “What’s wrong with your car?” Despite the vehicle only having 38k miles on it, it was already showing signs of trouble.

Electrical issues are also a common pain point for owners of the 2017 Giulia. One complainant claimed that the car had a mind of its own, randomly dying and refusing to start. This happens at the most inconvenient times, such as during a drive when the start/stop function is in use or when simply trying to turn the car on.

Due to major reliability woes, we highly recommend passing on the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia.

2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Sadly, the next model, the 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia, was another problematic year. As per the NHTSA, the 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia received 29 complaints and six recalls. Among all the complaints from the NHTSA website, the electric system, service brakes, and powertrain issues received the most number of complaints.

Several people have complained about the airbag lights that keep on flashing as if they’ve been in an accident. In addition, an owner complained that there’s a significant issue with a vehicle where the Body Control Module (BCM) was shorted out due to water damage from outside the car. Despite the car being under warranty, the dealer claims that Alfa Romeo will not authorize the repair under the warranty. This leaves the owner with a hefty $1200 bill for what should have been a warranty-covered repair.


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The service brakes of the 2018 Giulia also received several complaints from owners. According to the report, Both the rear brake warning sensor and rear brake rotors have given out. Upon further inspection by the dealership, it was discovered that the front brake rotors had also failed. This was unexpected, as the front sensors had triggered a visit to the dealer for what was supposed to be routine service.

Overall, the 2018 model is certainly one of the worst Alfa Romeo Guilia years to avoid.

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Out of all the models to avoid on this list, the 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia is easily the most reliable. It doesn’t have as many issues and complaints as the two previous models, but it has some problems potential buyers should know.

Over at the NHTSA website, the 2019 Giulia has collected 12 complaints and three recalls. Once again, a few people had issues with the car’s electrical systems. The owner reported that the vehicle has been experiencing intermittent starting or restarting problems due to a faulty starter relay. When attempting to start the car, the dashboard lights up as expected, but the starter doesn’t engage, and the engine doesn’t crank.

In terms of its other cons, many folks were not thrilled with the 2019 Giulia due to drawbacks like cramped rear seats, stingy storage spaces, and poor backup camera. Although it’s far from the most unreliable Giulia year, the 2019 model is worth a double or triple-take before buying.

Common Alfa Romeo Giulia Problems

As you can see, the Alfa Romeo Giulia certainly won’t top any reliability lists soon. Moreover, it has its fair share of reliability woes that buyers should be wary of:

  • Electrical gremlins: The Giulia’s electrical system has been notorious for various issues, including unexpected shutdowns, warning lights illuminating without apparent cause, battery drain, stop-start system failures, and corrosion or leakage in the battery itself. These problems have left many owners stranded and frustrated.
  • Engine misfires: The 2017 and 2018 Giulia models equipped with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine were recalled due to an engine misfiring problem. If left unaddressed, this issue could lead to catalytic converter overheating, damaged engine wiring, additional electrical faults, and even engine fires or failing exhaust systems.
  • Anti-lock brake failure: In the 2020 and 2021 Giulia models, hard braking could cause the ABS’s hydraulic control unit to separate, resulting in reduced braking power and a complete loss of the anti-lock braking function. A 2021 recall was issued to replace the faulty HCU free of charge.
  • Failing rear brake discs: Another dangerous brake issue affected 2020 Giulia models. The rear brake discs were prone to breaking apart, causing a sudden and total loss of braking power. A 2020 recall addressed this problem by offering free brake rotor and pad replacements for affected vehicles.
  • Fuel leaks and fire risk: The 2020 and 2021 Giulia models were found to have a cracked fuel line sensor housing, which could allow fuel to leak from the lines, increasing the risk of fire. Alfa Romeo issued a recall to provide free fixes for all affected Giulia models to resolve this serious safety concern.

Be aware of these reliability woes if you’re eyeing the Giulia as your next sports car.

Which Alfa Romeo Giulia Years To Buy?

For the purpose of this list, the model year that we unequivocally recommend is the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia – provided you don’t mind investing in a relatively newer model. Overall, it had fewer issues and caveats than the previous model years, and the car received plenty of good reviews from critics and owners alike.


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The 2020 Giulia is praised for its agile and precise handling, potent turbocharged engines, and fun and balanced driving dynamics. This makes driving a joy, especially for those who appreciate a sporty driving experience. The car is noted for its supermodel good looks, and great driving position.



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