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I currently drive a 2016 Lexus IS200t F-Sport, so I'll use that for comparison as they are both sport sedans. My car stickered at $42k. The Giulia I drove stickered at $48k (Misano Blue, Ti Sport, adjustable dampers and LSD).

My biggest gripe with the Lexus is the transmission. If you're a person who never wants to shift, it is just fine. For me, this is the first car I've ever had that wasn't a manual and I find the manual shift mode very disappointing. It upshifts ok, but downshifts are awful. And actually, the downshift from 2 to 1 in auto mode jerks the car. Every time. So that's annoying. The Giulia's transmission is WAY better. The paddles responded just like I was hoping they would. This was the first car I've driven with the ZF auto. I was impressed with the transmission in the Giulia for sure.

The Lexus gets a few things right. The handling is very acceptable for the street. Firm but not harsh and fun to toss around a bit. The alfa of course handles better than the Lexus and the quick steering ratio makes the car feel like a very willing dance partner. The Lexus also has pretty good brake pedal feel (though stopping power could be better IMHO). Brakes may be a shortcoming of the alfa. Stopping power in the alfa is better than the Lexus, but I can tell it will take some time to get used to IBS system (especially at slow speeds like parking lots). Smoothness may not be the alfa's strong suit, but maybe I would figure it out after more seat time.

I love my Lexus seats. They are nicely bolstered and air cooled. I LOVE my air cooled seats. This is not an option in the alfa... sadness. The interior of the alfa is just cool. They did a nice job of echoing the sportiness of the outside on the inside. It felt like a cool place to be. The seats were comfortable and I loved how low you can go in them. Nothing ruins a car more than sitting up high (Audi A4 fails this test).

Other than the brakes, there were two things that I thought were odd about the alpha. I think I had the seat adjusted too far back because I telescoped the wheel too far out. This is relevant because it resulted in my ear being right by the speaker in the rear door. I found that I was hearing the rear speakers way more than the front. I fixed this by fading the stereo way to the front, but it was odd nonetheless. If I do another test drive I will see if I can set my seating position a bit more forward (I'm 5'11").

The other thing I was disappointed with was the noise - or lack thereof. For a car that has such sport focused styling and performance, the exhaust and intake in the Giulia sure is quiet. I assume I can fix that later, but I feel like I shouldn't have too... that car needs some snarl!

Bottom line, I like the car but I have my concerns about the reliability... if I can get over that and can get a good enough lease lined up it may just be my next car...
 

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My first suggestion is digest everything you read on this forum with a grain of salt when it comes to “real” issues. I have a 2017 QV. Initially scared to death because I was breaking the golden rule. Never buy a first production year car no less the top trim. Well we couldn’t be more pleased. The dealership I use is responsive and I can call Alfa USA for a lot of questions and they respond. I am not concerned about reliability because so far out of the number of cars out there most of the folks that have issues are on this forum so I weighed that against the number of cars sold and said go for it. Bought it without a test drive online.

I will say this. I would love air cooled seats. I have it on one of my other cars and I love it although some works better than others. However, I use remote start and i find my A/C very powerful and cools extremely quickly. I also have the Sparco seats with leather and alcantara and the only good thing I can say about alcantara is it is cooler getting into a car in a 110 degree heat that I live in than just leather.

Brakes to me are not a problem. I think it may have been at first I can’t recall. I adjust the feel and it feels totally normal and I have the CCM brakes that i think are probably harder to adjust to. My biggest complaint was it was almost too smooth than i switch to dynamic without the soft dampers and their you go a totally different car. I don’t use Race mode much at all. Just a nice to have but don’t need it.

So I do wish it had air cooled seats but I would not give up the performance which honestly that was the primary reason we bought the car. Everything else was gravy. I have cars of different flavors and this is by far becoming my favorite over a car I would never have wanted to give up.

There are definite mods to get the snarl. Reliability is not a concern for me and we purchased outright over lease so I would not have gotten the car if I had that concern since we are planning on keeping this one as one of the fun cars to keep. There are other work horses for daily but the QV trim is a guzzler the way i drive it.
 
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