We might not have owned 'our' Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, but living with it as a daily driver for several months we think allows us to qualify for the above. But we do need to ruminate on another cliché: Italian car build quality.
The Stelvio is, actually, beautifully put together. All the sort of 'run in' bits are just things you would expect from a car that has done more than 10,000 miles in its life (slightly scuffed Alcantara on the wheel, a small loose flap of trim on the dash). But sometimes you come up against something so truly Italian, that it doesn't make you angry, it makes you laugh.
Take the electronics for an example. The infotainment system, while slightly small, is remarkably easy to use, and I can have very few complaints about my time with it. I have also mentioned before that the powered tailgate is excellent, and all round the Stelvio has been pretty faultless in terms of running. The other week though I did find it throwing what could only be described as 'a bit of a wobbly'.
I got into the carbon-fibre seats our Stelvio is fitted with, fired up the engine and was just about to get ready to go when, out of absolutely nowhere, the boot opened. My instant thought was that I must have caught the switch, which is just next to the window controls on the driver's door. So I got out and pushed the button to close it. Got back in the car, stuck it in gear... and the boot opened again. This time it wouldn't close further than half way.
I was about to prepare myself for some serious head scratching when, at the third attempt, the Stelvio started, closed its boot and acted as if absolutely nothing had happened. Like a cat that's just caused mayhem for 10 minutes and suddenly calms down. “What, me? Nah, I've just been sat here.”
It was a moment so delightfully daft that I can't even summon any kind of annoyance about it. The fact that that's the only real glitch I can mention in several months probably shows how far Italian build quality has come these days.