Having bought my car new and ran it for two years I can agree with the critics that it is a decision of the heart it scores 10 out 10 for looks and interior style, the noise from the engine is so much better than a boring Ford Focus, but then reality hits.
Handling is merely OK after driving a decent chassis such as the Focus. Ride, well is okay but not anything special. My biggest complaints was the number of rear suspension bushes I went through, the thin metal on the doors suceptible to the car park morons, the fact that the Italians can't tighten a couple of nuts up making my gear shift selector useless within 48 hours, requiring the AA to help. Thank god I didn't have the Selespeed as they would just have sent the tow truck if I had.
The dealer was very helpfull and efficient, but in the end their location in the centre of a major town was such a nightmare that I decided to lump it in and get something else.
Yet despite all the problems I still look back at it and think, that was a great car. Would I recomend one YES but do it with eyes wide open, if you have never owned or driven an Alfa you havn't lived.
I bought my Alfa when it was only a year old and ran it for 3 years covering 72,000 miles in the Scottish Highlands and having changed cars (mainly because of the ownership costs), I now appreciate the fun and frustration that Alfa ownership brings.
I loved the cars looks, its sporty cabin, its layout and generous equipment levels, which were exceptionally logical, the seats were very comfortable even though it was tight for size. The 2 litre engine was superb, delivering a great noise when accelarating to the red line, however, such enthusiastic driving probably accounted for only returning an average 27mpg and its prodigious thirst for oil, even when driven conservatively.
The dealerships (I used 2 different dealers) are not terribly slick and you will spend a lot of time and money in them. The car seemed to eat front tyres every 7000 miles or so, its tracking used to get knocked off line incredibly easily and the traction control would constantly cut in on roundabouts at bus like speeds- both dealers failed to correctly deal with either problem. Fuses and light bulbs tended to blow regularly, the aircon system failed a few times, as did the heated seats and cruise control, I've largely forgotten the pain and remember the car through rose tints...
All in all despite the horrible reliability and running costs, it hasnt put me off buying an Alfa Romeo in the future.
i have traded my tired old alfa 156 in for a brand new 147 ti limited edition, having went along to my alfa dealer with the intention of buying a 159 i was stunned by the look of this 147 limited edition with its lowered suspension and 17 inch alloys, and amazing interior. Driving this car is a dream it is quick comfortable and silent at speed, the controls took a little bit of working out but after a day or two i had mastered the cruise control, dual climate control and stereo, I have just completed a 1000 mile round trip to scotland and even after a solid 6 hour stint without a break i was relaxed happy and felt ready to do another thousand miles. In my opinion this car is superb time will tell how reliable it is ( my 156 was faultless during the two years i owned it!! ) if you want style, class and head turning looks marry jennifer aniston if you want the same in a car buy an alfa romeo i47
I purchased this car used (or pre owned ) as the garage likes to call it,does that make it sound better? It had done 29k when bought and I can only say that up until now it has been totally reliable and a dream to drive.I average 35mpg approx which I find quite acceptable taking into consideration the sporty feel and the speed available. I get many glances of admiration when driving,I suspect it's more for the car than me,lol as it's certainly a looker.
It is the first and I would like to think that this will be the first of many Alfa's that I will own as it is far and away the best for looks and specs against most other boring makes that are available. It seems from previous reviews that you either love them or hate them and I am certainly in the former,just hoping that I get many more miles of enjoyable driving pleasure. But when I think of what I paid against the original price I would always try to get a faily low milaged used car rather than new as the deprciation is frightening.
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