I have a 2000(W) 1.8 TS which I love dearly. It has now done 97K and has been as good as gold. I have only ever had the usual general wear sort of work done: brake discs, pads, battery, and suspension bushes etc it has never broken down or disappointed me. It cruises well on the motorway and has enough power to accelerate away even when you're already doing more than you ought to be! Best acceleration is achieved when you run it at over 3000 rpm - there is almost a transformation in the engine. It is starting to rattle a bit now, but I have done 40,000 hard miles in the 18 months i've had it with no complaints. I'd recommend it to anyone, and dare you to try to find something better for the money... I will sell it this year before it hits 100k and will be sad, but that's ok because i'll just buy another one and do the same thing again... maybe the 2.5 V6 next time... think I have the alfa bug!
2000 X Reg on Ebay in 2005 for £3K. Sold Oct/07 for £2K. Black, tinted, red leather. First car, remember banging down m-way with a grin. Styling fab, handling brilliant, although hard ride and it is too low for speed bumps. then a bloke drove a van into it at a petrol station. only mild body damage, but after repair it 'started to go' as they say...electrical probs, ECU probs, had to be recovered 4 or 5 times (AA cannot fix ECU stuff). no graceful degradation. ECU goes and cuts circuit to acceltr., meaning no power mid road!!! had all fixed but by then had had enough. Paint job poor compared to BMW. but it's a sexy car for cheap...
Have had this car for 5 years and done 100,000 in it taking it up to 156,000. It never needs topping up with oil between services, goes like a train and I love driving it. Does consistently 42-45mpg and is comfortable. And still looks beautiful.
Has been reliable in the sense that it always starts and gets me there, but I have spent an average of £151 a month on repairs/tyres/servicing over the time I've had it - particularly on suspension parts! Took it in to my local dealer and showed them the blistering along the front of the roof - rust guarantee had three months to run - Alfa replaced the entire roof free of charge. Remarkable!
Am seriously considering trading down to a small, eco-friendly diesel, but everything I try feels horrible in comparison.
I bought a three-year-old Alfa 156 for £5000 with 50,000 miles which was very good value. I have now had it for two years and its current mileage is 105,000. OK, it's not as well built as a German car but it is half the price!
It drives well, and the steering and road holding are very good.
It gets admiring looks and looks more expensive than it costs. Make sure you change the cambelt every 40,000 miles - minimum! I learnt out the hard way and had to have a £900 repair!
The only other issues are an airbag light (£50 every time only at Alfa), and the car bottoms out far too easily.
I'm looking for another £5000 156 to run for another two years!
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