The good things
Its great to drive. Its quick. It corners like an Impreza (I've test driven a STi and this is a direct comparison), it is the best looking saloon on the market under £45,000. You'll feel like an Italian Duke when you take delivery. You could go anywhere it in and look great.
The bad things
There's a big list here:
1. I've owned it 2 months. Its been back at the dealer for 6 weeks. 2. The body computer was faulty, needed replacement and had to be ordered from Italy. 3. The dealer delivered the car back to me with a big chip out of the bonnet's paintwork. 4. The iPod system crashed my iPod repeatedly. 5. The cruise control was faulty. 6.. The windscreen washers didn't activate the windscreen wipers - you had to do this manually (this is a fault) 7. It was delivered to me with a crack in the rear light cluster which caused condensation 8. The dealer did not pro-actively communicate. I had to call to find out what was going on - despite the delays. 9. Alfa UK have not been of much help during this time
I could not recommend one to a friend.
Having owned an excellent 147 M-Jet, I expected great things from the 159. The 2.4 JTDm I bought proved to be an under-developed mistake of a motorcar. After a couple of months I took the loss and swapped it for a Civic 2.2-litre diesel.Yes, they are two very different cars, but in some ways they are actually quite similar in spec. The significant differences are that the Honda has a superb smooth and responsive engine, fantastic economy(55mpg easily), and all with a slick gearbox and smooth ride.
I suggest if test driving the 2.4 to look out for the notchy gearbox, turbo lag and poor pickup from low engine revs. Also, the cabin and chassis creaks and rattles over poor surburban roads. Bare in mind, too, that the car will struggle to better 29-33mpg in real world driving.
Incidentally, the 1.9-litre petrol car I had as a courtesy car for a day seemed a very pleasant, smooth and easy to drive car. Yes, it wasn't a sports car in the traditional Alfa way, but it did seem a very honest car, which I felt the diesel never was.
Truly the best car I have ever owned. Handling is outstanding and the performance of this 1.9 Diesel engine is phenomenal for the cost of the vehicle. The trim and equipment level are excellent.
I have owned this car for three months and I always seem to want to "pop out of the office to see someone/drop something off/deal with a Client emergency"!
It is clear to me that when I push this car, it just shrugs its' shoulders and keeps saying "come on then! Gimme some more."
As far a exclusivity is concerned, I have only seen three more of these cars on the road. All of us giving each other a knowing nod to the other as we pass. I have never owned a car where people come up and want to talk to you about the styling or performance. It stands out a mile from the Passats, Golfs and A4's on the car park.
So far, one small piece of trim came off when I pulled it and the cigar lighter could be in a better position. There is nowhere to put your can of pop while charging the phone. Also, there is hardly anywhere to mount the mobile phone bracket, everthing is covered in shiny steel. But who cares? you won't want to be answering the phone or drinking a can of pop while driving this beauty!
Forget A4 or 3 series. Get some fun back in your life. Get a 159. You will not regret it!
This is the very first Alfa that I've ever owned, and if this car is anything to go by it certainly won't be my last.
I was initially looking to buy a diesel car to replace my thirsty Saab Aero convertible, however my first Italian car just had to be a petrol, and I am definitely not disappointed with the economy. Even with a bit of hard driving across country lanes, it still averages 29-32mpg.
The only problems I've had are a sticking brake light due to a sensor failure on the pedal and a piece of the plastic trim around the windscreen coming loose - all minor things and easily forgiveable in this car.
Forget the tales you will inevitably hear about Alfa Romeo's reliability - this and the Brera are the cars that will turn Alfa Romeo around. If people could only get over the old reliability problems and the past history of heavy depreciation.
The car drives as well as a BMW or an Audi, and has a much higher standard specification, not to mention the fact that the Alfa is much, much cheaper. I have owned both of these other marques, so I can say so with experience, and the build quality is right up there too. The big diference is that you will probably only see 25 of these cars on the road a year, and not 25 an hour like BMW and Audi!
If you want to stand out from the norm but still drive a fantastic all-round car, this is it. I can recommend it without hesitation.
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