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Thread: Alfas

  1. #1
    3rd Gear

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    Apr 2006


    Does anyone have any direct experience of the Alfa 147 and 159 ?

    They look smart to me (beauty in the eye, etc....), but how do they compare to the A3 to drive, and what are the dealers like ?

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  3. #2
    silver75's Avatar
    Big Ron

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    at work
    A guy at work has a 156. I didnt go for an alfa because of the bad reputation regarding reliablity. Ironically in the year I have had my 8l A3 I have had to have what 5-6 things fixed under warranty, whereas he hasnt had a single problem. Hasnt had to visit the dealers other than for a service.
    They are beautiful looking cars, and apparently handle well but I wouldnt buy one brand new
    Last edited by silver75; 31st October 2006 at 14:17.

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  4. #3
    Amchlolor's Avatar
    6th Gear

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    Jan 2005
    I've liked Alfas for years.
    My mate sells them now,so I get to drive what I want,when I want.
    I've driven several 159's now,both with the 1.9Jtd engine (150bhp)
    I don't see the point in driving ones with engines I wouldn't be going for,so I always wait until they have a 1.9Jtd demo available.
    I think the 159 is lovely.
    Not as direct as my 156 was though.
    More 'grown-up' ride and handling,but still infinitely more feel and involvement than an A4.
    Love the looks,inside and out.
    Bose stereo upgrade sounds great.
    The GM common rail diesel engine is more refined and perkier than the Audi 2.0tdi.
    The press say the 159 is noisy compared with an A4,but it's definitely quieter than an A3.
    I had no problems with my local Alfa dealer (Arnold clark FIAT) when I had my 156,but it wasn't really a problem car.
    It just got routine servicing and recalls for back suspension bushes.
    It's still going strong,with zero problems in 60K miles (sold it to a colleague in Manchester).
    I went from a no-problem 156 to a no-problem A4 to an always-a-problem A3 ! ;-(

    Was out for a curry with the Alfa salesman mate on Saturday,and was prigging him about problems with the 159.
    None reported.
    the only thing he reported was some 'odd' trims arriving from the factory.
    Cars that shouldn't have alloys arriving with alloys and vice versa.
    Always sorted out by them prior to delivery to the customer though.

    They're not discounting the 159 heavily,but you'd get some tasty discounts off a 147 for sure.
    Hefty discounts put paid to the 'high depreciation' tag linked to Alfas.
    Last edited by Amchlolor; 31st October 2006 at 14:15.
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  5. #4
    d3fy's Avatar
    5th Gear

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    Sep 2005
    Parents had a 147 for about 3 years, just swapped it in for a new A3. They had no problems of any kind other than a paint issue I think that was covered under warranty and the dealer (Autoworld - Chesterfield) was OK, no problems. The car was a grey import from Spain and instead of the UK 3 year warranty it had 2. Saved a fortune over one from the main stealer. Full leather, BOSE, Climate, Cruise, Arm rest - you know all the stuff I just paid an extra £3k for...
    2.0T Quattro SLine, now 320d Sport Touring

  6. #5
    Tim Stuart's Avatar
    1st Gear

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    I too lusted after Alfas for years before sinking my hard earned into one - I bought a new 147 Selespeed in 2002 from an importer. Almost full-house spec for 3k less than UK list (I paid 17k). I had Eibach springs fitted (25mm drop in ride height). The car is on 17s and on anything other than really smooth roads is a bouncing nightmare! It handles superbly though, with incredibly direct steering, and the engine sounds great.

    Servicing has been expensive, the Selespeed gearbox packed up just after the 2 year warranty was up (cost 3k to fix (mainly labour costs) and I was lucky that Alfa UK had (have?) some money put aside to cater for 'just out of warranty' repairs so they covered half the bill.

    It's done 75k miles, has been through 4 sets of tyres, had the pads replaced twice, the discs once, the gearbox rebuilt and the Bose subwoofer has packed up on occasion. My wife now drives it, only around town, and it returns 20MPG.

    I still love it though and think that it's one of the most distinctive cars on the road. Much prefer the original pre-facelift version too.

    I almost traded it in for an A2 a couple of weeks ago, but was offered only 3,250 for it (almost 1k behind the Guide)! That means it's lost over 80% of its value in 4.5 years!
    Black 2.0TDi 140 Sportback S-Line



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