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Alfa 159

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Eeef, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [Mar 20, 2006]
    Don't laugh...it's only a thought at the moment....

    In my pursuit of the next chariot this has arisen purely on the aesthetics. Now, I know they used to rust like a ginger bird left in a puddle, and their electrics look like they were 'put in by some indian fella' (to quote HRH) oh yes and the build quality ain't that great....but are they still valid arguments or have they sorted themselves out?

    A friend of mine had a 156 which developed a fault with the electric seat, to the effect that whilst bombing down the M3 the seat suddenly decided it wanted to try and push him through the dash. Amusing for me, trouser replacement therapy for him.

    So, any real world experiences? Anybody had a test drive?
    #1
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  3. god_thats_quick
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    god_thats_quick Numptie of the highest order

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    [Mar 20, 2006]
    I drove about 1000 miles south of naples and across to sicily in a 156 JTD (I think it was the 1.9) and it was one of the nicest cars I've ever driven, the seats were also some of the best seats I've ever sat in I think they just beat the S3 recaros.

    Totally faultless everything worked, not a rattle in sight and it was bloody quick too!

    Everything is obviously better as I wasn't paying for petrol or anything and it was a holiday - sorry business trip, but I was REALLY surprised with how good it was, if I needed a car to do a LOT of miles in it'd be an Alfa JTD (I think).
    #2
  4. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Mar 20, 2006]
    I was invited to the launch of the 159 at the local dealer.

    Partly because I was a previous customer,and partly because my mate works there as a salesman.

    What a beautiful car,inside and out.
    Simply stunning.

    It's top of the list for my replacement,probably wih the 1.9jtd diesel engine (150bhp).

    My only concern is that this engine won't have enough go to do the car justice,but I can always get it 'chipped'.

    I had a 156 for 18 months and had less trouble than my A3.

    My mate's 60k 156 has no unusual problems either.Just run of the mill stuff associated with servicing and mileage.

    The handling...oh the handling...

    Honestly,when I drive my mate's 156 I'm reminded of how steering should feel.

    BMW's head honcho was head hunted for the 159,so I've plenty of confidence in it's build.

    Apparently,he was quite handy round the Nurburgring on a press day in one.

    Good man.
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  5. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Mar 20, 2006]

    Lets hope they are building them better than the new coupe thing they do. sisters fella's had a couple so far(one was rejected) Both really low mileage ... not through choice though but he does admit it adds that edge to a morning will the car start and continue to run or not.

    Lovely looking car but I prefer one that starts when I want it to. Perhaps he has just been unlucky twice with electrical gremlins.

    J.
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  6. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Mar 20, 2006]
    All I know is that Leaseplan took the 156 off the available company car scheme due to the huge number of problems people were having with them and not just niggly problems, real stuck on the hard shoulder problems.
    A few people had them at HP and they all suffered breakdowns (the cars not the people I think).
    Surely they must have sorted this legendary reputation for shoddy electrics, but at the end of the day they're made in Italy, great clothes but you wouldn't want a loved one on a Alfa life support machine.
    #5
  7. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 20, 2006]
    Perhaps you should into an Alfa forum - I sure there must be one.
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  8. Skittler
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    Skittler Redlined

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    [Mar 20, 2006]
    I've had an Alfa 156 2.0 Selespeed for four years from new, March 2002. This weekend though I'm getting a new A3 instead - my signature is ahead of me.

    It has had nothing wrong with it and it drives beautifully. However, around now is where I'm beginning to hear a few strange noises, so it's time to change. The Selespeed gearbox is excellent though, which is why I'm going for DSG on the A3. [Yes, I know, DSG is much better - in fact I was surprised by just how much better it was during my test drives.]

    Overall I definitely had one of the good Alfas - can't have been a Friday afternoon build /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Depreciation is horrendous though. I'll only get about £5900 when I sell it privately (only 39K miles) and it was almost exactly £20K when new, or would have been if I hadn't imported it from Holland. If it wasn't for the depreciation I'd recommend Alfa's wholeheartedly - they really are a excellent to drive.
    #7
  9. d3fy
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    d3fy Active Member

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    [Mar 20, 2006]
    My parents have a 147 from new (motorpoint) and have never had any real problems at all, not one. Not like folding mirrors not working, or door handles falling off, or hissing car stereos, or anything... imagine that.
    #8
  10. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Mar 21, 2006]
    Yes but they're hardly showstoppers are they, just niggly little problems.
    "Sorry can't make it into work my folding door mirrors aren't working!"

    Used Alfas cost more to repair than any other make (yes more than Audi!), according to Warranty Direct.
    Alfas came joint worst for breakdowns in the German ADAC survey in 2001.
    Alfa was fourth-worst manufacturer and the 156 second-worst model in the 2002 Which? reliability survey.
    The 156 came ninth from last in the 2002 Auto Express satisfaction survey; it didn't do too well in the 2002 JD Power survey either.

    Don't get me wrong I think they are the best looking cars on the market for sensible money, and wonderful to drive, but the depreciation and reliability is something you have to live with. I guess a well looked after 2nd hand one is the way to go.
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  11. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Mar 21, 2006]
    Like I said,I'd no problems with my 156 and my mate's 156 has never caused him any stress in 60k miles.

    Surely the point is that Alfa have recruited Bruno (I think) somebodyorother from BMW and his remit was to get build quality up to BMW levels (I nearly included Audi there,but my car's been thrown together).

    The 159 has had glowing reports and it is a beautiful car,inside and out.

    Go look at one Eeef,and let me know what you think.
    #10
  12. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Mar 21, 2006]

    Like with all things in life you either get a good one or you get to know your local dealers service department very well.

    J.
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  13. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Mar 21, 2006]
    [​IMG]

    Phwooooooar !

    What's that hissing noise ?
    It's steam coming out of David R's ears ! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
    #12
  14. jasew
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    jasew Member

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    [Mar 21, 2006]
    Being a VAG man for a lot of years, i was surprised how well my 147 was put together, not a squeek or rattle anywhere.

    My particular dealer has been very good, and they don't look at you like you've just mugged some poor old dear when you walk in the showroom...

    I think the prejudice against Alfa is the same as it was with Skoda etc.. The company has moved on and the problems and issues are no worse than most.

    anyway, here's a link to the Alfa Forum...

    http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/

    cheers
    #13
  15. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Mar 21, 2006]
    With regard to the dealer criticism,I've said it before,but my local Alfa dealer was fine.

    My car was an Irish import,so I half-expected some 'sniffy' treatment,but there was none of it.

    Their actual premises could do with updating like,but that's hardly valid criticism.Just an observation.
    #14
  16. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 21, 2006]
    No hissing noises Bowfer. I hope you also buy an Alfa and enjoy it. Personally I'll stick with Audi for the moment.

    Just spent a long weekend in Somerset and Devon, driving on empty lanes around Exmoor and the North Devon coast Wonderful driving, especially using the DSG in 'manual' mode. Enjoyed every minute of it including the 220 mile motorway drive to get there.

    Just sorry that your experiences with the A3 has not been as enjoyable as mine.
    #15
  17. imported_Skywalker
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    imported_Skywalker Guest

    [Mar 21, 2006]
    One of my customers had an Alfa GT for all of two weeks. In the first week the check strap that stops the door opening too far broke and the door and the wing "met" and completely knackered. He didn't get a chance to take it back to the dealer as the next week it set on fire on the A34 and naturally, he rejected the car.

    That said, I have another customer with a DB9 and that has been back to the dealers nine times since 1st January and the dealer's excuse: "Its an Aston Martin, they have their foibles as they are handmade."

    He spent £115k on the car. I would be spitting chips!
    #16
  18. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 21, 2006]
    Interesting about the Aston Martin. My last boss has an Aston and his spent as much time off the road as on. In the end he got rid of it and bought a Porsche 911. When he has the Aston he often had to come to the office in his wife's car - an Audi A3.
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  19. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Mar 21, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Interesting about the Aston Martin. My last boss has an Aston and his spent as much time off the road as on. In the end he got rid of it and bought a Porsche 911. When he has the Aston he often had to come to the office in his wife's car - an Audi A3.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    And does that mean her A3 was faultless ?

    Nope.
    #18
  20. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 21, 2006]
    Thats was not the point of the reply. It was about the Aston not the A3. Bowfer your paranoid about the possibilty of someone owning an A3 that does not have loads of faults.

    As it was, hers was very reliable, according to my boss at least - considerably more so than his Aston Martin. But it was an 8L 1.8T turbo and was before Audi had even started to making the 'unreliable' 8P Sportbacks like yours.
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  21. adamrawling
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    adamrawling Member

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    [Mar 21, 2006]
    I saw an 06 plate Alfa 147 broke down in the queue off the M6 Junction 21 slip road this morning./ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

    The driver was not best pleased.

    I couldn't help but look across and smirk as I drove past. As I did, I caught eye's with the driver - he made it very obvious that he was not a happy bunny! Nice! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh_roll.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/lol.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh_2.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh_roll.gif
    #20
  22. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Mar 21, 2006]

    A mate of mine's got an aston but it's a DB7 he hardly uses the thing as it is a bit tempremental... Anothers got a fezza 360 and thats even worse so it's horses for courses... Oh and another had a brand new 996 and that was forever back at the dealers for one thing or another... Just goes to show doesn;t matter how much you spend on a car if you get a dud you got a dud!

    J.
    #21
  23. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    [Mar 21, 2006]
    mates 996 911 is also to and fro from the dealers - as is a bloke at works boxster (Sat Nav replaced twice now)

    agree with MB - duds are duds!
    #22
  24. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Mar 21, 2006]
    Ah I forogt about Dan's boxster his has been back twice for new Sat-Nav as well.

    J.
    #23
  25. d3fy
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    d3fy Active Member

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    [Mar 22, 2006]
    yeah me too, my mates Panda has been playing up bit also, back box fell off....
    #24
  26. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Mar 22, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    before Audi had even started to making the 'unreliable' 8P Sportbacks like yours.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Come on David,you're not seriously suggesting it's only 8P sportbacks that are problematic ?

    If so,perhaps you should read the threads a wee bit more carefully.
    #25
  27. arthurfuxake
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    arthurfuxake Controversial & Contradictive

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    [Mar 22, 2006]
    Bowfer, what you need to bear in mind is, out of the many thousands of audi's on the road, you are only looking at the bad ones on here. As a percentage, it must be very low. Most of the people on this forum joined the forum with the express purpose of finding out more about a fault with their car, so the bias of people on this forum is generally towards the negative side. My 8L A3 was problem free, as is my current A4. I had a few problems with my previous A4, but my overall ownership experience is still on the positive side.
    #26
  28. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Mar 22, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Bowfer, what you need to bear in mind is, out of the many thousands of audi's on the road, you are only looking at the bad ones on here. As a percentage, it must be very low.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Unless every Audi owner uses this forum,there's no real way to tell.

    Just as there could be thousands of happy owners we never hear from on here,there could also be thousands of unhappy owners we never hear from on here.

    However,my point was that David R suggested it's only 8P (whatever that means,I left my anorak at home) Sportbacks that are problematic.

    This forum shows that is not the case at all.

    If my lemon of a car can be accused of being 'unusual',then I could throw it right back that David R's paragon of "boring reliability" is the unusual example.

    Who's to say which one is the 'true' A3 ? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/noidea.gif

    #27
  29. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 22, 2006]
    For your information Bowfer the 8P is the Audi model number of the current A3 and the title of this forum and I do not where an anorak. A polo shirt with the Audi 4 rings symbol on yes but an anorak No.

    You really do take things the wrong way don't you. My comment was mean to imply that my bosses car was the previous version (8L) of the A3 and before they even started make the Sportback version at all. The unreliable bit referred to your A3 rather than Sportbacks in general. Audi sold in excess of 80,000 cars in the UK during 2005 and I have now idea of how many have problems. Do stop being so paranoid and trying to find fault with every single item I post. I can only assume it's some kind of silly jealousy because I am driving a very reliable example of the A3 that I really love and at the moment cannot think of any other car I would rather own.

    To add to the controversy about quality etc, my copy of this weeks Auto Express has just come through my letter box. The following is from their Driver Power 2006 Survey....

    Rating for Manufacturers overall - out of 37
    1st - Lexus
    2nd - Skoda
    3rd - Honda
    4th - Porsche
    5th - BMW
    6th - Mazda
    7th - Subaru
    8th - Jaguar
    9th - Audi
    Alfa-Romeo 29th


    For the Top 100 cars:
    A3 (new-8P) - 22nd
    Golf (new) - 23rd
    A4 (new) - 34th
    Audi TT - 50th
    BMW 3 series (new) - 20th
    Skoda Octavia - 2nd
    Skoda Fabia - 5th
    Best Alfa-Romeo - 147 at 75th 156 at 79th


    For Build Quality: (out of 100)
    Old A3 (8L) - 4th
    Skoda Octavia - 7th
    Audi A2 - 8th
    Audi A3 (new-8P) - 9th
    Audi A4 - 10th
    Audi TT - 15th.

    For Reliability: (out of 100)
    A3 (new-8P) - 28th
    Audi A4 - 33rd
    Skoda Octavia - 13th Fabia - 20th
    BMW 3-series - 23rd
    highest Alfa-Romeo - 147 at 90th and 156 at 91st
    most above the A3 are Japanese

    Whilst I have some reservatioms about this type of survey as it requires owners to complete questionaires about their own cars, it does show that Audi appear to be nearer the top end than the bottom and the A3 above other models in the Audi range.
    #28
  30. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Mar 22, 2006]
    The relevance of Alfa's placing in the above poll being......?

    The 159 is a new model,in which 3 billion euros has been invested.

    #29
  31. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Mar 22, 2006]

    Alfa's are moving forward lepas and bounds but why would you think the 159 is going to be a million times better than the ones before it?

    Each model will have had a considerable sum invested in it so you can't really use that as an argument for it being a good car, how much do all the other manufactures invest in new models?

    For the record I think the 159 looks lovely but would I buy one...

    J.
    #30
  32. jasew
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    [Mar 22, 2006]
    If we put aside and accept the 'reliability' issues discussed I think that the thread is missing the whole point...

    I REALLY do agree with Mr Clarkson when he says you have to own an Alfa at somepoint.

    I would ask anyone to compare the Alfa V6 to a VAG unit, simply there is no comparison.

    VAG V6's while being technically good etc, seem numb and quite muted, my 147 really DOES feel like a mini ferrari...

    Yes I will be returning to VAG shortly, I'm actually getting a new Jetta (company car)

    BUT accepting that I will have lost a bucket load of cash in depreciation, and the chance that the car may have broken down at any second, I don't have a single regret!

    So EEF if you can afford it mate go on have a test drive and you'll see what I mean

    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ok.gif
    #31
  33. mikep
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    [Mar 22, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]

    Alfa's are moving forward lepas and bounds but why would you think the 159 is going to be a million times better than the ones before it?

    Each model will have had a considerable sum invested in it so you can't really use that as an argument for it being a good car, how much do all the other manufactures invest in new models?

    For the record I think the 159 looks lovely but would I buy one...

    J.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    J, I wouldn't buy one using your money! In fact I wouldn't buy any Italian car, for the same reasons.

    But I agree, it is a very pretty car.
    #32
  34. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Mar 22, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]

    Alfa's are moving forward lepas and bounds but why would you think the 159 is going to be a million times better than the ones before it?

    Each model will have had a considerable sum invested in it so you can't really use that as an argument for it being a good car, how much do all the other manufactures invest in new models?

    For the record I think the 159 looks lovely but would I buy one...

    J.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Well,Alfa's primary aim with the 159 is to get it to the perceived levels of quality given by BMW.

    As I said before (although I got the name wrong),they recruited Karl-Heinz Karbfell from BMW/Rolls Royce,to assist with this and to aid it's marketing,primarily in the US,thereafter.

    The tests I've read so far are glowing,and I was well impressed with the build quality at the launch.

    For example,a 'foible' of the 156 used to be that the right hand side shut-line on the bootlid was always out.So the rear lights,which cross-over from the body onto the bootlid,always looked out of line.

    The interior trim also used to be a bit iffy as well,with the fuse box cover being particularly liable to breaking etc.

    None of that on the 159.

    Time will tell,but I've seen little to doubt the 159 is a very well built motor indeed.

    In fact,I've seen it described as a "better A4 than Audi could build".

    And it is so damned beautiful... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/heart.gif

    If it's as well built as an A4,but with better looks and driving dynamics,that'll do for me !!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ok.gif
    #33
  35. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Mar 22, 2006]

    Good looking things generally cost more to run /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif and if you can get someone else to pay those running costs then I say enjoy.

    I'm sure I heard the same thing said about build quality etc with previous Alfa's though so I suppose time will tell.

    J.
    #34
  36. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 22, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    The relevance of Alfa's placing in the above poll being......?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Thats up to you to decide. This is a thread about an Alfa-Romeo car which is why I included the Alfa data as well as the Audi data.

    Perhaps with all the investment Alfa are making in the new 159 it will much higher than any of their existing models in next year's survey. Lets hope so because it is a nice looking car.
    #35
  37. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Mar 22, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    The relevance of Alfa's placing in the above poll being......?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Thats up to you to decide. This is a thread about an Alfa-Romeo car which is why I included the Alfa data as well as the Audi data.

    Perhaps with all the investment Alfa are making in the new 159 it will much higher than any of their existing models in next year's survey. Lets hope so because it is a nice looking car.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Agreed.

    Let's give the 159 a chance before using a poll showing the previous model as a reason to berate it.
    #36
  38. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Mar 22, 2006]

    and lets not use your A3 as a stick to bash all A3's with /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
    #37
  39. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Mar 22, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]

    and lets not use your A3 as a stick to bash all A3's with /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    If I were the only one on here with problems,I'd take your point.

    Same problems,different cars.
    Nuff said.
    #38
  40. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Mar 22, 2006]

    Not really. I don't have the same problems with my a3 nor do a lot of others on here...
    #39
  41. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Mar 22, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]

    Not really. I don't have the same problems with my a3 nor do a lot of others on here...

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I can't think of one single problem I've had that,at some point,hasn't been backed up by other people,sometimes several.

    Heavy oil consumption - check
    Rattles -check
    Trims falling off - check
    Dodgy steering - check
    Fuel flap - check

    If my car's unusual,there's a fair few unusual ones out there eh ? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
    #40

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