Okay, 6000rpms in a tunnel, thats going to sound sweet! Like I say, Im sure after a run in, the note gets better.
The 1.8 was a superb car and caused me only one problem, two weeks after I got it, engine management system packed in, lost all power, towed away. But back two days later and never had another problem til I sold year and a half later. It was a company car and I opted for that over the 2L because I had a price band to spend to and I loaded up the 1.8 for the same price as a basic 2L. It had all the add-ons.
The car performed very well but it howled a bit trying to get its power out. What impressed me the most was its handling and particularly its cornering ability. However the ride wasnt great, going over a pot hole felt like the whole bottom has fallen away. The gtv rides far better. The most fustrating thing on the inside was that damn console. The two dials are too low and the steering wheel blocks them. I love watching the rev counter but most of the needle around 5-7rpm disappears under the rim of the wheel!! Adjusting the seat solves it but it ruins the driving position. Leg room in back very disappointing.And the famous 156 dash rattle! It drove me nuts!!! Apparently, it was a metal clip which loosened when the car was cold and rattled.
Still, I'd buy another one, but like I say, the v6. Although Im sure Id go for a 166 first, they are so cheap nearly new and are more alfa looking than a 156 IMO.