This is what Fish4cars say about the 166:
Alfa Romeo 166 (1999-)
The Alfa 166 represents the strongest challenge yet to dominance of German manufacturers in the senior executive market sector. Combining technical wizardry, distinctive styling and exceptional levels of performance and handling, the 166 is sure to be a popular choice from its launch in January 1999. Despite being only available in a 4-door option, there are three engine choices. The 2.0-litre 155bhp 4-cylinder is rather underpowered; far better to go for the 2.5-litre 190bhp V6 or the 3.0-litre 228bhp V6, which really sparkle at over 4500 revs. A revised version of the 156's double wishbone suspension at the front plus a patented multi-link rear suspension provide excellent handling, while the luxurious cabin offers an excellent choice of driving positions - though rear headroom is sacrificed for the gorgeous lines of the exterior. From April 2000, even better value following Alfa's price cuts: £19,975 - £27,904 with a generous specification.
Jan 99: Launched in UK
LOOK OUT FOR
Engine - Electrical glitches cause starting problems
Automatic gearbox - Can get stuck in gear
Suspension - Clonks and thumps mean badly assembled bushes
Interior - Check all switches for correct operation
Imposing Italian flair, beautiful lines flow into the characteristic triangular grille, sensuous interior
An individual image compared to a BMW, striking to behold with its refined muscular poise
Design is not as contemporary as other Alfas, exterior styling at cost of space in the back
Three engines choices cater for all, power only accessible at higher revs - too much for some execs
Top of the range V6 reaches 60 in 7.8 seconds; top speed exceeds 130mph for whole range
All engines lack low down torque
RIDE AND HANDLING
Suspension absorbs all road impurities superbly, no lateral body roll, balanced through corners
Accurate steering (2.2 turns lock to lock), excellent grip and balance, Anti Slip Regulation standard
Top of the range V6 Super is firmer than expected
Alfa knew they had to challenge in this area, the result is a sumptuous interior, high comfort levels
5in screen (standard) for hi-fi, air-con and navigation controls, impeccable driving position
Lack of headroom in the back
High standard levels of safety, dual airbags anti-lock brakes, central locking
Anti Slip Regulation system is standard along with airbags, alarm and immobiliser
Side airbags are an extra as well as the Traction Control System
Residual values will be respectable; monthly leasing price is vital to success in company market
Entry level 2.0-litre represents great value for money
Fiery engines are thirsty, especially V6s with only 22mpg on combined cycle
Launched in January 1999. April 2000 saw Alfa slash prices across the range to compete with independent importers undercutting UK prices. Average 15% reduction; may affect used values, too.
Mazda Xedos 9
Not the foolproof buy the magazines would have you believe. Many customers tried 166 and liked it; that is until electrical, automatic gearbox and suspension problems meant inconvenient breakdowns and frequent visits to dealers. Buy carefully and ensure service history is present; if possible talk to the garage who serviced it. Independent Alfa specialists will be able to offer more advice.
"Alfa Romeo has ventures into BMW 5-Series territory with its new 166 - and at last, it seems, the company has what it takes to mount a proper challenge in the executive car park."
The Daily Telegraph
"Alfa 166 won't shake its class as the 156 did, but it is highly competitive. Its strong character is joined by a thoroughness of engineering we're only now starting to take for granted in Alfas"
I nearly fell over laughing - "Respectable residual values". Ha ha!
Best Buy - 2.5 V6. We know that's not true.
I think they surf the net/read the mags and write it from that. They've clearly never even sat in one, never mind driven one.