Hi Sabrewolf I can fully recommend the drive down to the south of France as the french roads are great. So smooth you will feel like you're driving a new car. Speed limit is mostly 80mph (130kph) which is my preferred cruising speed. I used the Eurotunnel which was excellent and then from Calais it was about 9 hrs to the south. I have done it twice - once in the summer and once in the winter to the alps. First time drove all day in one go which is ok but a bit tiring. Second time drove partially through the night stopped at Dijon around midnight in a Formula One hotel (cheap as chips) then drove another 4 hrs 'ish the next day up into the alps. Fuel cost is about the same over there and I found the 1.8 to be pretty economical at around 36-40 mpg. Tolls can be expensive at about Â£70 in total iirc. It's a great experience though and if you shop at TESCO you can use the reward points for your Eurotunnel fare. The only fly in the ointment is getting round Paris on the rue periferique. You more or less go right into the city rather than round it. Suddenly the M25 doesn't seem so bad!
Thanks for that info Simon. Yeah I fancy driving down that way & also into Switzerland. Probably on seperate trips. I'll look up that F1 hotel you've mentioned.
Yes i've been told by several people that the roads are really smooth to drive on in France. The type of roads that suit Alfa's perfectly.
Thank you very much for that though Si. Sorry for taking the thread a little off topic there guys. But on a light hearted tip or in true Jeremy Clarkson style 'If you want to drive to the South of France or the Swiss Alps the Alfa 156 1.8 Twinspark is the best car for the job.'
Thread diversions, no problem, responsible for a few myself On the subject, everyone should take their motors over to France at least once to see what true motoring through beautiful scenery should be like (and possibly was once in this overcrowded ****hole of a country)
punt14 - point taken, should really have set some parameters. However I would EXPECT an Alfa to have an advantage on a Ford/vauxhall/Renault of equivalent CCs! As a general performance benchmark I reckon a 2 litre twinspark is only just adequate, so if an 1.8 is hot on the heels that's OK.
Looking at getting a petrol 156 for a family runaround. Been running diesels awhile, and I recall the 2 litre twinspark 147 we had was just OK performance wise.
Spotted a very tempting 156 saloon and a simlar Sportwagon, but they are both just the small engines. Do you think they will be acceptable loaded up with 4 adults, or should I stick out for a JTS? They are temptingly cheap.
If you thought the 2.0 147 was "just OK performance wise", then I predict you won't be happy with the 1.6 or 1.8 156. But it really does depend what you want from a car. I have been driving my 156 V6 for 8 years now and have never, ever regretted buying it. Only its age and mileage (currently 154K) will eventually force me to change it.