Looking to buy 156 or GT, and lookingh for advice from owners... - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Looking to buy 156 or GT, and lookingh for advice from owners...

Ciao a tutti!

Hello all, after nearly a decade of living off company car scheme mercedes every year, i am now forced to look for a vehicle of my own - a daunting prospect indeed!

My criteria really was a good reliable diesel in a chassis which could go on forever if well looked after and serviced.

My original shortlist was 5-7K which put me in 60-80,000 mile VW, BMW and Merc territory. I was looking at BMW 3 series E46, VW Bora / skoda octavia and Merc C Coupe territory. Naturally this put me in 02 -04 plate territory for the above cars.

It got me to thinking outside of the box, and so I looked at Volvo S40 and also to 156's. I love the alfa look as does everyone, and I also like the quality of the leather on the seats and the simple finish inside. Then I saw the GT, and it's been love at first sight!

So my question is, as owners who have lived with these cars, what have you found have been the highs and lows of living with these cars? How reliable are the diesels and how unreliable are the electrics? I know the fiat diesel is a top rate unit, but I know that there has been a lot said about the rest of the car.

Since it's looking likely that my price range will realistically limit me to a car with around 80k on the clock, I can't really afford to be in garages or crawling underneath it, and I know that I won't get that with a german engine.

My ideal car is a black or red GT, or facelift 156 with tan leather and satnav / phone! - i've seen the units for sale on ebay, and wonder if it's easy to retrofit them or is it like mercs where you need to go back to dealerships to plug them into the computer to be recoded for the car?

The car will be my only hack, so has to be reliable - but as yo can all appreciate, I want to feel great driving it!

Your thoughts would be really appreciated, as I know a lot about the limits etc of the german cars, but these are all new! When it comes to alfa I'm limited to deciding with my eyeballs and not with my head!

sev1972 is offline  
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Common sense and documented service history will get you a fine car!
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Do you need 4 doors and a little bit more headroom in the back? If so you need a 156, if not the GT is the only choice. The only thing the 156 has over the GT are those 2 things, in every other way the GT is the better car. Smouldering looks, great cabin, seats are the best I've ever had to pleasure to sit in, folding rear seats, huge boot, economical and with the remap goes like stink.

The 1.9 JTD Z19DTH diesel is a General Motors unit used by FIAT, Alfa, SAAB, Vauxhall, Cadillac and so on. Weak points are the EGR valve sooting up causing loss of power, the water pump can cause problems, have a look at the sticky at the top of this forum. Suspension parts are common to both and aren't the best.

The Sat Nav can be retro-fitted but by all accounts it's not a particularly good system, the blue-n-me phone system is (I'm pretty sure) not possible to retrofit, have a look in the ice-and-blue-and-me forum.

Had my GT JTD for 2 years and I love it. Had to change the inlet manifold owing to a swirl valve problem, but apart from that regular maintenance only.

The clutch is heavy which until recently I understood to be caused by a worn pressure plate, which, if you can't live with, needs a new clutch. However, there's now talk that a dab of grease here and there on the bush under the actuating arm dramatically improves clutch operation. On my to-do list.

Members rave about the Q2 diff, however I wouldn't turn down a good GT that didn't have one. One has to drive like a looney to see any benefit from it, fuel, tyres and brakes are too expensive IMO.

All the best


Last edited by pubsinger; 05-10-10 at 16:16.
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Great and beautiful car. Had my 2007 model for 14 months now with no issues what so ever. Joy to drive with added bonus of being ecconomical too.
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GT all the way if it suits you.

As pubsinger has said previously, if you need the 4 doors go 156. If you don't, it's the GT all the way. Gorgeous to look at from every angle and in every colour, comfortable, great long distance cruiser, agile, quick, reasonably economical. Driven a diesel and it impressed but i'm petrol all the way i'm afraid. Had a 156 before that and again, few complaints, looks best with the veloce kit though. Top cars and very much maligned by everyone, especially the third reich inspired British motoring press. My GT is due to go back to the lease company but i'm keeping it for another 2 years.
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