Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Chippenham, Wiltshire
Re: New Member... Hi Guys
Just got back from picking her up. Had a 5 mile test drive the other night but this was the first time I'd driven her without wife and previous owner in the car.
To answer a previous question, We have two cars an S reg Ford Galaxy 2.3 (family runaround and Mum's taxi) and a Ford Mondeo (93 2.0Si). The Alfa is replacing the Mondeo. The Mondeo was bought 18 months ago for £500 and is a fantastic car (don't laugh, it is!). It's been utterly reliable, cost me about £300 in tyres, exhaust and MOT repairs, and will go away this weekend to a new owner with £400 who will drive it for another 20000km with no problems. As near to cost free motoring as you can get.
There's not too much comparison between old Mondeo and new Alfa, but no matter how much better it is it's not 9 times better which is the difference in the prices!
I'm very impressed. The engine feels very willing and revvy, yet torquey and responsive. I can't think of any other car engine I've ever driven that is quite so flexible over such a rev range. The car feels solid, taut and well built, which is a surprise after the last one. But what I love about all the 156s I've driven, and why I went hunting after I'd driven the first one, is the exquisite balance in the car. The streering feels light yet direct with no mushiness, the whole thing feels lithe and poised and ready for action. I've never driven a Ferrari, but I would expect it to feel like this only more so. It feels hand built, not mass produced. Aristocratic rather than common hot hatch.
I can't believe you can buy these for so little money. It must be the best kept secret of the second hand car market. If I'd taken the same money to a Ford dealer I'd be driving an S reg 1.6 Focus!
I'm delighted. Absolutely delighted. The car came with a fully stamped service book and every receipt from 12000 miles, a fantastic Alpine and Alfa CD stereo system, 4 virtually new Pirellis on unmarked alloys, and what looks like immaculate interior and paintwork. I'll give it a good clean tomorrow and find out any bad bits, but there's nothing obvious. It seems to be a perfect second hand car (is there such a thing?).
Tell you what... I'll tell you in 18 months if it was as good a buy as the Mondeo!
All the best, and thanks for your good wishes,