Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: English Midlands
Re: Hi! Which Car (Is the alfa myth true?!)
I've got the GT JTD (the pre-JTDm version).
I've had very little trouble with it apart from a warranty-replaced set of steering hoses. The build quality is high compared to most cars on the road, and the thing doesn't rattle at all!
Regarding new or second-hand, I got second-hant because of the options already fitted (Bose, sat-nav, parking sensors, winter pack etc). If you buy new you have to pay extra for these things of course.
Seriously consider the diesel for the following reasons..
1) High torque (more than the V6)
2) Fuel costs (lower)
3) Pollution (lower overall)
4) Mileage-based oil changes (I'll explain below)
1) High torque is given with a diesel, which is why they are used for heavy traction purposes (rail, ship and automotive). The highest torque is at the maximum efficiency point of the engine, which in the GT is about 2000 rpm assuming no re-mapping has taken place. What you have to do is to resist the tendency to rev the engine too much. It is far happier at 2000 or thereabouts. Accelerating from 70 mile/h in 6th gear (approx 2000rpm) has to be experienced! Obviously if you want to hare about the country at much higher speeds, you have to exceed this figure, but in that case maybe you could do with a 7th gear to keep the engine revs down!
2) Fuel costs. 41 mpg approx in my experience (don't know about the JTDm though!). Lower engine speed means less friction and the combustion process is more efficient. The GT is rather heavy and has a lot of power-absorbing kit on it, so don't expect miracles.
3) Pollution. Better economy means less pollution overall. Also, during warming up a diesel is much cleaner. The JTDm is euro-4 compliant so should be better than my JTD.
4) Mileage-based oil changes. If you do 12000 miles/year this will not apply, but with a petrol engine exceeding the 1-year recommended time for an oil change can damage the engine due to the nasty chemicals produced by the detergent you are burning. With a diesel, the main consideration is particulate matter added to the oil so the oil changes need only be mileage-based. So if you do less than 12000 miles per year and you don't have warranty requirements to meet after a few years ownership, you can change the oil on a 12000 mile basis regardless. This doesn't obviate other maintenance issues, of course. Save money and pollute less! Incidentally, I await the time when manufacturers and dealer networks take these facts on board. Throwing away perfectly servicable oil before its time is a pollution crime.