Join Date: May 2006
Location: Sidcup, Kent, UK
Re: Your opinions please
Force, Welcome to this forum. Glad to hear you are thinking about an Alfa for your next car. I am currently on my third Alfa, and am also currently experiencing driving a leased BMW. So hopefully my perspective will give you a slightly different insight.
The first thing you will probably note is that this site is full of Alfa enthusiasts. Alot of us have owned Alfas before/ own more than one and are totally smitten. Secondly, an Alfa enthusiast is something very different to an Audi/BMW enthusiast. In my experience the latter, are very enthusiastic about the performance/handling/reliability of the car, but most would not even know what the inside of their bonnet looked like. As an Alfa driver you will need to get your head under the bonnet every 1,000 miles or so because the engine oil dipstick needs checking/topping up.
As a german car owner, if you ever had a problem with your car you would not think twice about getting it booked in with your dealer and getting it checked (perhaps under warranty). Under the same scenario, most Alfa owners' first port of call would probably be one of these forums (or a similar one). Only then might they go to their dealer. It's a sad fact but the Alfa dealer network is still not up to the standards of Audi/BMW dealerships. This is slowly being overhauled by Alfa UK, but currently their is certainly an element of distrust over their competence/reliability. On the other hand there is a flourishing independent garages servicing network, but it might mean travelling a bit more than you'd like. I think most owners on these forums probably trust their independent garage more than an Alfa dealer.....I might be wrong, and if I am, you can be sure someone will be along shortly to give their counter opinion.
If you are prepared for an 'ownership' experience which might involve a little more hassle than that of owning an Audi/BMW then I can guarantee you will not be disappointed with the Alfa.
On the other hand if you are just looking for a fleet car workhorse, and really can't be doing with some of the annoying quirks that are typical of an Alfa, then sadly this club is not for you.
I've probably been a little controversial here in my write up, but I know the comforts that German car ownership can bring, and if you aren't prepared to lower your expectations just a little then you will be disappointed.
On the plus side this slight ownership inconvenience is more than compensated by an exhilerating driving experience.
As well as my 156, I drive an E60 5 series sport. And I can tell you, given the choice, I'd much rather take the Alfa for a spin than the BMW.
Hope this helps.
Alfa 159 1.9 Jtdm TI - Grey
156 JTS (Interior facelift) Veloce in Sterling Silver.