Buying a 159 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 15 Old 22-08-16 Thread Starter
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Buying a 159

Hi All. New to here. Looking to buy a car and have fallen in love with the 159.

My problem is most are in Dublin (I am not) and there seems to be a big price range. From 3500 for an 08 diesel auto to 10k for an 09 diesel manual.

I know trim levels etc make a difference but I am struggling to see what the differences are. Are some people trying to get rid of a lemon?


I know driving a few is best option, but have you good people any advice on what to look for or avoid?


Any other tips welcome.


Thanks

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Originally Posted by cuculainn View Post
Hi All. New to here. Looking to buy a car and have fallen in love with the 159.

My problem is most are in Dublin (I am not) and there seems to be a big price range. From 3500 for an 08 diesel auto to 10k for an 09 diesel manual.

I know trim levels etc make a difference but I am struggling to see what the differences are. Are some people trying to get rid of a lemon?


I know driving a few is best option, but have you good people any advice on what to look for or avoid?


Any other tips welcome.


Thanks

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Take a look at the buying guide here:

http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...ers-guide.html (Definitive 159/ Brera Buyers Guide)
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(Post Link) post #3 of 15 Old 22-08-16 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by charliealfamike View Post
Thanks for that.....lots of info there alright

trim levels are still confusing though. alot of the Lusso specs here (in ireland) seem to have fabric and not leather interior.

There is a comprehensive list of problems with the 159, i know any car that is 5-8 years old will have problems, but i wonder how many of the owners here actually have experienced these problems and how many just sit in and drive every day??
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuculainn View Post
Thanks for that.....lots of info there alright

trim levels are still confusing though. alot of the Lusso specs here (in ireland) seem to have fabric and not leather interior.

There is a comprehensive list of problems with the 159, i know any car that is 5-8 years old will have problems, but i wonder how many of the owners here actually have experienced these problems and how many just sit in and drive every day??

There's a lot of them registered wrong. Can't tell you how many 156's are registered as Ti models where in fact they're just basic sportivo trim. Just cause it says lusso does not mean it's a lusso.

Regarding the 159 can't really comment on it as I haven't owned one. The price difference between them is the Petrol v Diesel market.. As you know nowadays you have to pay premium for diesel.

They're generally pretty reliable as any other make if they're maintained properly

IF you have a look through this (Alfa Romeo Cars & Parts For Sale In Ireland.) thread someone here may be selling a 159.

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Originally Posted by cuculainn View Post
Thanks for that.....lots of info there alright

trim levels are still confusing though. alot of the Lusso specs here (in ireland) seem to have fabric and not leather interior.

There is a comprehensive list of problems with the 159, i know any car that is 5-8 years old will have problems, but i wonder how many of the owners here actually have experienced these problems and how many just sit in and drive every day??
Can't comment too much on trim levels apart from saying the ti was generally regarded as being the highest spec but was often listed as a Lusso on the V5. I think there was a 'sport' model available for some markets (with quite a basic spec). The last of the ti's were 'optioned' with part leather, part alcantara seats and 'lost' the standard electric adjustment for front seats (and mirrors I believe).

I think MY09 models onwards were slightly lighter (mainly down to different suspension components I believe).

My 159 is the first Alfa I've owned and after 40K+ miles, I have to say. it's been extremely reliable. That said, it has been very well maintained and has had various things replaced mostly as a preventative measure. For example, the water pump and inlet manifold were replaced at the same time as the cambelt (at great expense) in order to prevent future problems. I also had turbo seal fail which led to the turbo being replaced (again at great expense). I don't put that down as an Alfa Romeo problem. The turbo charger is a Garrett item and they are fitted to lot's of cars!

Oh and I had the front lower wishbone replaced (another expensive job) because the bush was worn out.

I'm told the front subframes suffer from rust which is another big job if replacement is needed. With the under tray in place, inspection is very difficult but the general condition of the car, particularly underneath, should give some clues to subframe condition.

The interior has worn well apart from a small tear in the leather on the drivers seat (by the electric switches). Anyone else experienced this?

At the risk of starting another 'tyre debate', plenty of people complain about front tyres wearing on the inner edges. Standard Alfa geometry is to blame but personally, it's never been a problem to me and I see no point in fitting expensive (and normally very noisy) bushes to provide adjustment to the front suspension. Alfa set the geometry that way for a reason. Changing it must have some impact on handling (and not in a good way IMHO). As I said, I've never had a problem with tyre wear because I simply swap front tyres with rears which enables me to get maximum wear out of each tyre. New tryes go on the rear, front tyres wear out so rears go on the front, then new tyres go onto the rear and so on. I promise you I get even wear from all my tryes as well by doing it this way. Simple Time to pour myself a beer whilst I sit back and wait for another tyre debate
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I'm on my second 159 (had a saloon, but sold it to buy the sportwagon version). Great cars. Very comfy, nice to drive & look great.

Ti trim is the one to go for, but you pay a premium for them (that's part of the reason why you see the price differences). The downside (for some) is a lot of the Ti cars have 19" wheels - some people find the ride is too harsh on such big wheels (I don't). The 19" tyres are very expensive. I've had front suspension parts replaced on both my 159s (maybe this is due to the harsher ride on the 19" wheels). Other than that, no issues.

Engine-wise, if you need a diesel, the 2.0 JTDm is a great engine (from personal experience). 170bhp & only 390 motor tax. That engine was introduced in 2010 (I think). Prior to that, there was a 1.9JTDm. It came in 2 variants - 16v 150bhp or 8v 120bhp. I had the 150bhp version. It was OK, but not a patch on the later 2.0 engine. I'd stay well clear of the 8v version. There was also a 2.4 diesel up to 2009. I haven't driven one, but it had relatively high CO2 emissions, so wouldn't be a great option here.

There were a few different petrol engines, but I haven't driven them so can't comment except to say if you can find one of the very rare 200bhp TBi 1750 engines, that's generally regarded as the best petrol engine (unless you opted for a v6).

As you say, best bet is to test drive a few. I'd consider the UK - esp with current stg exchange rates. Both my 159s were UK imports.
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2010 159 ti Sportwagon 2.0 JTDm
2008 159 ti Saloon 1.9 JTDm
2002 166 Sportivo 2.0 TS
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In my experience, Irish sellers asking for ridiculously low amounts of money for a car know, deep down inside, that it's knackered. Still worth taking a look maybe, sometimes you might find either a good "fixerupper" (I paid my own 159 2700 Euro when it was 7 years old!).

As for the car itself, mine is a 1.9 JTS, so a slightly different thing from the ubiqutuous diesel ones. It's not as slow nor "heavy" a car as many will tell you, although it feels very different from say a 156 - it's much more refined and "dampened", kind of half way between a D and an E segment. Initially you'll be inclined to drive it as if it was a cruise ship, it takes a while to realize how absurdly balanced and rigid the chassis actually is, how much more grip it has compared to even the 156 (I had a LHD 1.8 TS in Italy) and that it can be thrown into corners as if it was a much smaller car. The petrol 1.9 beats a same-era BMW 318i fairly cleanly off the lights, and the JTDm versions are no slouch either, especially the 170hp 2.0; The 2.4 has the pull of a locomotive.

The biggest weakness of the car is the utterly rubbish M32 gearbox, found on the 1.9JTS, 2.2JTS and 1.9JTDm engines. It's a very badly engineered, fragile mess which will most likely last 100k km at best before needing to be taken off and have the bearings replaced. On top of that, it's not very nice to operate - on some cars it's fine, but generally tends to be a bit notchy and slowish. Some even attribute heavy attrition and efficiency issues to it, which while unconfirmed, wouldn't surprise me at all.

So if you test drive a 1.9 Diesel, keep your ear out for a racecar-like "whine" in 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th gear; In general, if you hear any high-pitched sound that depends on the speed the car is traveling at, it most likely needs gearbox work. The 2.0 and 2.4 JTDm engines use a different gearbox, the F40 (on some 2.0 there might be a C635, but I'm told it's rare), which do not suffer from the same issues.
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I'll have a 2011 2.0 JTDm 170 Alfa 159 TI for sale soon, its got the late spec interior with dark dash & 1/2 Alcatara interior and very rare factory bodykit..
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Cuculainn, I bought a 2010 159ti 2.0 JDJM in the UK about three weeks ago, all and all it cost about 10500 car, flight, ferry and VRT. For that money over here I could only find basic models. If you want to explore the UK option I can explain the way I did it, if thats any use to you.
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Cuculainn, I bought a 2010 159ti 2.0 JDJM in the UK about three weeks ago, all and all it cost about 10500 car, flight, ferry and VRT. For that money over here I could only find basic models. If you want to explore the UK option I can explain the way I did it, if thats any use to you.
I want ~ 7k for mine, 2011 TI.
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@kikih, thanks for the info, I might get more details from you but not sure I have time to do all it involves.
@ Troll, where are you selling yours. Have you any pics?... thanks

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Originally Posted by cuculainn View Post
@kikih, thanks for the info, I might get more details from you but not sure I have time to do all it involves.
@ Troll, where are you selling yours. Have you any pics?... thanks

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I haven't advertised it anywhere yet as I can't sell it for a few weeks as my new car hasn't arrived yet;

Here some pics of when it won the Nov 2015 detailing competition

Scroll down to Nov 2015.
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/car-d...l-of-fame.html (Monthly Detailing Competition Hall Of Fame)
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I haven't advertised it anywhere yet as I can't sell it for a few weeks as my new car hasn't arrived yet;

Here some pics of when it won the Nov 2015 detailing competition

Scroll down to Nov 2015.
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/car-d...l-of-fame.html (Monthly Detailing Competition Hall Of Fame)
Nice looking car Troll, I paid the same money for my one but mine doesn't have the bodykit. Searching through the trader sights in the UK that looks like a very good price.
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Nice looking car Troll, I paid the same money for my one but mine doesn't have the bodykit. Searching through the trader sights in the UK that looks like a very good price.

Thanks, looks like my new car will be ready next Thursday so my 159 is now officially for sale... off to write an advert .....
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Ive just bought a 2011 2.0 jtdm sportwagon with lusso spec with 120k miles on and cambelt just done for 4500 and its belting!
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