Re: Bye bye baby, baby bye bye... the love affair is over
I'd be happy to share my experiences. First of all I traded a 320d MSport Saloon with 98k miles on the clock for a brand new 159Ti 2.4 JTD. I was taken with the looks and sound and levels of kit but always had a nagging doubt about the ownership experience in terms of reliability.
I bought it from Piccadilly Motors in Harrogate. The purchasing experience was rewarding and I felt I got a good deal. I also expected to have one or two teething items as it was a brand new car.
However, I didn't expect the number of issues. I didn't expect the issues to involve replacing suspension arms (I'm not a mechanic but that sounds like a pretty serious thing to replace on a new car covering motorway miles). I also didn't expect to have new issues following visits to the dealer (e.g. I misfuelled the car - my fault - but the tank was faulty when replaced so there was a driveway covered in diesel the next morning). I also didn't expect some of my items not be resolved (the rattles and buzzes were never really sorted) despite an AR Technical bod spending time with it. I also didn't expect the horrific tyre wear (or the apparent complete lack of traction control) or the poor economy (over quoted as I expected to lose some over the 320d).
Essentially, the reason I changed back (at significant personal cost!) to a BMW was that I had lost confidence in the brand (and really missed the completely trouble free motoring I've experienced with my last 3 BMW 3 Series). I may have had a "lemon" as suggested by other posters, or I may have had too high expectations. Both ARUK (Sam Brandon) and the Dealer Principal were pretty resolute (although always polite and reasonable) in stating that they felt I didn't have a case for a returning the car as it was fit to drive.
I was under significant pressure from my manager to resolve the situation as it is a business tool and I cover a lot of miles so when I picked the car up and I still had the same rattles and one or two more new ones I thought enough was enough and sold it the very next day.
I bought a 325d saloon. It comes as standard with auto headlights and wipers (which really do work exceptionally well!), cruise control with braking function (which is very good), remote steering controls, bluetooth and metallic paint. It does 0-62 in 7.4s and yet I've already achieved 47mpg on a combined journey of 150+miles. It also does 20,000 between services (which are about half the price of the Alfa service costs!).
I miss the Alfa looks and style but I don't have time for that if the car is trouble. I'm really starting to enjoy a car that is great to drive, cheap to run and no hassle.
My preference was to have an Alfa 159Ti that worked. My wife was not pleased to be on the hunt for cars again!
As I said earlier I hope the next replacement for the 159 is as a great a leap forward as the 159 was over the 156. It's close but no cigar.
As to whether I'll ever get into an Alfa again...at my age (37) I'm more likely to go for a Porsche aren't I! Well, once I start to lose my hair anyway.
So, in summary, despite the experience I'm not bitter to ARUK or the Dealership I think that the Alfa just wasn't for me. I couldn't put up with it. I think AR are really trying hard to improve and have but still the BMW is better in every area except styling.
Hope that helps.