Dont be afraid of the 1.8
I got a mail from a guy who said that alfa dealers dont have 1.8 testers and none of them know anything about the 1.8 and try and sell the 1.9 diesels instead, anyhow, he asked me for my review as he was thinking of getting one, so here is my review:
ALFA 159 1.8 OWNERS REVIEW: im genuinely happy with it, its a capable engine, I have driven lots of cars as I went through a period of say 3 years where i was always using different pool cars at work, and it has more urge and willing to get to speed than your average mondeo or vauxhall with similar sized engines. Having said that it is what it is, the way i view it i think i get the performance of a 2.0 litre in a 1.8 litre, it is faster than a mondeo 2.0 petrol i owned which was a zetec engine yr 2000 that had 125bhp. Unless you are a "petrol head" who enjoys raw acceleration and the ability to overtake at the drop of a hat and effortlessly, than the engine is fine. In previous cars where the power of the engine is a pain, i just "give up" trying to do anything but potter around like a grandad, its not worth it, but thats definitely not the case with the 159 1.8.
The engine is not the latest technology however, it is not direct injection, but multi point injection. There is also some debate as to whether its exactly the same as a vauxhall vectra 1.8 engine, however having driven a vectra 1.8 i think there must have been some changes made by Alfa. It has the words "twin phaser" on the engine on a plastic plate. "Twin Phaser" is Alfa's term for variable valve timing, but im no expert on such things, i dont know if Twin Phaser is just their term for generic VVT or whether Alfas VVT is different or better to other manufacturers VVT, or whether there truly is Alfa VVT on this engine.
As respect to engine note, I think it sounds nice inside, but I was a bit disappointed when i asked some friends what it sounded like when I "burned off" down the road, and they said "like a car thats trying to go fast", so I guess there is nothing to write home about on the engine note from the outside, but it definitely sounds nicer than your average saloon of a similar engine ilk on the inside, im pretty sure its not just my imagination, like i say ive driven many cars!
The best of course is the handling, the steering is very precise (dont take your eye of the road for a second or you will be in a ditch), i can throw it around at speed through bends and over roundabouts and it feels glued to the road. Of course its exactly the same car in all respects (bar the engine) to the 2.2 jts, your getting a capable and modern and safe sporty saloon with pedigree just with a more day to day engine is all.
Mine has leather interior and 18 inch horse shoe alloys which makes it look very powerful and expensive. I get daily compliments from workmates, and even strangers stop me sometime to pass the time of day enquiring about it, I dont tell them i only paid £17k for it brand new!
By the way let the engine get a few thousand miles under its belt, its much better then, I though I might not get on with it when i drove off from the dealers (might be grandad driving time) but its a different animal now.
MPG is not great if you drive it hard and only do urban you might only get 25 mpg. If your a sensible chap and do some "extra urban" or what ever the term is, think you would get 35 mpg (based on some of the readings ive achieved with motorway driving).
Last edited by Stevie28; 18-04-08 at 19:31.