AO Platinum Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: United Kingdom
County: South Lanarkshire
Re: Considering a 159 - help and advice wanted
Base model is Turismo, next is Lusso. Ti is "sport" spec (big wheels, lowered suspension). The didn't start making the Ti until late 2007. This car will hold its value best and is unlikely to be in your price range (if you find one that is, be very careful about buying it).
Five engines available 1.8, 2.2 and 3.2V6 JTS (all petrol) and 1.9 & 2.4 JTDm (diesel). A 1.9 petrol was also evailable in the early models - not agreat engine by all accounts.
Chances are in your budget you are talking about a 56 or 07 spec model unless you go for low spec or high mileage. It should still have lots of toys including electric everything, decent stereo and 17" alloys. All cars have dual zone climate control.
Rear parking sensors and leather are standard on Lusso models. If you can find a car with Blue&Me, take it. This is the media management system and connects to your phone and MP3 player.
Satnav is an added extra and is quite rare. From what I hear the Alfa system ain't great anyway. That and the fact you can't have it and Blue&Me means it's best avoided.
Early cars had some quality issues, most of which have been resolved. Common problems included:
rattle from windscreen (remove and replace windscreen to fix)
rattle from rear view mirror
problems with 2.4 diesel engine (EGR valves, inlet manifold and particulate filter)
Problems with 2.2JTS - poor power delivery at low revs
Ongoing issues with some (not all) cars include heavy front tyre wear and poor fuel consumption. From an economic persepctive (if that's an important factor) the 1.8JTS and 1.9JTDm are probably the most frugal by far. Neither are likely to be heavy on tyre wear and the 1.9 has the best fuel consumption.
For pure performance the 2.4JTDm and 3.2V6 are hard to beat.
Try to avoid base models with plastic and fabric trim - they just don't look half as good as Lusso trimmed cars.
Overall the car is a joy to own, although maybe a little on the expensive side. It's comfortable, classy and rare.
Get a well specced car with a full history and warranty and you won't be disappointed.