Looks as if I've joined the 159 1.9JTDM shockingly bad fuel consumption club...
I know you've all been waiting with bated breath for the next instalment of this story. You haven't? Well tough, because I'm going to tell you anyway.
Turned up at Meridien Bournemouth on Friday as arranged to swap my 159 for their demo for the day. After agreeing that the mpg I'd been getting was way below what I should see, they'd promised when I saw them over a week ago to run some checks on my car to see if there's anything wrong with it, though I told them it was running OK. I'd phoned first to check that the demo was still available, and was rather surprised when Service Manager Rob Stanford told me they were so busy in the workshop that day, that they wouldn't be able to look at my car after all, which made the whole exercise rather pointless, why had they asked me to bring my car in then? When I arrived, Salesman Oliver handed me the keys to their 159 1.9 demo, no forms or signatures needed, didn't even want to see my licence. Oliver was pretty busy himself, but promised to try my car if he got a chance (he didn't). I drove off in the nice Alfa red saloon, it seemed just a bit more urgent in traffic than my admittedly slightly heavier SW, but I wasn't too impressed by the way it felt on 17" rims and 50 section Bridgestone Potenzas, I've got 18" with 45 section Pirellis, and they clearly make more of a difference than I'd realised, far more precise. I sped off down the A31 at my usual 75ish towards Romsey, then after lunch returned by the more scenic route through Fordingbridge and Wimborne. I drove just as I normally would, fairly gently, but not quite 'economy run' stuff. I got back to Meridien with just under 41mpg showing on the computer, better than I'd have got from my own car, which has done almost double the miles of the demo, but not a huge difference, so it didn't really tell us very much at all. My car hadn't turned a wheel, hadn't been touched at all in fact, so more or less a waste of everyone's time in every way. I've always got good mpg figures with every other car I've owned, and as always there's the comparison with my similarly engined Saab, which was treated exactly the same, but got about ten extra miles from each gallon of diesel. I still feel that my 159 is underperforming in this area, but there doesn't seem to be much that I or Meridien or Alfa can (or will) do about it. I don't think my driving style can be at fault here, and as I said in my previous post, I've hardly ever seen as much as 40mpg from my otherwise lovely 159, even when tootling around rural France on holiday last year, so what's the answer?