Last weekend (25th April) I collected my MY08 159 SW 1.9JTD from Guest in Solihull. Since then I've clocked just about 1000 miles, I wont normally do those miles but with the drive home to West Sussex and this weekend a trip down to the West Country has allowed me to get to know my 'new' car. This has also allowed me to drive on just about every type of road there is. One thing is for sure, the Romans never got to Dorset or Somerset! From Blanford Forum to the A303 was, as those who know the route, is just one continual series of twists, that's great until you get stuck behind someone draging a tin tent!
So what are my first impressions? Ooooooooooooooo! Its loverly! It has taken a bit of getting used too which surprises me as I can normally get into a car and be at home,especially as the engine is the same as my last car, a SAAB 93 1.9 Tid.
Two of the burning issues with the diesel 159 seems to be fuel consumption and tyre wear. Firstly fuel consumption, today the 'puter says 42.7 MPG. When I filled up brim to brim it was reading 41.9 mpg, and that is exactly what the calculator worked it out to be, spot on! Now how does that compare to the SAAB? Don't forget same engine and I had 70k miles of history with that car. Well those think their 47 mpg SAAB is doing what it says on the tin, are, I'm afraid deluded! Brim to brim checks over the years on my SAAB worked out at between 43 and 45 mpg, so no huge difference. I think and it is only my opinion, that on the Alfa the 'average' is calculated over a short period. Whilst on the SAAB it is over a much longer period, in fact on my previous SAAB it was recommended that the average was reset every 1 - 2K.
Its also already been suggested that some manufactures are over optimistic with their driver data. One other thing that was in error on the SAAB was the speado reading, checked with a GPS 77mph was in fact 70, 10% out! Factor that into the fuel figures and they are out even further. I haven't checked the accuracy of the Alfa speado yet.
To sum up so far, I would say that Alfa are just a bit more honest about their driver data and the computer readings are more accurate, nothing wrong with that except that if other manufactures are 'telling porkies' then some of us might feel short changed.
One last note on diesel fuel consumption, and this is based on 16 years experience of owning a variety of diesel powered cars. firstly. you will only get poor consumption until the car has done 10K, then it improves and settles down about 20k. The other thing, if you are switching from petrol to diesel, don't red line it, you achieve nothing, get to know where max torque is in your rev range, too many revs above that are wasted, change up earlier than you ever would with a petrol engine. Not trying to teach gran to suck eggs but it may help some.
On the tyre issue, the fronts will need changing soon, the car is coming up to 16k on Pirrelli P zeros, not bad compared to the 12K I used to get.
Do I have any niggles? Yes. The car pulls slightly to the near side, more than it should, tyre wear is even, so that is strange. The other niggle is a squeak or rattle from the nearside rear, sometimes, thought it was the exhaust but now I'm not sure. Any ideas on this would be most welcome.
Finally. I was telling a friend that I had bought an Alfa Romeo, as some others may have experienced, he started to take the 'P' about reliability etc. Very concerned, I said to him "So what problems did you have with your Alfa then?", "Oh, I've never owned one", he said, "Ah!" said I "As I suspected"!