Potential move from 156 to Brera/159 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 5 Old 25-06-10 Thread Starter
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Potential move from 156 to Brera/159

I am seriously contemplating a move from my 156 to the Brera/159.

I love the quick steering of the 156, the agility and the engine note (for what is basically a medium sized 4 pot petrol), I very much buy cars on feel and hence my previous preference for British/Italian cars.

Now this is where my quandry comes into play.

I have driven a standard Brera (2.2) and found it noticeably different to the 156/GT generation cars I am used to. The gearbox was heavier, the performance muted and a move towards a germanic feeling of safety rather than agility, but it retained the Alfa attention to detail inside and out, and has that little more magic than it's german counterparts.

So I think being in my mid 20's, the Brera is probably the option for me, however I do love the 159 in a dark colour with tan leather (especially in TI trim).

I would probably be looking at the earlier cars, simply because they have had more time to depreciate and I want to protect myself a little from future drops.

What are owners view of the following :-

1) Does the 2.2 loosen up with age?
2) If anyone has driven the 3.2 and 2.2, how do the two units compare performance wise?
3) Is it the same trick with the 156/GT generation car, whereby I found the 3.0 offered very similar fuel economy to the 2.0, due to the need to push the 2.0 a bit?
4) What engine is the pick of the range? (both in Brera/159 guise)
5) What common faults should I be looking out for on both, having followed some of the threads since the 159/Brera release, I remember seeing :-

2.2 - Some chains can stretch, 2.4 - DPF issues, 3.2 - trouble free?

Steering Racks develop play with age and the early Brera's had a wobbly seat?

Tyre wear

How does the suspension stand up on the 159/Brera?


Current Italian Cars:-
2004 Alfa Romeo GT 2.0 JTS
Previous Italian Cars :-
2003 Maserati 4200 Cambiocorsa
2006 Alfa Brera 2.2 SV JTS
1999 Alfa Romeo 156 2.4 JTD
2005 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 JTS Veloce
2004 Alfa Romeo GT 1.9 JTD
2001 Alfa Romeo GTV 3.0 V6 Lusso
2002 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 JTS
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I can answer Question 1)

The 2.2 is a totally different beast when the miles are added. The engine becomes free revving, loose and agile as well as much quicker. It is a wonderful wonderful engine with 20K+ miles on it.
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I think you need to drive a few, for some extended test drives. Personally, I'd have the 159 2.4 and immediatly get rid of the DPF, EGR and get it remapped, for both performance and protection from swirl actuator and DPF problems later down the line. If you can only afford an early 159 3.2, the 156 GTA must be a serious contender as well - they are pretty much depreciation-proof now, and although more expensive to fuel than a remapped 2.4 159, not by and awful lot. The 159 3.2 is in a league above the GTA in terms of fuel consumption, and a league below in the performance stakes, although the 159 will be quicker on the rough back roads unless the GTA has been fitted with uprated shocks & springs.

Personally, I couldn't live with the fuel consumption of the Q4 and I don't really think there is enough power to warrant 4-wheel drive, so the next quickest (or, perhaps it actually is the quickest?) would be my pick which is a remapped 2.4. In terms of the Brera, I would go for the limited edition Brera S if possible, and 3.2 vs the 2.2 it would have to be the V6, which is FWD only in the Brera S so 100kg lighter and about 30bhp more makes it through the transmission.

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I moved from a 4 pot 156 to a new 3.2 Q4 Brera last year.

After driving the 2.2 version, I was sufficiently underwhelmed to avoid that spec. The 156 JTS 2.0 in comparison felt far more agile, tractable and quicker.

The new range is very solid and planted, no doubt due to its weight. Much better build quality than the 156.

The 3.2 does drink excessively but IMO sounds and performs better than all other variants. If buying a 3.2, try and get a 2008 model onwards as apparently in the earlier 159/Breras you couldn't fill the car to full. Something to do with an incorrectly shaped fuel tank.

Good luck.
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Thanks for the info lads.

Looks like everyone prefers their own cars/specs (nothing surprising there :P)

Think the best bet is to head out and take some for a drive ...such a chore - NOT

PS: Thanks for info in fuel tank, had forgotten about that.
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