the good and the bad features on 159 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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the good and the bad features on 159

I've been suggesting my brother to buy a 159 (probably SW) as he is looking for a car of that segment and loves the looks but it's scared of its reputation.

Can you please let me your thoughts on what are the good and the bad features of the Alfa 159 before going to a dealer and ask for a quotation ?

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I've recently bought a 159 SW and I'm very happy with it. Needed something more practical than my 3 series coupe and the SW is a very nice compromise.

I've got a TBi TI and find the ride on the lowered suspension and 19" wheels firm but not too crashy (coming out of a BMW with 19" rims and run flat tyres, its limousine smooth by comparison); I've done about 1,700 miles and the engine is loosening up nicely - it's very torquey so easy to drive in a very relaxed style but when you give it the beans it responds fairly well - for a big car under 8 seconds to 60 is respectable if not great. I've done a few 50 mile journeys with 4 adults on board and everyone's been comfortable - the seats are great and while legroom in the back isn't fantastic behind the driver (I'm 6'4) it's still tolerable. I have to say it's the best looking estate on the road by a huge margin and better than a lot of saloons or sports cars.

I had a few small issues on delivery which the dealer is sorting out - no complaints about the service and the time it's taken to get sorted is partly my own fault.

The fuel economy isn't what it's claimed to be - if your brother is doing high mileages this may be a problem; I do about 1k a month so it's hardly worth worrying about.

Grabbing hold of my wooden desk, I haven't experienced the tyre wear or paint issues which are well publicised on the forum (too new).

This is my first foray into Alfa ownership - I was tempted by the 156 a few years back but the Alfa reputation put me off; this time around with the 159 I took a punt that they'd sorted out a lot of their issues and that I had a 3 year warranty to fall back on if it turns out to be a lemon.

I was out with a couple of friends last week; one knows a lot about cars and complemented me on the choice; the other knows nothing and was making jokes about reliability

Nothing's bulletproof these days - I ran an E Class Merc for 18 months that averaged one trip to the dealer a month for warranty issues and they've got huge issues at the moment with their 4 pot diesels.
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Plenty of threads asking a similar question to yours, here's the most recent.....
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Good: it isn't a VW/BMW/Audi.

Bad: It isn't a Brera.
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Good Points:-
Looks great. Not very common. Much better paint/panel fit than 147/156 era (except perhaps Alfa red). Refined.

Bad Points:-
Seats. Okay if your built like a racing snake. If your brother is slightly on the larger side (as I am) be very wary. Narrow seat bases with high side bolsters = numb feet and sore thighs on journeys longer than 20 minutes. My 30 year old Giulietta is far more comfortable! Very little storage in cabin. Creaky interiors. Tyre wear on Ti. Not as engaging to drive as 147/156. Too heavy so under powered with 1.9 diesel and 1.8 & 1.9 petrol. Q4 too thirsty. Best choices 2.2, TBi, FWD V6 and 2.0 & 2.4 diesel.

All the style and presence you could want. Build quality and refinement gained at cost of driving pleasure/weight/economy. Watch out for the marmite seats!

Last edited by dcystar147; 15-07-10 at 13:34. Reason: Forgot new 2.0 diesel.
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I have a 159 Ti saloon 2.0 Diesel and think it is brilliant - especially the way that thing goes around corners it has done 1700 miles now with no problems at all. The seats do hug you but in my opinion are very comfortable yet supportive.

I had a 1.9 GT before that which was great - but this is just better!

The GT had two problems from new - which was the same as the Mazda I had before it, so in my experiance Alfa are no worse or better than anyone else.

Anyway for the looks and driving experiance I can forgive it that! The 159 has had no problems at all - I suggest you visit a good dealer have a look and drive then decide for yourself.
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I bought my 159 Ti 2.4JTD Saloon wanting a change after mt last 2 530D BMW's (1 saloon 1 Touring). I have never been sorry I made the change. I had it remapped by Gus at Alfatune and I love it. The ride compromise was better than the BMW (except I have spoilt the ride by putting Koni's on it) it is far comfier. The BMW used to make my left leg ache. Only at idle do I really notice the difference from the BMW. I have now covered 14000 miles and the only fault was that the heated front seats were not plugged in. The paintwork is fine, the tyre wear is more than acceptable (still on original contis 235/19s) especially as it now puts out in excess of 250 bhp.
The economy improves as it loosens up.

Minus points: - I miss the extra space inside that the BMW had and it is woefully short on oddments space. The carpet is of poorer quality.

Oh another point get used to coming back to it and seeing people looking around it !
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If it's a new one, delivery lead times are pretty shocking at 12-16 weeks, but I gather that VW, Audi and Mercedes are even worse at the moment.

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With the TBi the cabin is a very quiet place to be until you get up to motorway speeds when tyre roar becomes an issue; the stereo is good at drowning it out - although I do wonder what I'm doing to my ears - when I've got home from a trip on the motorway the stereo seems deafeningly loud the next morning!
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(They're bloody good cars and reliable, but frankly we don't want them to become common. I prefer them as a well kept secret).
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Ti is the best trim for 159 after Lusso with 18" horseshoes alloys. Surprisingly, i have never seen one with an Italian or French plates during my recent tour in north Italy and accross France after Milan event.

Issues? of course there are issues and that is what you would expect with true and natural imperfection. Otherwise go for TOYOTA!! :-)
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The normal advice - have a long test drive over roads that you know well - in particular ones with poor or coarse surfaces, and borrow for a weekend if possible (which I didn't). Then don't buy without a massive discount (which I did).

Good features - styling - driving position - low engine and wind noise. Bad - grossly overweight and all that ensues, minor controls fiddly, very sensitive to road noise. Alfa tried to build in Germanic solidness, forgot to check the build weight (easy on Catia - their CAD system iirc) and as a result lost out on the joie de vivre of earlier models
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I have a 159SW Ti 3.2 Q4 QTronic. Standard with xenons, rear parking sensors, sunroof.

Good: uncommon, styling, presence; AWD grip is awesome; great compromise of ride comfort and handling; quiet, solid, refined; front seat comfort and electric with memory settings; brakes; QTronic works really well; relaxed, comfortable motoring

Not so good: high rear load lip; boot not huge (quite adequate, but easily gobbled up by dogs, luggage, and soon to be pram); expensive tyres; limited storage bins and pretty useless cupholder

Absolutely no regrets. Love it (as I do with my other Alfas). First car (ever) I've felt uncompelled to modify/tune; not to say I couldn't improve it with an exhaust, remap and high flow cats; but it's perfectly good as-is, including the suspension (which is usually the weakness I find in any car). But hence, it's the most complete car I've owned.

GT . 3.2 . Q2 . Kyalami Black - Red . Eibach . KONI . ASSO . ATP 19" . TAROX . FERODO . Mille Miglia exhaust
155 . 2.0 8V TS . Grigio Grey - Grey . H&R coilover . Enkei 17" . TAROX . GOODRIDGE . REMUS
75 . 3.0 . Alfa Red - Grey
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Only problem's I have ever had with my 159 SW is to do with the EGR or DPF which is easly fixed, but that said its common to every other make.

118k now and going strong still feels like new, have to fight the wife to drive it, as she likes it better then her BMW.

The Alfa makes the BMW feel really cheap on the inside considering the premium price for the BM.

The 159 is probally the most reliable alfa there has ever been so if your going to dip your toe in and buy one it makes sence to get one of these.
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40+ mpg - At least twice that of my previous (petrol) Alfas
22,000 mile servicing interval
Practical 4 door saloon
Gorgeous TI spec sports interior
Best of all: Italian good looks

Italian build quality - Don't get me wrong it's not falling apart- but lacks solidity of German counterparts
Quirky Alfa niggles - e.g. Whirring Air con fan ; Stupid media player autoplayer at full volume on start up.
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Originally Posted by nuvolablue View Post
Stupid media player autoplayer at full volume on start up.
I found that annoying too until I found the settings in the sound menu of the radio. :-)
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I've had mine just over a week, love it to bits, a huge leap forward from the 147 I drove for 10 years.
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Good - best looking car on he road and still exclusive
Bad - Shyte DPF & EGR nonsense that ruin the engine over time and pull your mpg down.
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Good: fantastic looking, exclusive, you feel good driving it, B&Me is very good, as a family car the SW is great too, very well equiped in Lusso and Ti spec, nothing comes close except a Mazda6 Sport for the 'toys' included as standard.

Bad: Lousy Alfa Red paint, some rattles already from dash, mpg could be better but improving with miles on the clock, DPF regens are a pain in a**e and ruin you economy (as Mikeyw said).

I am on number 3 so I must like them..........roll on no.4 (I dream of a Ti )

Vauxhall Corsa SXi -147 1.6 TS Lusso - 156 1.8 TS - 159 2.4 JTDm Lusso SW - 159 1.9 JTDm Lusso saloon - 159 1.9 JTDm Lusso SW - 159 2.0 JTDm Ti SW - VW Golf TDi - Fiat Bravo Multijet Sport - Fiat Punto Evo GP & Volvo V70 SE Lux - Fiat Punto Evo GP & Skoda Superb Estate L&K DSG
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Does any of the above answer your question OP?
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GOOD: head turning looks, superb diesel engines, decent build quality, 5 star safety, hip hugging leather seats, stylish/sporty alluminium interior, exhaust note, and on top of that its an Alfa Romeo.

BAD: rattles from dash, regular alfa niggles, alfa red paint despite looking awesome isnt very practical.
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Don't buy one!! you'll be stared at all the time everywhere you go. Have a silly grin on your face as you drive here & there (mostly there ) , have to queue to get into your own car..

have endless pictures taken of your car by strange people...

But my number one reason for you not buying a 159 is...I want to remain exclusive...nothing to see here, move along please...

Apart from my ravings, they are an excellent of luck....
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Graham P
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Good points - fairly quick, very safe, well built, fantastic looks, great/comfortable interior, practical, sounds good, 4WD

Bad Points - Too many doors ( I want a Brera but family too big )
Status: She looks good, but tries my patience...
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A fair list above, but:
Good: looks, seats (if you're not wide)
Bad: Q4 transmission backlash/whines, 3.2 Q4 fuel hungry (<18mpg!), so buy one of the diesel 2WDs! And don't expect everything to work accurately - just got stranded with 1/8 indicated on the gauge. Not amused!
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159 , bad , features , good

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