As of 3 weeks (or so) ago, I sold my beloved 156 V6 (phase 1)
and purchased a 159 JTS
I was originally looking for a 1.9 lusso for the obvious fuel economy, but there was a 2.2 in the exact combo i wanted in an Alfa garage, so went for a test drive on the proviso that it had a 'half' decent return on the mpg (30+) which it did
(35 ish IIRC)
The biggest suprise...
....was the dealership
, boy have they changed! I was expecting the worst, but was treated spectacularly well, sat down, had a chat, called me 'sir', all on a very professional and yet friendly manner, discussed what i wanted to pay and have done and nothing was too much, felt like i was buying a new car! 9/10 (only a 9 as they only changed 3/4 tires, is that dangerous?
New car: 2.2JTS Lusso, Black with Tan leather
Previous car: 156 2.5V6 Veloce, Silver with Black Leather (and before that had a 1.8TS)
The cabin is smaller than it looks in pictures, not a bad thing though, i prefer it, cabin quality and fit and finish is better, it rides better over bumps, less noise in the cabin and the aircon compressor is quiet too. No longer has any rattles from any trim (although this is the lowest mileage car I have ever owned), only problem so far is that the oil temp stays at 70 and doesn't move
, the engine performs well, sounds nice (but not V6 nice) and pulls evenly throughout the rev range, so far delivering 30mpg+ on every trip with mixed driving. The boot is bigger, steering not quite as sharp as the 156, but grips levels are on par, and i think it has a better turning circle which makes it easier to park.
looks in and out, brushed aluminum center console, build quality, tan leather seats etc etc
Got the dreaded 2.2 hesitation, I'm getting use to it, but will get it 'fixed'
Noisy Gearbox, goes into gear fine, but is very 'mechanical' sounding
Paint is a little on the soft side (a finger nail would scratch it)
What I miss from the 156:
The engine more than anything, sorry, but you can't beat a Alfa V6 (looks, sound and performance)
The rear hidden door handles, it was a nice touch.
Lightness of the car, you feel the weight a bit more in the 159, not as bad as expected however!
All in all this car reminds me of when i first got my twinny 156 (my first Alfa), can't stop looking at it, getting in it and looking forward to driving it, not to mention the comments and looks the car gets. Its very different from the 156, like me, its more mature and grown up, whilst the 156 was more lively and sportier IMHO, just wish i could of kept my 156 V6 as well.
Sorry for the long (and possibly the longest) post i have ever written