159 lease nearly up – 3 year summary
First of all a big thanks to everyone on this forum – I haven’t contributed much but have been a regular reader and the ‘vibe’ I got when considering an Alfa certainly influenced my decision. One or two of the horror stories were a concern but they were far outweighed by the passion and devotion shown by everyone.
I had no history of Alfa ownership and have driven company cars for over 20 years but from days of the 155 and 164 I have always admired the look / style of Alfa’s but been unable to get one.
3 years ago the company leasing policy improved and after getting ‘domestic approval’ for committing to considerably higher lease / tax costs I went for a 1.9 diesel Lusso SW. So what’s it been like?
1 – it has been back to the dealers more times than any car I have ‘owned’. The worst was being off the road for 5 days waiting for an EGR valve, other visits have been necessary for steering lock, parking sensors, tailgate catch and wing mirror mechanism. Obviously none of these cost me anything but the inconvenience and lost working time are an issue
2 – economy – even on decent motorway runs at 70/75 the best I achieved was 44 and my average has been 38mpg.
3. – poor low speed driveability, after nearly 3 years I can still find it difficult to drive smoothly in urban stop / start conditions (I now think this may be a problem with my car because I’ve recently had a loan car with same engine that was better)
4. – service regime – if I was paying this would be an issue so its worth noting. Since I do low mileage it got an annual service at about 12k, the second annual at 23k then at 29k the diagnostics said it needed an oil / filter change (due to degradation during low mileage / winter conditions?). After getting that done, 1k later the diagnostics said it needed a service!!
1. Western Edinburgh have dealt with everything above efficiently and courteously (but lack of stock / unavailability of parts prolonged some of the work)
2. On the open road it is the most comfortable / relaxing car I have ever driven – the physical ride and quality of seats are first class
3. Cabin build quality is excellent – no squeaks or rattles (apart from tailgate rattle which after third ‘fix’ has just re-appeared)
4. The looks – after 3 years I still turn around to look after I park it and get pleasure pressing the remote when I go back to it when other people are around (very sad I know)
5. The bit that is impossible to explain as I’ve never experienced it before – the ‘feel good factor’ that it gives, the feeling that you are driving something special that makes you stand out from the crowd.
It’s a measure of the overall experience that I feel guilty and apologetic for not getting another one. In 25 years it’s the only time I’ve considered replacing with another of the same model but a combination of the thought of driving the same car for 7 years (we’ve changed to 4 year leasing), size (not quite big enough for my needs) and concerns over durability (note: durability not reliability!) have sent me down a different route.
I almost regret to say (and will probably repeat every time I see a 159) that I’ve ordered an Audi A6. I realise that getting an Audi should result in a ban and abuse but can I still visit here because the Audi owners forum is dismal!
I’ve been bitten by the Alfa bug so I’m trying to convince the good lady to get a Mito and in 4 years time hopefully there’ll be 159/166 replacement to lust after so I’m sure I’ll return.