I am new to the forum, but have been reading through the many posts with interest, as I am in the process of evaluating the 159 and my intention is/was to buy a late 159 2.0 JTDm Lusso.
Being new to Alfa, as with many I have reservations about taking the plunge and actually buying one based upon perceived brand reliability. If you look to the internet for feedback, you predominantly get doom and gloom with various issues and reliability problems being reported.
I do take some of this with a pinch of salt, as typically people only write about things when they go wrong. I came across the Alfa Owner forum and hoped to find some great feedback around the real Alfa experience. I think I have for the most part, but it hasn’t swayed my reservations about buying an Alfa. If anything, talk of rattles, suspension wear, ECU problems, low clutch and tyre life expectancy combined with poor fuel economy is far from given me the warm feeling I was seeking.
I know this is covering old ground to some extent as many people ask for buying advise, but I’ve not found much around the new 2.0 JTDm 159. I hope to gain some feedback from owners who’ve been running this type for the last year or so and to make a decision on which way to turn.
I’m off to drive one this weekend so will have many questions for the sales person, but there’s nothing like hearing from the actual drivers.
Hi Tin, and welcome to AO.
I think you've correctly identified some of the major drawbacks to internet forums when seeking information. As you say, few people are motivated to visit a forum to chat about how reliable their car is, so poor feedback doesn't get balanced out.
I'd also say that whilst of course only the individual can decide what is important or otherwise in their decision-making and ownership evaluation, the issues that tend to crop up are not really very serious.
The new generation of Alfas (159, Brera, Giulietta, MiTo) are well put together and rarely go wrong in a major way. Even when you look at "Britain's best and worst" type surveys (which Alfa has just performed very well in) the gap between "best" and "worst" is rarely that great.
The issues you list seem to relate to earlier Alfas; ECU failure, suspension failure and the like should not trouble the average 159 owner. Tyre-wear, yes, but that is extremely easy to remedy in my experience - just have the caster and camber settings adjusted to the revised guidance from Alfa. My own Brera, running 19" wheels, has no tyre-wear issues at all.
The dreaded windscreen / dashboard "squeak" is now understood by the dealers and is easily sorted with a silicone spray.
Occasionally, some have reported the clutch pedal staying low, and the steering rack having issues but again I don't think this represents a high number of owners. The bad cases get highlighted.
Fuel consumption can be poor, so that is a consideration if you're doing high mileages.
I think most on here, however, would not state that they regret their Alfa-buying decision. As for me, I have only driven a 159 on a couple of occasions, but my Brera has now got 45,000 miles on it and it has been truly fantastic. It's quick, it handles nicely, it has never, ever broken down or shown me a warning light of any kind. It lost a bit of coolant due to a plug leaking in the front water rail, this was remedied by the dealer with no questions and nothing since has been an issue.
To add to this, I ran a 166 to over 70,000 miles and it was fine apart from a lazy central locking motor on the passenger door, and my current 156 motorway car has 118,500 miles on it and is absolutely fine. It needs front suspension wishbones, but after ten years and nearly 120,000 miles I can live with that...!