About a year ago my heart told me to start looking for a 159 ti Sportwagon. After reading negatives about the car on various forums (DPF, MPG & tyre wear), my head didn't have a say in the matter and a couple of weeks ago I purchased a spec'd up 2-litre diesel model.
I too do somewhere between 15K & 20K a year and ruled out petrol & the 2.4 engines straight away; solely focusing in the ti spec cars. Having 'auditioned' quite a few, to me, I could feel a difference between the 1.9 and the 2.0 engines, so I held out until a spec'd up 2nd hand car came onto the market that suited my needs and believe that I paid (just) under book for it...if it was standard ti spec. The car was from an Alfa Romeo franchise dealer...and all of the dealers that I spoke to, mentioned that the price of the cars aren't really moving that much on the second hand market - at one point last year, the prices according to the 'guides' increased!!! Don't get me wrong re my comments about the performance difference between the 1.9 and the 2.0 diesel engines; although I went for a 2-litre, the 1.9 is a great motor - part-ex'd an 80K+ SAAB with the same 1.9-litre engine in it against the 159, that served me well with no issues.
Going back to you prices, just checked Parkers on a 1.9 JTDm TI Sportwagon; - 15k part-ex for an 09/09 model, with a franchise dealer moving it on for £18,350; this is usual for the majority of cars, no matter who the manufacture is :-(
Re specific trim level choice; although I, like many, believe that the 159 Sportwagon is the best looking 'estate' on the market and in my eyes one of the best looking cars out there too, in ti trim, it just enhances the car more (apologies to owners of non-ti 159s). Tyres are a main concern for me, however, read through the forum more and a wealth of information can be found. Was reading this earlier (http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...rect-data.html
) and put my mind to rest :-)
For me, ti was the way to go and although only two weeks into ownership, haven't looked back...well, apart from when leaving the car and taking a sneaky glance at it over my shoulder! The car just looks awesome on 19" rims and ti lowered suspension - it even rides well in this spec too.