i changed to a 159TI 2.54, from a GT blackline JTD 3 months ago. The TI is my 7th alfa.
the 159 is the closest i have found, from alfa, that feels like a well screwed together product. i had numerous 156's(inc GTA) GTV cup, 147GTA and all of them, including the GT fall way short of the 'feel' of the 159. The GT was fantastic, but did feel like a last generation car. Rememebr the dash, came out of the 147! the chassis is from a 156 sportwagon! these are parts 10 years old, clothed in a very sexy body, yes, but with all of the older generation car's wobbly assets.
The GT felt light, and sprightly. But the 159 feels like a lump of pig iron, very similar feel to BMW M sport cars(i have had 2) with more grip than you would believe.
As for the interior, the GT was a lovely place to be(even with a 10 year old dash-just shows how good a design it is) but the 159 is a gorgeous place to be also.
head turners? the GT blackline certainly did turn heads(again, for what is basically a 7 year old design-well impressive) but more people look at the 159. although, they seem to be a different set of people. I reckon it's more germon company car saloon drivers that stare at the TI. probably wishing they could get out of their bore wagons, into something with flair.
Initially i was dissapointed with my TI. in terms of it's weighty feel(something i never really enjoyed in my BMW's) however, I have now realised, that it is a much comfortable way to travel, more sure footed, much less kickback through the wheel, and alfa has finally made a car ride well on english roads!
even on the TI's outrageous 19's
'07 GT Blackline JTD, but a 159TI 2.4 on its way very shortly!