159 1.8 MPI - thoughts from a new owner
I've recently bought a black 159 1.8 MPI sedan. It was first registered in early Feb 2009 and had about 30k km on the clock. I found this forum useful when doing some research so I wanted to add some initial views to those existing. I have to say the reason I wanted a 159 because I think it's a design classic, and still a head turner some 5 years after coming to the market.
I knew the 1.8 GM sourced engine was not going to be a stunning performer given the weight of the car and that has proved to be the case. That said it hasn't been a disapointment. Acceleration is certainly modest but working the car quickly into the higher gears while keeping the revs in check is easy and certainly aids fuel consumption.
After buying the car I've taken it on a long trip between Amsterdam and the Austrian Alps (11 hrs driving time with some pit stops). It was fully loaded with kids and gear for a two week holiday. The car has proved to be a very comfortable motorway cruiser, and easily capable of holding it's end up on the autobahn's. With kids in the car I generally drive in a relaxed mode so depending on traffic kept it at around 140 km/h. According to the gauge I'm averaging 8 ltrs / 100km. Given the weight of the car and the load that's not too bad. Handling is reasonably precise if not up to BMW standards which are usually my benchmark. The weight of the car is apparent but provides a sense of comfort with the family on board.
Around town it's an easy car to drive with fuel consumption around 8.5 ltrs which again is ok. The interior controls are working fine and still give me a slight buzz when I have a glance around them from a design perspective. I wanted a car with leather seats as when looking around parts of the cloth interiors were showing signs of wear quite early it their lives.
Thus far I'm really happy with the car overall. I won't buy a diesel in an Alfa so engine choice is limited. If you want a 159 with a petrol engine and performance isn't your main concern then the 1.8 is a good bet. The last 159's with the 1.8 engine had a number of steel parts replaced with aluminium saving about 40kg in weight - every kg counts ! The 1750 Tbi is certainly more of a drivers engine performace wise but I'll sit on the 1.8 for a bit.