159 - End of term review
Iím an occasional poster on here and enjoy using it as a source of reference for my car/s.
I wanted to give an honest end of term review of my 159 as itís going back next week after 3 years and 35,000 miles. I am fortunate in that I can pretty much choose any (sensible) car I like provided they arenít overly expensive to lease and the emissions are low. We also have a diesel pump at work so they also have to be derv. Starting at the beginning I went originally to Mangoletsi to enquire after 2 Breraís 2.4Jtdmís (a colleague took an Alfa at the same time as me) and after investigations into various aspects of the deal we couldnít go forward with the Breraís mainly due to emissions being so high. We then changed tack and I selected a 159 1.9 Jtdm Lusso and the other car he took ended up being a GT Q2 (nice car). I wanted the 159 as the chassis to me felt a good bit better than the GT and to be honest I preferred the looks. I chose the Lusso spec over the TI spec simply because I wanted red leather seats, which seems trivial but Iím quite happy I did. I felt it would be a nice contrast to the white paintwork. I think my car was one of the first Ghiacco white 159ís that were available in the UK and it was also one of the revised 09 models with slightly less weight etc. I didnít add much else other than larger horseshoe wheels and a few nice bits in the cabin as the Lusso spec is quite good anyway. Iíve since seen more white 159ís but all in the TI spec and non with red seats. Not many cars where you can honestly say Iíve never seen one in the same spec. Itís attracted plenty of comments (favourable) over the 3 years and Iíve even had a Ferrari owner compliment me on it. I always like to have something a bit different from the norm even with a Ďnormalí class of car and the 159 is a really great leftfield choice and I donít regret it one bit.
I had previously had a Lexus IS220d which has a notoriously laggy engine and is extremely high geared so the Alfa lump came as a nice contrast being quite linear and nice to drive at low revs. Not the quickest but quite nice. The car was remapped after 6 months which obviously yielded improvements to the driveability of the car and ran without hiccup for the first year. I have to say at this stage as I donít pay for fuel (well I do via my tax code) that the consumption wasnít that important to me, but I can say that it is significantly better than the Lexus and generally runs in the high 30ís low 40ís. The car was then tweaked a bit further with the Mangoletsi boost mod and induction setup (we donít need to debate the evils of Mangoís here) yielding further improvements in driveability and probably now producing around 190-200bhp and has been in this tune for the remainder of my time with the car. However I recently had the induction kit taken off and throttle response is not quite as good as it was. The car has been serviced more regularly than Alfa recommends not least because I work for an oil company, so regular oil changes were done in addition to the prescribed visits. The car has never let me down and always feels a nice place to sit. Handling is pretty good and certainly doesnít feel any less competent than a A4 or 3 series in general give and take driving. The only real issue I have had with the car was fairly recently when the clutch started to slip. It was replaced under warranty without much quibble, otherwise it has been perfect and far better reliability wise than my two previous cars (Lexus & Audi). Iíve really enjoyed my time with the car and during this time we leased a GT cloverleaf for my wife which again was 100% reliable in the 2 years we ran it. I am collecting its replacement next week and am happy to continue with the brand as I will be running a nice spec Giulietta for 2-3 years. I donít see it as a step down (nor should it be as it costs 4k more than the 159) and the chassis and general feel of the car is excellent and to be honest does make the 159 feel its age.
If anyone sees a white 159 with red leather on the market in the next month I can vouch for its provenance and how well itís been looked after.