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(Post Link) post #1 of 5 Old 04-06-13 Thread Starter
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New to alfa and considering a 159 Ti 2.4


I'm currently driving a 2008 BMW 320D msport - it's a great all around package - great drive, comfortable but not soft, well build, looks great and great bang for buck. I'm considering a change and was struggling to find a replacement within reasonable cost until I saw a 159 Ti - lovely looking car both inside and out - I'm in Ireland so would be looking to import a 2.4 from the UK as there is more choice and likely better cars.

Problem is that I know nothing about the 159 or Alfa in general and given the historical reputation I was hoping someone could help me with some practical feedback - build quality, reliability of engine, running gear, etc, any known issues. Also, what are they like to drive, performance of the 2.4, etc. I can only find 2 1.9 TI's in Ireland so doubt I will get a chance to drive a 2.4 before I would purchase and so obviously want as much feedback as possible to help my decision.

Thanks in advance
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There's a 36-page thread about fuel consumption (top of the forum) - takes hours to read - basically, 8L/100km seems to be what you can expect, a little worse than your BMW I'd imagine needs to be compared against, say, a hypothetical 2.4L petrol 159 (would probably have trouble getting under 10L/100km) - in which case, the diesel 2.4 comes out quite good.

I suspect if economy is important you'll be better off with the 1.9, but otherwise get the 2.4 for that 'power edge'. I learned here today that the later ones (210bhp) have better power delivery.

When I've driven a couple of 2.4s, they seemed initially sluggish, but the power available in the mid range and for high-speed cruising is huge. It's really quite fast and effortless, and the Japanese automatic trans (6 speed) suits it well.

When I drove a 2.2 petrol 159, it felt like a lighter and more responsive car at low speed, but the power delivery had no great surprises in store and it seemed to perform at about the level of my old 156 Twinspark (2.0, 150bhp). 156 is a smaller car, of course. People that have attempted to tune the 2.2 seem to be reporting the standard power as closer to 160, not the claimed 185, and while that's 'adequate', I'd be looking for a bit more.

Reliability-wise it seems there are fewer cambelt problems (on the 2.4) than there are timing chain problems (on the 2.2/3.2 petrols) and nobody's mentioned the 1.9 cambelt at all. Diesels appear to need some EGR maintenance/modification but it sounds like nothing too unreliable. Certainly it all seems quite different to the annual suspension rebuilds needed on my 156.


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Last edited by alexGS; 04-06-13 at 11:20.
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(Post Link) post #3 of 5 Old 11-06-13 Thread Starter
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Thanks for this -
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Seems like 2.4 from feedback and specs has a stronger gearbox/running gear than the 1.9 and therefore is potentially more reliable in that sense. It'll be quicker too, I havent driven one and I don't feel my 1.9 is particularly slow, but the 2.4 will no doubt pull harder and apparently makes a nicer noise!

Downside is it eats tyres quicker as it's a bit heavier over the nose and the extra torque no doubt eats them a bit - but again that's from feedback on here I've read that.

Fuel consumption appears to be far from claimed but that's the same with most car manufacturers! My 1.9 is claimed to do 49mpg combined - if I'm very careful and do a lot of motorway driving (which I did for the last two weeks to Kirkcaldy and back every day) I manage about 45 at a push - but that's 90% motorway 10% town. As soon as the ratio shifts towards 20%+ town it's down to low 40's if Im lucky. But I'm not too bothered about that. The 2.4 will likely be around 35 I'd imagine?? Worth it though!
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I recently bought a 2.4 ti q-tronic in the north of Ireland. I have only seen 3 other alfa 159's in the 4 months I've owned it. I travel 20 miles of mainly country roads to work and back each day. I average 34mpg. I tend to drive faster than most other traffic on the roads as it seems I'm always the person doing the overtaking. I'm happy with the economy as the auto box with flappy paddles really suits the big engine. I do find, with the mileage I'm doing, that for every other dpf regeneration that occurs it does not get time to complete the cycle and I'm switching the engine off half way through which is not ideal.

I had a 2003 BMW E46 318ci petrol coupe prior to this car and found it difficult to warm to after the direct steering response and general sporty driving characteristics of the beemer. Now I have all or most of the previous owners poor maintenance problems sorted the car feels good to drive. You can read about what I initially thought of the car and how I warmed to it here (along with a link to detailing world with loads of pics of it):

I'd think carefully about changing from an E90 320d as they are extremely good cars, a little sterile compared to the Alfa perhaps but probably more reliable. When carrying out repairs and maintenance to mine I was shocked at how poor the factory build quality really is. You really do need to go in with your eyes open, don't be fooled Alfa's reputation is generally deserved imho.

Having said all that I've got to really enjoy every drive now, the auto is definitely the way to go, and I've never owned a car before where people who don't even like cars comment on how stylish it is. A real bonus is the looks, there really is nothing out there that looks remotely like it. I have lusted over these for years and when one came up at the right price I sold my pride and joy at the time to have it. I think the fact I loved owning the BMW coupe didn't help when I did end up using the Alfa.

Good luck with your decision which ever it is.
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