So I tried out a 2.0 today, it was an 61 plate, with 18k on the clock. I have to say, the car is even more gorgeous in the flesh than on photos. The interior felt comfortable and well made and I was almost ready to thrown him my money straight away. Unfortunately, after driving it I wasn't that impressed. The car seemed okay in the speed department - I'd hardly say fast but that's not it's purpose being a diesel - it was sufficient. The suspension and ride were good, not too soft, not too hard and the road noise was minimal. However, the gearbox was terrible. It's such a shame that such a nice car should be let down by the gearbox, every change required pulling it into gear with a fair amount of force, it was driveable but a million miles away from my TT. Anyway, after the test drive I was still convinced that it was the car to replace my TT. After being told by the salesman that in the real world I could probably get low to mid 40's in terms of mpg I was a bit surprised - that's barely higher than I get from the TTS (36mpg) which does 0-60 in 5.2s, so it wouldn't really save me much, if any money which was the sole purpose of changing.
I then went and tried a Mazda 6. You definitely don't get the same feeling driving the car - the Alfa just has something about it - but the Mazda was just better in almost every way. The engine felt smoother, whilst also being faster. The suspension was equally good and the car rode well. Looking at the trip computer it was reading an average of 49mpg which even if they are out would mean it would have to be out by a long way for the Alfa to beat it.
I've been trying to convince myself that I should still get the Alfa but this is one time when my heart will be beaten by my head. The wife also prefers the look of the Mazda and it is far more practical - bigger boot and more space in the front and back. I wish you all well with your cars and will still be a little envious when I pass a 159 on the road but unfortunately I won't be joining you just yet. Saying that, the 4C is out soon and the Giulia can't be far away so perhaps my next car will be an Alfa!