I`ve had mine for nearly 4 months (11.000 km) now. First for the good...
- To start with the obvious, I still think it looks amazing. To my mind there`s no mid-size saloon on sale right now that looks even half as good. People really take notice when it drives by.
- The interior is a fantastic place to be. You quickly forget about how it is built around you, until you step into just about any other car. Everything is driver-oriented, and I love it. The leather seats not only look fantastic, they are very comfortable as well (very adjustable, enough support without squeezing you, right level of firmness) and the black-beige interior feels very luxurious (especially at night with the red lights slightly dimmed).
- Fantastic combination of ride quality and handling/body control (I`m on 17" Sport alloys shod w/ Pirelli P Zero Rosso). I really don`t understand why people find the 159 dissappointing when it comes to this. Immense grip, the feeling that the front is biting and the rear is getting involved, nicely weighted steering with good feedback, well-placed pedals, fantastic gearbox (mechanical, but quick and precise)... I really think it`s a joy to drive (for reference I used to have a 147 and regularily drive my parent`s 156 Crosswagon - I feel both are blown into the weeds by the 159).
- Noise levels are very acceptable. It depends on your point of reference of course, but compared to similar cars I find it to be very good (at least after my problem was fixed, see below).
- The boot sill is high, but once you get past that it`s really quite big and the shape is acceptable. You really need the foldable seats option though (ought to be standard IMO), but if you do you can really get a lot of (large) things in it. It`s not an MPV, but I find it to be a practical car for my needs (young married w/o children). Rear space is also fine for two people (though very uncomfortable for 3). It helps having a light interior though I suppose.
- Radio (mine = standard + MP3) is what I`d expect of a standard radio in this category of car... maybe even slightly better. I`m not an audio freak, for what it`s worth. I`d believe the sat nav is rubbish though, I always thought it looked like a rip-off (have a portable GPS anyway).
Now for the bad (or at least not so good)...
- There was excessive wind roar caused by a defective side mirror. It`s been taped off and the dealer is going to replace it, but it`s been weeks since they said they would order it and I haven`t heard from them (though they said they would call me). Not that I can`t call them myself, but that`s just not quality service. Even if they wouldn`t have the part yet, which I don`t believe, they should have contacted me.
- Had a piece of interior trim (B pillar) break off by itself. Also still to be replaced.
- There is a lack of storage spaces in the interior. I really don`t need much, but if my map book won`t even fit in the door bins and the car papers don`t fit in the glove compartiment... well
If I really wanted an excuse to compain, I would also point out the following...
- The starter button is just plain stupid, I would much prefer having a normal contact again. I often press it too soon and then the car just goes all haywire. I figure that if it`s going to do that, then why let me press it so soon?
- The indicator stalks are shabby. Feels very cheap and they aren`t responsive enough to minor ('3 flashes') input.
- The radio LCD seems to have no protective cover, though the nearly identical airco display does
); In effect this means that touching it messes it up.
- Economy isn`t superb for a diesel, though it`s also not bad. Just that some similarily powered diesels do better. To be honest though, I really don`t give a stuff as I have a fuel card
That`s about it really, no real problems in fact - or at least nothing that would me even remotely make me reconsider my choice. Keep in mind that I`m evaluating this car for what it is - a luxurious mile-eater with a sporting touch. I think it achieves that goal in a brilliant manner. Some people seem to expect it to be a hot hatch or an all out sports car though - while it clearly isn`t (and wasn`t designed to be). I suggest they wait around for the upcoming sports pack and uprated engines, maybe that`ll give them what they are looking for.