159 SW 1.9JTDM - ownership experience so far
Well I have had my Alfa for 7 weeks and 3,000 miles, so I thought it was time to post my thoughts on Alfa ownership so far.
Why did I choose this car ?
This is a company car, and I had the option of anything European in a similar price range I.e. Audi A3 or A4 (too boring, and everyone has got one), Mercedes C class (too expensive and cramped), Jaquar X-type (for old men), BMW 3 or 5 series (unbelievably ugly) etc
I looked at, and tried all these cars, and I kept coming back to the Alfa because it ticked all the performance and spec boxes, but was by far the best looking. I picked the SW over the saloon, as to my eyes it looks better (and it’s a little more practical).
Performance is fine for me - it meets my expectations in every regard. I am not a fan of diesels, and I keep thinking that a V6 would suit it better, but I know that I could not afford the fuel. I had to rule out the 2.4 Diesel as the company car tax is much higher due to higher emissions. On paper, the performance matches or betters its competitors (expect a BMW 320d).
(It might be worth pointing out that this is not my only car. I have a track biased kit car for my real motoring thrills !)
OK so far. I am getting 38-40mpg on a mixed motorway and urban run. I expected more than this, but it is steadily getting better as the engine runs in. I have seen lots of comments about how heavy the 159 is, but if you look at the specs of other vehicles they are all a similar weight. The economy definitely plummets if you use a heavy right foot.
I have had no end of comments from other people asking what has fallen off so far, has it broken down yet etc, but the car is great. Only one issue for the first service (so far) - the centre armrest in the rear seats is a nightmare to get back in. Otherwise the car feels very solid and refined. As has been pointed out by others, the steering column switch gear is a little “lightweight” compared to the rest of the car, but it works fine.
I have the Lusso version, and the options spec is up there with the best. The good things include Blue & Me, and the flexible trip computer. On the downside, I still can’t get the rain sensing intermittent wipers to do what I want !
Better than I expected. Loads of grip, loads of feedback on what is going on, and it really inspires confidence. It is definitely more of a Grand Tourer, than a sprinter, but it is still fun to drive.
I really like this car, and at no point have I doubted the decision I made. It is the only car I have ever had, where I feel the need to look back at it in a car park to admire it, and I have had loads of positive comments about it. Time will tell whether the Alfa ownership experience is going to be as trouble free as the last 5 years with a Honda, but it has already been more interesting.