First of all, I will say I've done a wee bit of research on the 159 and I'm a little tentative on it, but hoping it won't be an issue.
My story is I drive 76 miles a day (about 70 miles of those is at 60-70mph) in my little Ford Fiesta (my first car! Everyones first car has to be a bucket, right?
), but by the end of the year, maybe the start of next year, I'm hoping to replace it with something of saloon or estate size and my choices are narrowed down to a Saab 9-3 or the Alfa 159, and as a car geek I'm really swinging towards the Alfa (hoping!). I've been looking at 159s with the 1.9 Diesel engine in it, for around £5000. Given the price range, most of the cars appear to be around 80-120k miles. I've read a lot about the car industry (and Alfa) improving a lot over the last decade and cars lasting a lot more than 100k now.
I've read a little on here and some are worried about the 1.9 Diesel gearboxes on higher mileage cars. Is this still an issue for someone doing motorway miles? Or would I be taking a huge risk getting a car with that amount of miles, given I'll be adding another 20k a year for 3-5 years? Or maybe a better way of asking would be, should I expect a 159 to cost more in repairs and running than an equivalent saloon, for example the Saab 9-3, which I believe shares the same 1.9 diesel engine? Whilst I'd expect a VW Passat to be cheaper and maybe more reliable, if I'm honest, I don't want to spend 2 hours a day in a Passat - I'd prefer to spend it in an Alfa.
Also, fuel mileage seems to be all over the place with the 1.9. Reporting from 30-50. Alfa claim 45, which is obviously going to be too high. Could I reasonably expect to get 40mpg out of one on the type of driving I'd be doing? I was quite happy I managed to get my little petrol Fiesta up to 44mpg (it read 32mpg when I first got it!) so would be disappointed if I couldn't get a diesel with a 6 speed box to the same.
Servicing, I was planning on getting it done annually, but that would be 20k miles. Should that make it twice a year? Or would once a year be fine? Obviously this is outside of the usual belt change (60k miles each time?) and possibly an EGR removal.
I'm pretty good at budgeting and I know it'll take me around £300 a month on fuel should I get around 40ish mpg, and I've budgeted putting away another £100 a month just for saving for servicing and repairs. Is this a realistic budget? My big concern is I'm not on a huge wage, but I do need a decent sized car for the kids, I do have to cover 70 miles a day, and I don't want to drive the usual boring eurobox for half a decade. But can this money cover it?
Thank you for all of your help!