166/164 Lounge Winner 09
Join Date: Dec 2006
Re: 166 in Australia?
As Dougie said I'm in Melbourne with a 166, and I love it.
Every officially imported 166 here is the 3.0 Sportronic version of the car. I've never seen a manual one but I've heard of a few floating around.
I haven't had mine for long, and have had no real problems with it, however the best advice I have from my very long search for a good 166 is buy one with a known history, and complete service record.
There are a few cars floating around though that despite meeting that criteria, just didn't sit right with me when I saw/drove them. These ones seem to stick around for months and months, the better ones tend to go within a few weeks or less...one at an official Alfa dealer with about 40,000kms in the high 20,000s range sold within a day of being listed - was gone when I made an inquiry.
Its important to be patient - because I can see lots of pain and very empty pockets ahead if you buy a bad example.
If you want a car from around 2001-02, it will be due for a cambelt change around now. The first one on my car (at around 40,000kms) cost $1600, and its going into Lance Dixon Alfa for another on the 1st of February, which coincides with the fairly major 80,000km service and therefore will cost over $2000, so my advice is try and find one that's had the belts done, or use it as a negotiating tool if the change is imminent.
They are not cheap cars to run - they like to drink petrol and may need oil as well (Alfa says that acceptable usage is up to a litre per 1000km). I have all the reciepts for my car though and apart from the belt changes, other scheduled servicing seems to be reasonably priced.
Another thing to check is make sure whatever example you look at has all the code cards. There should be one for the ICS and a key code too.
Build quality and component quality seems to generally be much better than earlier 156s, GTVs and Spiders, and the interior tends to be beautifully crafted. The paint, however, is rubbish - very thin and easily damaged.
Haven't heard of many reliability issues with the Sportronic gearbox.
Good luck in your search - it might take a long time (took me 7 months), but if you're patient you should have a beautiful, spacious, well equipped car that is fairly reliable and fantastic to drive.