i love the looks of the pre facelift 166, i fell in love with it when a mate of mine had one as a hire vehicle back in 1999, i much prefer the original nose to the bland facelift nose, its better proportioned and the lines flow better to the A pillar, the facelift looks a bit like a cut and shut, the revised front end and slightly higher wing and bonnet line doesnt match the rest of the car, but i will admit it looks a bit more modern but also a bit eurobox mundane.
in profile the 166 blows the 156 out of the water the way it looks on the move when stationary is fantastic, the rear end is something the 156 can only dream of, those lights are fantastic, and unlike most 156's the rear end hasnt been ruined by a daft spoiler.
the interior is stunning, a couple of rungs up the ladder from all those german bland mobiles that cost much more, the grey leather is fantastic, mine has almost 130k and with a little tlc is almost as new, the design of the dash is gorgeous and the design of the seats looks like something from a car that costs twice as much.
dont get me wrong i really like the 156 but i just could never ever consider buying one after having a 166, its better in everyway, it looks better, drives better, and has a vastly superior interior.
what i will replace my 166 with when it has to go, ive no idea, another 166? well prefacelifts are getting a bit long in the tooth and to be honest i just dont like the f/l, if i did get one id have to have black leather which i hate, because its the only way to avoid the horrible off cream dash and the 3.2 is rare as hens teeth.
3.2 159's are i guess the only alfa alternative and i do like them in black with tan leather and the horseshoe alloys, but it just doesnt look as special as the 166. ho hum i guess ill just have to keep my 166
ps all my mates love my 166. of course they are all brainwashed to believe that all alfas are unreliable and break down all the time, i do try to put them right and tell then that my 166 is the most reliable car ive ever owned but it falls on deaf ears