Maybe coming back after too long away
May I introduce myself as a BMW 328i driver for past 12 years (wait for boos and hisses to pass, but it's been an awesome car over that time without a single fault).
So what's this interloper doing here? Well my first car back in 1984 was a new Sud 1.3Ti in Fiorentino Copper. Lovely car, lovely sound but I lost my heart to an MR2 a few years later...In my heart I've always been an Alfa man though.
So here I am thinking I really must replace the BMW. Looked around and gosh Alfa is getting some rave reviews recently, especially the 159 which I test drove yesterday (1.9 JTD).
Really impressed. Controls light but very positive. I'd read complaints of notchy/sticky gearboxes but this one felt fine, if not as mechanically 'meaty' in feel as on my current 328. Astonishingly nice for a diesel. Of course it's beautiful outside but I like the interior design too. My only niggles from the test drive were that the switchgear (esp steering column stalks) was very flimsy/poor quality (nowhere near the BMW, and worse than my wife's Renault). Oddments space in cabin poor (I noticed the dealer had to leave the handbook wallet on the floor!). Rear vision not great either but I will probably opt for the Lusso so parking sensors would mitigate that to some extent.
The car I test drove was silver (nice) but the red leather put me off and I'm not sure I could live with it. There are plenty of other nice combos to choose from though (I'm looking to buy a car a couple of years old and have someone else shoulder the depreciation for a change).
I actually only do about 8,000 miles a year on average so the saving on diesel (and I understand the 1.9 159 gets nowhere near the claimed 47mpg anyway) and tax disc wouldn't be huge so I want to look at the 2.2 Lusso petrol too and possibly the 2.4JTD whose performance would be closer to my current car. The 1.9 JTD felt very refined so I'm curious about how different the 2.2 petrol will be.
Hope to make a decision very soon and be a 'proper' member here!