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Hi i'm just researching

Hi. I'm Emily. I am currently doing a little research about alfas and that's whats led me here. You see it's time for our family cars to be reshuffled. We need to condense our 2 cars into just the one. This sounds far easier than it's turning out to be. Now though we both agree that the alfas are truly gorgeous. Ok lets get one then! Ah hold on a moment. The 2 men whose opinions I trust as I know nothing about cars (honest john and jeremy clarkson) both say they are seriously unreliable. Ok lets not get one. But they are gorgeous aren't they. Lets get one. No the very first time it breaks down we are going to me so cross with ourselfs. Lets not. But just look at them........ and on it goes. Whatever car we get needs to be big enough for 2 adults and 3 teenagers. We are currently looking at the 156 and the 166. Of course we love the new 159 but our budget doesn't! Any help here would be greatly appreciated. Would really like to know if the rumours are true and what is it that makes them so unreliable. Thanks.
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Seriously unreliable - not entirely true.

Ineptitude kills them - things like skimping on maintainence and people not knowing what they are doing working on them. Owner abuse also - thrashing them from cold and the like. Find a good one - as new and low mileage as you can afford with a cast iron history and you should be on to a winner. The electronics are all German (Bosch) so in this respect they are no more failure prone than any German car - the climate control unit is the same as that in most VW's, the engine management is Bosch.

Everything else is owner care and proper maintenance - go into it with your eyes open - it won't be perfect - but in the main it will be close. If you can, get as good a picture of the previous owner as you can.

For what you describe (2 adults, 3 teenagers) the 166 is your bag for space or a 156 SW. The 156 will hold it all but it is smaller than it looks (mk 1/2 Mondeo size, slightly smaller). Learn what the words cambelt & variator (TS & JTS) mean. If you are after a diesel that means 156, but only take on a 2.4 if you are prepared for the bill at cambelt time (transverse 5, no space under the bonnet).

Go for it! We are the afflicted, what did you think we would say? Decide what one you want then have a look at the relevant lounge here for more info.

happy hunting

We have no plan, therefore nothing can go wrong (much)

And i Have finally put piccies of the silver one on!!
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Re: Hi i'm just researching

Hi Emiliy, and welcome. I think the 166 will be the better choice for fitting 5 people. It'll have nice legspace at the back and it's a very comfy car overall and is solidly built. I strongly recomment the 2.4 jtd engine. You'll get a lot of car for the money, they are powerful, seats are large on confortable, fantastic on the mways and will eat miles no problem with suprisingly good consumption. One of my favourite Alfas. My dad had one, and now has a 156sw. I like the 156sw (very practical and easy to live with + a little lighter to drive around town and bends), but the 166 is the better car imo. Go large!

re: reliability. Alfa had a bad period, which ended when they started making the later models (147, 156, 166 etc...) and the quality has greatly improved; but they have a hard time shaking the reputation off, especially when it's so easy for the press to use th good old jokes. I had many alfas, and I never had real problems, other than the occasional rattle on little thing. Admittedly I hace changed them after 1/2 years, but I have driven them hard, gave them a good dose of city drive (London is the worst you can do to a car...) and good highways tests (big fan of Italy-UK drives). Do your services when you have to, buy good oil and make sure you have all the liquids...
Clearly, this is an Alfa forum and of course you'd expect me to say go-get-one, but I have been really quite happy with the cars so far. No-one's put a gun to my head to keep buying them...

anything that moves using more than 4 legs, flies and is not a bird and/or is too small to be turned into a burger, should be vacuumed.

RIP: Alfa 145 1.6 Junior (Bella), Alfa 145 1.9 TD (Bianca), Alfa 145 1.9 TD (no name...), Alfa 147 1.6 (Camilla), Alfa 147 1.6 (no name...), Alfa 147 1.9 JTD (Contessa)
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Re: Hi i'm just researching

Hi Emily, I'm on my second 156 Selespeed and I will get a 159 when the price is right. So get your Alfa and enjoy it .
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Re: Hi i'm just researching

Welcome to AO Emily. Can't add much more to the wise words already spoken....get one and enjoy
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Re: Hi i'm just researching

go for it dude...it will give you a smile

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Re: Hi i'm just researching

Originally Posted by mikebrown
go for it dude...it will give you a smile
Emily? Dude?
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