To Alfa or not to Alfa? (159 TI SW) - Alfa Romeo Forum
You are currently unregistered, register for more features.    
General Alfa Discussion Strictly Alfa Romeo talk only!

 
Thread Tools
(Post Link) post #1 of 23 Old 11-01-14 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
chrismkiv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: United Kingdom
County: -
Posts: 127

Member car:

Alfa 159 Ti SW

To Alfa or not to Alfa? (159 TI SW)

Background
I have been looking at buying an Alfa 159 estate and have been trying to do lots of research as I have been told not to touch an Alfa with a barge pole. Problem is... the people that tell me this have never owned an Alfa and base their opinions on the reputation the company has gained in previous years. So... is the Alfa 159 any good and have Alfa got any better since "the old days"?


What I am looking at...
I am swaying towards the TI model in either a 1.9 or 2.0 diesel engine (probably prefer the 2.0 - although there aren't many reviews on reliability) I have also been trying to find one with the factory fitted xenon headlights (once you've had them there is no going back to candles) - The ones I have seen online are around 10-15K is that about right? I will probably aim to buy from a dealer of some kinda and make sure they can give me a decent warranty (just for piece of mind). I don't like the black cars and the red, although looks amazing, seems to have issues with thin paint and chipping, so I guess one of the other colours will have to do!


Advice
I am finding it quite difficult to get some sound advice as to if these cars are any good or not. There seems to be many satisfied customers but I have also found many reviews that say this car is still not reliable - I am sure that there are many more satisfied customers but very few people post up saying how satisfied they are - most people will just ask for help with the issues.

I guess now what I am after is some HONEST reviews from owners as to their experiences with the car, whats it like to live with, what are running costs (servicing etc..), what to look out for and lastly would they recommend it?

Any help would be much appreciated - thanks
chrismkiv is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Status: -
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,637
The 2 litre JTDm is the more modern engine. less likely to have DPF problems - important if the new MOT test does come in after February 2014, and gives 20 bhp extra in standard form.

Nothing to be afraid of in terms of reliability - the 2 litre has a much better gearbox than the 1.9 so that alone is a good reason for going for the 2 litre.
Service records are important - cambelts should be changed at anything from 50,000 miles and shouldn't be run past 70,000 miles.
Go for one with leather seats. Ti is desirable but tyre prices will be very high and the ride will be stiffer. Looks better on the road.
Listen for groans and knocks from front suspension, knocks and bangs from the rear could be a broken spring.
Check that everything electrical works and there are no warning lights left on.
Xenon lamp versions will have headlamp washers. If they are not there the HiDs are aftermarket fittings with all the issues that may bring.
Check wheels for kerbing and inside front edges of tyres for excessive wear - suggesting that full tracking will be required as well as expensive new tyres.

Add open road ............... and enjoy.
97396 is offline  
Status: supporting a bank near you
AO Silver Member
 
Top Down's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: West Sussex
Posts: 5,022
An Alfa Romeo will be no more or no less reliable than anything else on the market. You might buy one and have problems then the same could be true if you bought an Audi or BMW. In fact of all the bits that have failed on my cars have been from German manufacturers. Also ask my friend how good his BMW 320d is, the one which blew its turbo 400 miles from Calais.

Most of BS (you know what I mean) about Alfa Romeo is spouted by people who havent ever even driven one.

Sorry for the rant, but your post highlights every prejudice there is about the brand that might stop someone like you from buying one, dont lsten to people with no knowledge.

Back to your question. I had a 159 1.9 Jtdm which I sold at 93k. The 2.0 diesel is a better one and has a better gearbox, its down to product development. My philosophy is if I want particular car I'll pay the price being asked. There are fewer and fewer late low mileage cars around, so if its what you want be prepared to pay a bit more. There are also a lot of cheaper high mileage ones around too, but that is the case for any car.

Someone said to me, "so whats so special about an Alfa Romeo then?" I told him, "If you have to ask, you wont understand".

Giulia Super Lusso 2.0MA, wife drives 939 Spider 2.2, plus Abarth 595 and there is a 1972 Spider 2000 S2 in the garage for fun days.

Previously, Brera 2.2 Prodrive - 159 SW 1.9JTDm - 1.6TS 147

Last edited by Top Down; 11-01-14 at 17:50.
Top Down is offline  
Status: 500 up
AO Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: United Kingdom
County: West Yorkshire
Posts: 655
Check out the one at JCS Kegworth. 2.0ltr 60 plate in grey, 12995
mossca is offline  
(Post Link) post #5 of 23 Old 12-01-14 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
chrismkiv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: United Kingdom
County: -
Posts: 127

Member car:

Alfa 159 Ti SW

Thanks for the advice guys, mossca, I'll get onto JCS Website and have a look at the one there.

How is the 159 for rust? I again have looked up and get mixed reviews - They do galvanise it right? Again this is probably just "prejudice towards the brand" again...
chrismkiv is offline  
Status: Make Covfefe great again!!
AO Platinum Member
 
Greener123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Southampton
County: Hampshire
Posts: 41,384
Garage

Member car:

159 2.0 JTDM Ti

I bought my 159 from JCS in november, i love it.

I would go for the 2.0 over the 1.9 as others have said it is the more modern engine and will, in theory, be more reliable. The DPF is located by the turbo so runs hotter so, in theory, will have less issues. The gearbox again is the same as in the more powerful 2.4 so, in theory, will have fewer issues.

The car just looks right in Ti form, the bigger wheels and the red brake calipers enhance the sporty look.
Greener123 is offline  
(Post Link) post #7 of 23 Old 12-01-14 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
chrismkiv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: United Kingdom
County: -
Posts: 127

Member car:

Alfa 159 Ti SW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greener123 View Post
I bought my 159 from JCS in november, i love it.

I would go for the 2.0 over the 1.9 as others have said it is the more modern engine and will, in theory, be more reliable. The DPF is located by the turbo so runs hotter so, in theory, will have less issues. The gearbox again is the same as in the more powerful 2.4 so, in theory, will have fewer issues.

The car just looks right in Ti form, the bigger wheels and the red brake calipers enhance the sporty look.
Is this your first Alfa? Did you have the same worries about it that I have expressed here?? Sounds like you are pleased with your car - is there anything you wish it had or feel that it is missing? I'm more or less set on getting the 159 TI and information from this forum has just backed it up. I have had German cars but compared to the Alfa they are... boring.... I am yet to test drive a TI 159 but I had a look at a Lusso last weekend and was impressed albeit it was the 2.4 version and not quite what I was looking for but gave me an idea of what the car is like and sizings etc...
chrismkiv is offline  
Status: -
AO Silver Member
 
Cream's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: wrexham
Posts: 1,591

Member car:

Brera 2.4SV

A 159 Ti is a very nice car. dont listen to people who have never owned an Alfa - they dont get it and more fool them.

It would be a good idea to find an independent garage to look after it for you.

Ive spent 17 years driving Alfas and still absolutely love them
Cream is offline  
(Post Link) post #9 of 23 Old 12-01-14 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
chrismkiv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: United Kingdom
County: -
Posts: 127

Member car:

Alfa 159 Ti SW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cream View Post
It would be a good idea to find an independent garage to look after it for you.
Already been on that case and there are a few close by and even a main dealer (but I probably wont go there - again my research seems to suggest that Alfa aren't too great at main dealers or customer aftercare)

What I will probably do soon after purchasing is getting a specialist to have a quick look over the car and point out things that are wrong so that I can start a list of what needs doing and when...
chrismkiv is offline  
Status: Make Covfefe great again!!
AO Platinum Member
 
Greener123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Southampton
County: Hampshire
Posts: 41,384
Garage

Member car:

159 2.0 JTDM Ti

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismkiv View Post
Is this your first Alfa? Did you have the same worries about it that I have expressed here?? Sounds like you are pleased with your car - is there anything you wish it had or feel that it is missing? I'm more or less set on getting the 159 TI and information from this forum has just backed it up. I have had German cars but compared to the Alfa they are... boring.... I am yet to test drive a TI 159 but I had a look at a Lusso last weekend and was impressed albeit it was the 2.4 version and not quite what I was looking for but gave me an idea of what the car is like and sizings etc...
I personally wasn't worried, it is my first alfa, but I've always liked them and knew the reputation was nothing more than a myth nowadays. I did read a few bits on here before I bought it, that's how i ended up going for the 2.0 Ti, before I was just looking at a basic one but decided this one was worth the little extra. I've only ever had a little crappy citroen c2 so I can't comment on what it may be missing.
Greener123 is offline  
(Post Link) post #11 of 23 Old 12-01-14 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
chrismkiv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: United Kingdom
County: -
Posts: 127

Member car:

Alfa 159 Ti SW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greener123 View Post
I personally wasn't worried, it is my first alfa, but I've always liked them and knew the reputation was nothing more than a myth nowadays. I did read a few bits on here before I bought it, that's how i ended up going for the 2.0 Ti, before I was just looking at a basic one but decided this one was worth the little extra. I've only ever had a little crappy citroen c2 so I can't comment on what it may be missing.
More or less the same story here - I wanted a estate and had a look around and there are sooooo many boring estates like the Audi A4 and BMW 3/5 Series, it seems every other car is one these days and I quite like the idea that the 159 TI is a bit rare after all who wants a car that everyone else owns?!

The TI model does look the dogs bo***cks I can't quite work out whether its worth the extra monies but I do like mountain biking and seem to always end up with oil on the headlining so the black headlining alone is a reason I want it... plus the alloys... go big or go home!! Thats what I say!

I have driven a C2...and I to know that there is no comparison... the Alfa is in a different class although saying that my mother loves her C2 for around town.

Pretty much the only reason I am asking these questions is because having never owned an Alfa everyone I speak to says "you dont want one of them" to which I reply "have you owned one?" as I am finding out and as I thought they appear to have a good reputation among owners so I am thinking that it could be the way to go... and could be a bit of a bargain!
chrismkiv is offline  
Status: Living The Dream!
AO Silver Member
 
W1NST's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Preston
County: Lancashire
Posts: 1,512
I am touching wood as I say this, but my 159 1.9 has had the mods on since 16k and is now on 65k with no gearbox problems nearly 5 years on. I know these gearboxes get a slating but wonder if as a percentage sold is not as bad as is made out on here sometimes?
W1NST is offline  
(Post Link) post #13 of 23 Old 12-01-14 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
chrismkiv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: United Kingdom
County: -
Posts: 127

Member car:

Alfa 159 Ti SW

Quote:
Originally Posted by W1NST View Post
I am touching wood as I say this, but my 159 1.9 has had the mods on since 16k and is now on 65k with no gearbox problems nearly 5 years on. I know these gearboxes get a slating but wonder if as a percentage sold is not as bad as is made out on here sometimes?
Agreed - people don't tend to say "....my car has been fine...." on forums you more often get "HELP...my cars f**ked!!" so I am trying to do some in depth research before I buy (although I have to say that issue has been mentioned numerous times on the 1.9 - esp. after remaps)
chrismkiv is offline  
Status: Feeling lonely
 
RomeoRaiderZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: United Kingdom
County: West Lothian
Posts: 3,506
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismkiv View Post
I have been looking at buying an Alfa 159 estate and have been trying to do lots of research as I have been told not to touch an Alfa with a barge pole......
I wouldn't touch any Alfa with a barge pole either - wood against shiny paintwork could do untold damage, : Basil thrashes his car - Fawlty Towers - BBC - YouTube .

Seriously, you're quite right when you observe that the biggest doom-mongers are those who've never owned (or driven) one. Like AlfaRed Brera, the few 'failures' I've had with any of mine over the past 15 years have been down to German-manufactured components, .

The only problem I have with ownership is that when you're out in your 'I didn't follow the flock' piece of automotive art, all the other drivers around you get to feast their eyes on its sensuous Italian styling whilst all you've got to look at is a sea of Germanic blandness, .



For Info & enquiries e-mail
[email protected]



RomeoRaiderZ is offline  
(Post Link) post #15 of 23 Old 13-01-14 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
chrismkiv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: United Kingdom
County: -
Posts: 127

Member car:

Alfa 159 Ti SW

Quote:
Originally Posted by RomeoRaiderZ View Post
I wouldn't touch any Alfa with a barge pole either - wood
I read this first and thought "NOOOO A BAD REVIEW!"

Quite a funny post - made me chuckle anyway.

Thanks for the help... now for the hard part....finding a decent one - they get snapped up very quickly!
chrismkiv is offline  
(Post Link) post #16 of 23 Old 13-01-14 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
chrismkiv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: United Kingdom
County: -
Posts: 127

Member car:

Alfa 159 Ti SW

So next question....

....places to buy, other than the usual places?

(I guess because I am pickky and looking for a 2.0 TI with factory xenons and I don't want black it could be a challenge! Hmmm!)
chrismkiv is offline  
Status: Make Covfefe great again!!
AO Platinum Member
 
Greener123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Southampton
County: Hampshire
Posts: 41,384
Garage

Member car:

159 2.0 JTDM Ti

There a few on autotrader, 2.0Ti SW but none as far as i can see list xenons.
Greener123 is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: United Kingdom
County: Buckinghamshire
Posts: 558
How about try Veloces...that is where I bought mine and they were great. They get a mixed review on here but I can only say I had a good experience with them...what they do have is the best stock of used 159s in the country...and am sure they can/seem to be good at sourcing what you are after albeit at a slight premium. I noticed their workshop also offer xenon lights fitted for 250. Seems quite a good deal to me. Give Paul and his team a shout.

Cheers,
Iain
Robbo73 is offline  
rxe
Status: Busso
AO Silver Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: United Kingdom
County: Berkshire
Posts: 4,186
We have 2.4 version, bought at 41k, now at 62k, hasn't needed anything apart from a cambelt service. I'm going to change the front upper wishbones because I am very picky about handling, but this is not surprising as we live down a dirt track that kills suspension.

Electrics all fine. Engine is stonking and handling is good. I don't get great economy from it, because the urge to cane it is far too high.

No real faults to speak of, and it is a very nice place to be. I am almost looking forward to driving to the south of France for this years ski trip.

On xenons - just stick HIDS in the standard projectors. Works fine, no glare, same effect.
rxe is offline  
Status: 159 Cruiser and Guilietta pocket rocket
AO Silver Member
 
giblets46's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: United Kingdom
County: Warwickshire
Posts: 4,734
Garage
I just did the aftermarket HIDs, only 30, and no real issues to speak of. In terms of rust, the only issue seems to be the front subframe, but it is quite easy to replace (a few bolts).
If you are not going to be playing around with the engine the 2.0 diesel is the one to go for. As for Ti, do it or you'll regret it when you see one driving next to you!
I had an A3 from new, and had a few issues with it (turbo seals went, intercooler pipes popping off, clutch slave cylinder went), on the 159 the only real issue I've had was the MAF sensor/ EGR going, a relatively simple fix (and one that is very common on any makes diesels).

159 1.9JTDM Ti and Giulietta 2.0 175 Speciale
ex: Punto 55s, Golf Mk5 1.4FSi, A3 (8P) Sportback 2.0TDi SE, A4 (B8) 2.0TDI S-Line, 306 HDI Meridian, Giulietta 2.0 Velocec
giblets46 is offline  
(Post Link) post #21 of 23 Old 15-01-14 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
chrismkiv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: United Kingdom
County: -
Posts: 127

Member car:

Alfa 159 Ti SW

Quote:
Originally Posted by giblets46 View Post
I just did the aftermarket HIDs, only 30, and no real issues to speak of. In terms of rust, the only issue seems to be the front subframe, but it is quite easy to replace (a few bolts).
If you are not going to be playing around with the engine the 2.0 diesel is the one to go for. As for Ti, do it or you'll regret it when you see one driving next to you!
I had an A3 from new, and had a few issues with it (turbo seals went, intercooler pipes popping off, clutch slave cylinder went), on the 159 the only real issue I've had was the MAF sensor/ EGR going, a relatively simple fix (and one that is very common on any makes diesels).
I don't want to open a can of worms but aren't aftermarket HID's illegal?

When you say "not playing around with the engine" what do you mean? I was thinking that in 6-12 months of ownership getting the obligatory remap - i'm assuming that the 2.0 maps well - more research nearer the time methinks.

I have just sold a A3 3.2 V6 S-Line and although it was quick I never really liked it - for me it didn't seem "special enough" from what I consider to be a higher end car. Also with the quattro system there was very little boot space in the 3dr version - hence the upgrade to an estate!

Last edited by chrismkiv; 15-01-14 at 17:31.
chrismkiv is offline  
Status: supporting a bank near you
AO Silver Member
 
Top Down's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: West Sussex
Posts: 5,022
I've had aftermarket HIDS on my Alfa Romeos for 3 years and its never been an issue at MOT.
Top Down is offline  
Status: Always working
Identity Confirmed
Authorised Trader
 
Autolusso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Bedfordshire
Posts: 7,039
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfaRed Brera View Post
I've had aftermarket HIDS on my Alfa Romeos for 3 years and its never been an issue at MOT.
They were an MOT fail for a couple of months last year if they were not fitted with self levelling and head light washers. VOSA change the regulations then changed it back

I happen to to have a VOSA spot check while we were testing a GTV with HID's fitted and the guy from VOSA was quite happy for us to remove the HID's, pass the test then refit them for the customer. The point is just because if does or doesn't pass an MOT does not make it legal for road use.

Ned
Autolusso is offline  
Reply

Go Back   Alfa Romeo Forum > Misc Lounges > Community Discussions > General Alfa Discussion

Tags
159 , alfa

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome