166 Vs GT - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 6 Old 01-07-12 Thread Starter
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166 Vs GT

Running the risk of starting a 166 vs GT owners Alfisiti civil war, I am tentatively, half thinking of giving up my very beloved 166 TS for something like a Jtdm GT ....

I've focussed so much on the 166 for the past five years I have no clue about the GT other than it's a 156 in a very nice suit/dress ??

Anyone care to offer the pros and cons of the switch? Or do I dump a some cash into the 166 and carry on until Alfa build something as good as the 166 again?

Okay I'm sure that's strirred it up enough .....
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Actually the GT is built on a 156 SW floorpan with much of the interior taken from the 147 including the dash (apart from a few changes to the lower section of the centre console & centre tunnel) , all the controls eg indicator/light/cruise stalks are identical as are the window/mirror controls & the interior/exterior door handles to name a few common parts.


I'll let others battle it out for opinions between the 166 & GT
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I feel I'm well enough qualified to comment I guess....

The 166 and the GT are completely different driving experiences. The 166 is a lovely comfortable cruiser, the GT is a bit more 'raw' in that there's more noise and the leather isn't as soft as the 166 etc. The 2 cars handle very differently as well, but that can also be heavily determined by what kind of suspension set up you have and what condition it is in.

Now, I have the V6 166, and the power is great, but the JTDm doesn't want for power either, especially when it's remapped as well. I can't compare the 2.0TS in a 166 with the 1.9JTDm in the GT, but I'm pretty sure the TS will have to work a bit harder to get the same sort of power that is available relatively easier in the JTDm.

The JTDm is a good engine, but not without it's issues. It's a 4 cylinder and can be quite rattly/rough, especially at lower speeds and when driving around town. Similar to the 166, you'll have a 6 speed gearbox and you'll need to get used to changing gears when in traffic as 1-3 is very short. It's generally reliable, timing belt and water pump is a longer interval than the TS, and you sometimes get issues with EGRs and MAFs, but that could be any car these days to be honest. No major clutch, turbo or gearbox issues.

Suspension on the GT is much harder than the 166. I've swapped mine out for a Koni/Eibach setup, that's a little better at dealing with crappy roads, but to be honest, the main benefit is in the handling. I've always ran 17s and 18s, I hate the look of the 16s, so the comfort is what it is.

Practically, the GT isn't bad, but the back seat is only really suitable for short journeys or children, but even then, access in/out is tight enough. Boot space is just ok, golf clubs are definitely a better fit in the 166.

Any particular reason why you'd look at a JTDm and not a 2.0JTS? Are you doing high enough mileage? The JTDm is good on the motorways for sure, but unless you're doing the mileage to justify it, I'd look at the JTS.

I like both my Alfas for very different reasons. But, I think if anyone was thinking of buying an Alfa, I'd probably tell them that for the money, the 166 is the best one out there now.

I'll happily let you have a spin in my GT if you want to see what a good JTD is like - it's been remapped, has a Q2 and the modified suspension. If you don't like this one, then the GT is not for you....

Cowboys Ted, they're a bunch of cowboys!
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(Post Link) post #4 of 6 Old 02-07-12 Thread Starter
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re: CCOVICH

Apologies for the late response - got distracted by Spain V Italy .....

Many, many thanks for taking the time to put together that brilliant review of the two cars, very insightful and also the very generous offer to drive your own GT. (Beyond the call of duty).

Normally I'd never look at diesel, i don't do the miles and to be honest sometimes it seems wrong to me in an Alfa, but I'd only really look at the GT if I could put a Q2 on it. Also the petrol units seem a bit week when compared to the torque in the diesel. Your comment about the short ratio between 1-3 is interesting. I'm glad to hear you find it a reliable engine though, as the more recent Alfa diesels seem to be giving quite a bit of trouble over their lifetime.

I think you've clarified what I had already suspected - if there's still a little racer left in me the GT is a great car, but if I've retired to a quiet life but with the odd twisty road on a Sunday, stick to the 166. I think what I really want is to be in your position and own both; lucky you. Though the thought of having two Alfa's upset me every other week over some issue or other is a bit scary.

I think I need to give my 166 some TLC, take it for a spin - then try a GT. All food for thought though.

Thanks again.


P.S. Is everyone else seeing a lot of these "spam" posts ?
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I've had a 166 3.0 for 7 years and a GT 3.2 for 6 months.

The 166 has the nicer cabin though I do like being in the GT. Seats and steering wheel are nice, controls all in the right places, it just feels less special than the 166. The stereo in the GT is terrible even with Bose. I replaced the HU with an Alpine one and it now sounds much better than the one in the 166.

There's more space in the back of a GT than you'd think. I've got 3 kids (eldest is 15) and the five of us fit in fine and will take the GT on a 300 mile round trip to the cost next w/e. Only thing is, like most coupes, you can't put a tall person behind a tall person. The GT is a hatchback too so i'd say it's more practical than the 166.

Dynamically, the GT is way ahead of the 166. I always raved about the 166's Jeckle and Hyde character but the GT is in a different league. I wasn't expecting it to be so much faster than the 166 but I guess the extra horses and lower weight make all the difference. On 18" wheels it goes round corners like it's on rails. The down side is the ride which is firm and means you need to keep an extra keen eye out for pot holes. A low ride height also make the GT more prone to grounding too. Oh yeah, and don't go anywhere near kerbs as the alloys are proud of the rubber band tyres so are extremely easy to damage.

My 166 is still my favourite car ever but my GT is a pretty close second.
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If you are doing the miles to justify a diesel, and you can afford/stomach the ridiculous tax, then you'd be well advised to look at this

Alfa Romeo GT SPORTIVO 12 MONTHS MAPFRE WARRANTY Petrol 2004 Hatchback for sale €4,250
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