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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I am new to the forum, but have been reading through the many posts with interest, as I am in the process of evaluating the 159 and my intention is/was to buy a late 159 2.0 JTDm Lusso.

Being new to Alfa, as with many I have reservations about taking the plunge and actually buying one based upon perceived brand reliability. If you look to the internet for feedback, you predominantly get doom and gloom with various issues and reliability problems being reported.

I do take some of this with a pinch of salt, as typically people only write about things when they go wrong. I came across the Alfa Owner forum and hoped to find some great feedback around the real Alfa experience. I think I have for the most part, but it hasn’t swayed my reservations about buying an Alfa. If anything, talk of rattles, suspension wear, ECU problems, low clutch and tyre life expectancy combined with poor fuel economy is far from given me the warm feeling I was seeking.

I know this is covering old ground to some extent as many people ask for buying advise, but I’ve not found much around the new 2.0 JTDm 159. I hope to gain some feedback from owners who’ve been running this type for the last year or so and to make a decision on which way to turn.

I’m off to drive one this weekend so will have many questions for the sales person, but there’s nothing like hearing from the actual drivers.

Much appreciated,
 
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Hello all,

I am new to the forum, but have been reading through the many posts with interest, as I am in the process of evaluating the 159 and my intention is/was to buy a late 159 2.0 JTDm Lusso.

Being new to Alfa, as with many I have reservations about taking the plunge and actually buying one based upon perceived brand reliability. If you look to the internet for feedback, you predominantly get doom and gloom with various issues and reliability problems being reported.

I do take some of this with a pinch of salt, as typically people only write about things when they go wrong. I came across the Alfa Owner forum and hoped to find some great feedback around the real Alfa experience. I think I have for the most part, but it hasn’t swayed my reservations about buying an Alfa. If anything, talk of rattles, suspension wear, ECU problems, low clutch and tyre life expectancy combined with poor fuel economy is far from given me the warm feeling I was seeking.

I know this is covering old ground to some extent as many people ask for buying advise, but I’ve not found much around the new 2.0 JTDm 159. I hope to gain some feedback from owners who’ve been running this type for the last year or so and to make a decision on which way to turn.

I’m off to drive one this weekend so will have many questions for the sales person, but there’s nothing like hearing from the actual drivers.

Much appreciated,
Hi Tin, and welcome to AO. :)

I think you've correctly identified some of the major drawbacks to internet forums when seeking information. As you say, few people are motivated to visit a forum to chat about how reliable their car is, so poor feedback doesn't get balanced out.

I'd also say that whilst of course only the individual can decide what is important or otherwise in their decision-making and ownership evaluation, the issues that tend to crop up are not really very serious.

The new generation of Alfas (159, Brera, Giulietta, MiTo) are well put together and rarely go wrong in a major way. Even when you look at "Britain's best and worst" type surveys (which Alfa has just performed very well in) the gap between "best" and "worst" is rarely that great.

The issues you list seem to relate to earlier Alfas; ECU failure, suspension failure and the like should not trouble the average 159 owner. Tyre-wear, yes, but that is extremely easy to remedy in my experience - just have the caster and camber settings adjusted to the revised guidance from Alfa. My own Brera, running 19" wheels, has no tyre-wear issues at all.

The dreaded windscreen / dashboard "squeak" is now understood by the dealers and is easily sorted with a silicone spray.

Occasionally, some have reported the clutch pedal staying low, and the steering rack having issues but again I don't think this represents a high number of owners. The bad cases get highlighted.

Fuel consumption can be poor, so that is a consideration if you're doing high mileages.

I think most on here, however, would not state that they regret their Alfa-buying decision. As for me, I have only driven a 159 on a couple of occasions, but my Brera has now got 45,000 miles on it and it has been truly fantastic. It's quick, it handles nicely, it has never, ever broken down or shown me a warning light of any kind. It lost a bit of coolant due to a plug leaking in the front water rail, this was remedied by the dealer with no questions and nothing since has been an issue.

To add to this, I ran a 166 to over 70,000 miles and it was fine apart from a lazy central locking motor on the passenger door, and my current 156 motorway car has 118,500 miles on it and is absolutely fine. It needs front suspension wishbones, but after ten years and nearly 120,000 miles I can live with that...! :thumbs:
 

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I've not regretted my Alfa buying experiance.

First Alfa bought in august 2008 and still my current car. Only been back to the dealer other than routine services on two occasions.

1. condensation in front indicator lense
2. near side drive shaft excessive wear, which i don't see as a common fault.

It's my first ever Alfa and i'm very very pleased with it :thumbs:
 
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The 2.0 JTDm was only introduced for the 2009 model year, so the amount of specific feedback will be limited.

There are loads of 1.9's around however, so the 2 litre will be pretty much the same except better and more powerful.
The 2 litre apparently has a "close coupled DPF", which was introduced to reduce some of the problems of DPF regeneration - I imagine it is closer to the engine and runs hotter? Fuel economy is directly related to the way you drive - if you hoof it away from every traffic light you will have a happy smile and an empty wallet.
Any of the other "problems" that are exhaustively reported on the Forum have either been designed out over the life of the model or are understood by other owners (and some of the dealers), so I wouldn't worry too much - the cars are generally well built and reliable.

In the final analysis its the test drive that will tell you most of what you want to know. Leave the rose-tinted specs behind and just enjoy it for what it is. Once "interest" turns into "lust and fanaticism" you will be doomed to a lifetime of Alfa ownership.
Welcome to the Forum :)
 

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I cannot speak for 2.0, I went with TBi, but after one year and 18k km covered, 159 is sound and the amount of niggles is much lower compared with our other car VW (both bought new). VW had 4 trips to the dealer to sort malfunctioning electric windows, some buttons on the dash not working, side mirrors not properly working, popping headlight bulbs every 5-10k km etc. It didn't leave us on the side of the road for 60k km but irritation levels were high...

As for 159 niggles, it is not correctly attached rear wheel arch liner, creaking seat and sometimes noise from aircon and that's it really.
 

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Tin67

I've had a 2.0JTDM for 11 months now and almost 16,000 miles. Bought it 5 months old.

Mild Negatives

Occasional creak from off side front wheel arch - I think either UKMike or Wynne71 has posted how to fix - probably plastic liner rubbing but it's not bothered me enough to get too dirty.

One strange electrical 'reset' at 4.30am one morning on the way to work - never happened again.

The odd VDC unavailabe message - don't let it bother me (Again I seem to remember someone posted an easy fix but it has only happened twice to me.)

Fuel consumption varies from 40mpg when it is really cold and I travel an indicated 80+ up to 45mpg at 75-80 in the summer. (Don't trust the trip - mine is consistently 1.5 to 2mpg pessimistic and I have measured and checked it brim to brim over the 16,000 miles. Others on the forum with TIs seem to struggle to get 40mpg.


Positives

Got 17,500 miles out of the front tyres (R17s) and properly aligned. So not everyone has to change tyres at 8000 miles - I reckon that is 19inch related as I don't usually dawdle round the bends.

Really good round corners - bit slow off the mark - but it can go ok when the revs hit 2000.

I appreciate the cabin design and I reckon the car is nicely aggressive from all angles.

21,000 mile service interval

It can clear the road when you cruise up behind some 3rd lane dozer...

It's an Alfa that works every day for a year!


Much more planted car than my old 156 and probably about 10 times as strong - just not as nimble but then it doesn't try to change lanes when you sneeze at 80 like the 156 did.

Overall I still really enjoy it and I would recommend it.
 

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I have been running a 159 2.0JTDm for just about a year now, and overall I love it!

So far no problems to report, tyre wear seems fine, and touch wood have had no problems with the DPF!

The only down side is the 19" wheels. They seem to effect the fuel economy and are easy to scrape along the curbs :(

Overall its a great car combining that Alfa feel in a solid well build car that really stands out amongst the rather common German marques :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate the comments.

If I am honest, I still have reservations, but I guess I could say the same about any car. I'm also looking at a Passat today and these also seems to have their problems. That and I am kind of expecting it to be uninspiring and boring to drive.

I run a 08 Mini Clubman at the moment, but have outgrown it so need something bigger. It's quirky, but cheap to run and fun to drive. On the whole it's been a pretty good car, but it's certainly not been free of niggles as it's been to the dealer on a fair number of occasions over the past 2 or so years.

Niggles I can live with, unless they are not covered by warranty. It's the larger problems that put dents in the wallet that get me. Even though the events like premature clutch replacements may be more the exception than the rule, when buying a used car you can never tell what the previous owner's driving has been like.

On a separate note, looking on AR used car search, most of the late cars are Bristol registered. I assume AR import through Bristol docks, do they register management cars from there? Or would these be lease cars or similar?
 

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Hi

I have a 1.9 jtdm 159 SW. It has 65k on the clock and has never been in to a garage for any remedial work (I'm tempting fate here I know). Odd warning light message that disappears and a cracked outside centre brake light. Reasonable economy 40 ish and the most handsome car on the road- what more can I say !
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I drove a Passat 2.0 110 PS TDi this morning as the 140PS wasn't available. I have to say I was very surprised as I thought it would be underpowered. It pulled very well and gave a good ride and a "nice" drive. However, it is just that, a nice car which is a little too big for me and ordinary. The sales guy was okay, but was very dismissive on my Mini so I was not impressed there.

This afternoon I visited SGT in Taplow and was really impressed with the sales guys there. Both were extremely helpful, professional and knowledgable. I drove a 159 2.0 JTDm SW Lusso with upgraded this and that, finished in black and it looked absolutely stunning. I can't say I got the wow factor from driving it, but it was a newly registered car with 8 miles on the clock and was obviously very tight. I found on ideal that it seemed to vibrate through the car, not sure if is this normal or will go with miles.

So where am I? Convinced? Nearly, I enjoyed driving the car, but would probably need to drive another with a few more miles on the clock. Space is tight in the back, but my daughter who is the taller of my kids was happy and had enough space. One criticism; I have found that my feet were getting caught up under the dash as I switched pedals. Wrong shoes perhaps or maybe I may need to adjust the seating position. Not a show stopper.

Thanks again to all those that comments and provided feedback, I am back feeling positive about an Alfa Romeo.
 
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The sales guy was okay, but was very dismissive on my Mini so I was not impressed there.
Glad that the Alfa test drive went well Tin! :thumbs:

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On a separate note, why on Earth do sales people do this? Customer turns up in a given car, looking to move to the one he/she is selling, and all the sales person has is a dismissive attitude? Some dealers really deserve bankruptcy.
 
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