Alfa Romeo Forum banner

159. Good Idea?

1530 Views 13 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  mo 156
I bought an 07 plate 147 TI three years ago. Loved the car, but the car hated me. Lots of suspension problems even though it was low mileage. Now got an X type Jag which is Ok but not great.

The problem with owning an Alfa is when it is in your blood it is hard to let go.

The only Alfa I would currently consider is the 159. It is a very nice looking car, and I get the impression it is more reliable than the 147. Is this recommended by anybody or would I be taking a risk? I realise I may get a lot of pro views bearing in mind it is an Alfa forum but I would also appreciate it if I could hear the bad things as well.
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
I think its all about getting the right car. I bought mine (an 08) for a little over £7k in March, but have spent quite a bit on it since then to bring it up to scratch. So long as you put some thought into your purchase, or at least budget to get it looked at/serviced by a specialist after purchase, you should be fine. Plenty of good advice to be had on this forum!

The most expensive thing I did was get the Cam/waterbelt replaced pretty much as quickly as I could after I bought mine (it was coming up to 50k miles), plus new MAP and MAF sensors and have had the front suspension (upper and lower arms, both sides) replaced as well.

On the other hand, after all that work, its an absolute joy to drive. Fantastic handling and grip, great torque and acceleration (had it mapped). The 5 cylinder 2.4 engine has a really gorgeous note when you push on the accelerator - not like any diesel I've driven before. It's well built, comfortable seats, and its just a great place to simply be as a driver. It has loads of room (at least for what I need) and is plenty economical enough (I get over 40mpg currently). Plus it is (to my eye) easily the best looking car on the road :). Certainly the best car I have ever owned, and not far off the best I have yet driven. I've had mine for 5 months and am always finding excuses just to go drive it :D.

But for an alternative view, you may want to check some of the other threads on here - some posters have had some real problems; look up some of Shadowamd's posts for example. They can have problems with the DPF and EGR, as well as other problems. They are also said to eat tyres if not set up correctly, and suffer from "soft" paint, especially the red.
See less See more
Agree with Mark above. I bought my car a monthy or so ago on a 58 plate for around the same as Mark and too encountered a few things I wanted to put right. I think it comes from being an Alfa owner, this is my 5th now, you get to understand these things and move to rectify things which to the uninitiated would never get picked up on.

I bought my car as it was a colour combo that appealed to me of red leather on a white paint - which I like a lot. Its a Lusso spec where I maybe would have liked TI overall, but for a colour colour spec I like it is worth the comparise to me, so you have that choice to make. Lusso is top spec, but TI is the sporty spec and could be considered better as has different interior, the bigger wheels and lowered suspension.

The cars themselves are very different to the 147/156 era - theyre bigger and heavier (US market ploy) but are more luxuary cruiser where the 156/147 is more nimble, lighter and sporty, so you have to keep that in mind. they still handle well though - it is still an Alfa!

problems wise if you're from the 147/156 era you know what to expect. The engines are good and solid, diesels are the ones to wants with 1.9 being most popular. They suffer the same EGR and DPF issues as any modern derv though - but nothing specific to Alfa really.

The suspension is still something to keep an eye on - you will wear the bushes out eventually, which i guess happens on any car given long enough.

The gearbox on the 1.9 derv (not to be confused with the 2.0) can be a bit of a softie so if it has noises walk away. cluthes are DMF as well, so if that's worn expect a fat bill.

the only other thing is the power steering - Alfa spec'd the green fluid but for some reason they kept putting the red fluid in it, which didn't do the rack any favours. it should have green fluid in it. if its got red, changing it isn't always wise mind - but you need to check for leaks and be aware of steering noise - if it has, consider walking away as it'll want fixing sooner or later. you can replace just the rack ends though.
See less See more
It completely deppends what youre looking for. I had mine for 9-10 months and wasnt that happy with it. Compared to an 156 TS I had before, the torque felt massive first but disapeard on higher revs (2.2 JTS). It ran thirster and gearing felt more slack.

Steering was good and direct but compared against a 156 could you steer another lap, given you shorter turningcircle (But I dont remember that much, my 156 V6 have terrible turningcircle). Seats was comfortble and plenty of space.

I missed the fun I had in my 156, so I had to get a new one. The 159 felt more like a buissness luxury car with some Alfa sportness and beautiful look. Sadly I think its a noisy car, its quiet from wind and engine noise but the roadnoise took over since the others where silenced. Putting on an sportexhaust made it sound loud inside it, the middle silencer felt useless and had to put back stock on it again.

Timingchain wouldnt last for much longer, had steering rack problems and DMF + Slavecylinder failed on it. Bought it at 65000 km and sold at 82000 km. Maybe and 1.9 JTD would be most economical chooise, maybe the automatic (sadly) runs better since many clutches goes and gearboxes on the 1.9. The GM HF-V6 can push out lots of HP but that costs..2.4 JTD for most fun without spending too much money? Except for timingbelt changes..
See less See more
I also went from an X-type (2.5 V6) to a 58 plate 159 SW Ti about 18 months ago. Totally different car, Jag was great but I much prefer thee 159 Ti. I borrowed my cousins 147 Ti for 2 weeks while on holiday in Italy a couple of years ago, its much more nimbler than the 159 Ti and on small narrow roads more fun, but I wouldn't swap the 159 Ti :D
I thought the 159 had a chain rather than a cambelt? My uncle had a warning light and his main dealer told him it was a faulty chain. They paid £1600 to get it changed. Guess what, the same warning light came on again. From what I was told, a totally unjustified repair. Anyway that is why I'm surprised MarkiT mentioned the belt.
Depends what you are after. There are not a lot for sale compared to say a BMW 3 series and most will require some sort of minor work such as bushes etc. There are some stories of Alfa being slack on the application of body protection so rust is already coming to the fore on some peoples cars. Some say the Ti is the sporty spec but i still found mine a bit wafty coming out of a BMW E46 sport. If treated like its supposed to be ie a GT, then you soon get accustomed to its dynamics and appreciate them for what they are. Money wise a Ti commands a premium over all other spec's, add a Q-tronic auto box to it and up the engine to a 2.4 and you need to add a couple of grand again. Top condition cars will also be more expensive. I bought mine for a fraction of what it should have cost but I had to spend nearly £2000 bringing it up to standard.

If you are handy with the spanners consider buying one which needs suspension work as its not too difficult and can be a real bargaining tool when negotiating. Another upside of this is you will know the suspension has been overhauled and is another cost which shouldn't raise its head again for a few years. General servicing is not difficult either including the timing belt but you will need a good collection of mechanics tools.

If you prefer a garage to look after your cars consider buying the absolute best you can afford even if it means dropping a spec or going back a year more than you had hoped. Ensure the service history is immaculate and if you can, try to get one which has had oil changes every 10K or so instead of the recommended 18k and if its a derv make sure there are plenty of miles on it for the year as a 5 year old car with 20K miles will have dpf issues later on.

All the Derv's tend to suffer from coked up inlet manifolds which cause spluttering and problems with cold starting. Some cold start lumpiness is normal, on the 2.4's at least, but should clear after a mile or less. A lot of people are raving about the BG engine clean which is actually a good idea, but it won't clean your inlet manifold adequately. To do it properly will require the manifold to be striped from the car and hours of cleaning by hand .

Q-tronics tend to be the safer option gearbox wise and work extremely well with the 2.4 but mpg will suffer. Take a look through past posts and you will find very few failures. Manual boxes tend to need DMF's and clutches.

hope this helps
See less See more
The comment above covers it all really, well said

Sent from Free App
Love the 159, especially in 3.2Q4 Ti guise.

If I'd bought one of those new when I bought my 2.2, I doubt I'd have bought the Breras.
Great car. A true Alfa, the engine choice should depend on your needs. But as a car in itself, its beautiful, comfortable, safe, nice to drive, well built, exclusive and has a lovely interior.

I never looked back.

Salute, Giordano.
I'll put my grumpy moaning hat on for a sec, I preferred the 156! and while my 159 has now become more flexible and more fun after the remap and some thrashing I still think I'd fall in love with a petrol 156 again! I'm comparing apples and grapes! while you are talking apples and pears with the jag!

I'm starting to love my 159 but I'm not there yet... solid motorway cruiser, but a little heavy I still weep for my 156!
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.