Alfa Romeo Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi

A while back I decided to sell my 911 and get a saloon car, for practicality reasons. Having now owned a fully loaded 159 3.2l Q4 Lusso for 3 months I thought I'd share my feelings and observations on the car.

Firstly, the 159 is obviously not as sharp or fast as my old 911, in fact everything performance-wise is no match at all for a 911. Quelle surprise I hear you say. BUT...It is surprisingly rapid but never fast, the steering feel is very, very good and the car is completely neutral. It is hugely annoying that the car only comes in front-wheel drive (awful) or four-wheel drive (very good but saps the power somewhat) variants. Alfa Romeo need to be delivering rear-wheel drive cars if they hope to sell to the serious sports car market. People who buy performance cars do not want four-wheel drive, and that really is that. I tolerate my car being four-wheel drive because the only alternative, front wheel drive, is devil's spawn.

What this car lacks in performance it makes up for in aesthetics. It really is a most striking vehicle to look at. The front grille with those slanty evil eyes is one of the most imposing sights on the road! And the rear end is sublime. Squatting over fat haunches with the gorgeous line of the rear melding into the light cluster and the twin tailpipes displaying understated purpose. The beauty doesn't stop there, the inside is to die for. Quality leather, ergonomic driver focussed dash, all the dials you need and an ethos parsimonious design, but never boring.

Now, the sound of the engine. This sounded muted to me after my 911, but as I have got used to the car it is just right. A gorgeous burbling around town gives way to a building V6 roar on the open road, before climaxing in a howl at the redline. And then...

...Trouble. That awful fly-by-wire throttle. Nail the car into the red and change up, only to have the thing die as it tries to work out what you are doing with the loud pedal. Awful. Awful. Awful. Jesus Christ, I cannot stress how f**king annoying this is, just use a cable like everyone else you frigging retards! There are ways around this, post sale, but come on, this is supposed to be the top of the range 159 so sort the throttle response.

I can't comment on the hi-fi, on the basis that all factory hi-fi in cars is sh!te (including the Bose in my Porker) I ripped it out and put 600W of proper hi-fi and sat-nav in. Does the job but I like the engine sound a lot :)

Braking is smooth and is not too servo-assisted. The gear change is positive and not notchy. The fuel economy is far worse than a 911, even though the car delivers far less power. Alfa must try harder on engine efficiency methinks.

I've had one warranty repair and had the car vandalised once. Both matters were dealt with efficiently by the Alfa dealer.

All in all, I am far glad I chose this over the BMW 335D or 335i that I was looking at. I certainly would not buy a horrid Audi and I am not imaginitive enough to think of an alternative.

159, great car and its faults merely add to the charm!

Ben
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32,440 Posts
Nice review. If I had the cash I'd buy one like yours - an SW though :)

Glad you choose Alfa over Bm and Audi :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
694 Posts
As another ex-Porsche owner, needing a bit more space, I broadly agree with your feelings,though I've got a Brera. The 159, (or maybe a GT) will probably be my next car.
I would add that after being used to excellent build quality from the Porsches I've owned, I was a little worried over Alfa's "flaky" build quality reputation. After more or less 2 years of owning the Brera, the build quality is no more an issue than with any other brand. Its been pretty faultless & feels as if it will go for years.
The only down-sides are the mpg & the dealerships not giving customer service to an equal level as the quality of the cars they sell.
Hope you enjoy the 159.
Matt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I would add that after being used to excellent build quality from the Porsches I've owned, I was a little worried over Alfa's "flaky" build quality reputation. The only down-sides are the mpg & the dealerships not giving customer service to an equal level as the quality of the cars they sell.
Hope you enjoy the 159.
Matt.
Yeah, the MPG is a killer. I get 15.6mpg compared to 17.8 in the 911, shocking! But you can put the cheap stuff in the Alfa so I guess it evens out. Like you, I was really worried by the build quality but it's been fine to date and I also think it'll run and run. Already thinking I'd replace it with another Alfa when the time comes.

I don't use my local Alfa dealer (Tates in Brighton have a dreadful reputation) but use Monza Sport in Ashington and they have been great.

To be honest, I was never that into the Porsche dealers. Bow Porsche were snooty cowboys who tried to rip me off for new discs when the muppets had actually fitted new ones 2000 miles previously. Note to dim Bow Porsche manager; read your own service log before trying to resell 600 quid's worth of discs to the same customer you sold them to two months previously!

A lot of people ask how I am going with my 'downgrade' but they have never owned either car so their perception is coloured by the press and stereotypical view of Alfa's being unreliable rust-buckets. Ultimately it's only a piece of metal and you cannot get too precious about these things. Being into cars is about loving cars whatever their 0-60 time is, and there is a lot to love about Alfa Romeo!

Ben
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,180 Posts
Interesting thoughts Ben, cheers :thumbs:
We're all hoping that Alfa will sort the RWD thing with the upcoming 169 though ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
To help you decide...


German or Italian food?

German or Italian weather?

German or Italian fashion?

German or Italian language?

German or Italian women?

German or Italian holiday?

German or Italian culture?










Tell me again why you bought a German car???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
578 Posts
what about German porn though? thats quite good...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
80 Posts
I have now had my 159 3.2 Q4 for 16 months and whilst I like the idea of owning an Alfa the experience could be almost any quality German car. It is solid as a rock, never takes a wrong step and point & go. It is a heavy brick though, not very mobile and hard work to get any great joy out of it as the balance is all wrong. So whilst it looks brilliant it drive is not as exciting but then maybe I should accept it is not a sports car but a 4 door family car but then the MPG is all wrong.

End of the day it just does not put a smile on my face as it should.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,508 Posts
That's a shame Oliver but I think the reality is the latest batch of Alfa's don't perform as well as they look....i'm still considering a 159ti but have resigned myself to the fact the drive will never quite match those stunning looks
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
80 Posts
Prior to the 159 I owned a RX8. Now I know there are those that do not like aspects of the car, particular the rotary engine and MPG but it never failed to put a smile on my face. It was a sporty low seat drive, engine would rev for ever and a 50/50 balance which made it very agile.

Not sure I would get another as it has become very cheap and boy racer and I don't like the new R3 version. As a change I may get the 330 Ci soft-top, cheap 2nd hand with the recession and hard-top around.

rael
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,508 Posts
Prior to the 159 I owned a RX8. Now I know there are those that do not like aspects of the car, particular the rotary engine and MPG but it never failed to put a smile on my face. It was a sporty low seat drive, engine would rev for ever and a 50/50 balance which made it very agile.

Not sure I would get another as it has become very cheap and boy racer and I don't like the new R3 version. As a change I may get the 330 Ci soft-top, cheap 2nd hand with the recession and hard-top around.

rael
Owned one of the 1st RX8's in my town when the came out - felt great for 3months driving round like a film star then the TT factor started and they multiplied like rabbits....once it lost that exclusivity the 17mpg seemed to annoy me more...the fact the rear seatbelt wouldn't fit round our child seat was the last straw so it was moved on....best handling car i've ever driven although always felt it could have handled more power.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Interestingly I tested against the RX8 but found it too 'weedy' at low RPM. That said, I used to have an S2000 which kicked ass so I think it was more in comparison to my 911 really.

Having had a 6 cylinder car I wanted another for the noise and grunt and got the 159. I bet the RX8 is tighter but the 159 is such a beauty!

Ben
 
A

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
i have said this time and time again...
looks? brilliant.
build quality? brilliant.
the 159 is as good as the competition and looks a million dollars better too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,508 Posts
i have said this time and time again...
looks? brilliant.
build quality? brilliant.
the 159 is as good as the competition and looks a million dollars better too.
Can't disagre 68 - to be fair it could be a little lighter and better on the economy but apart from that it's a cracker :thumbs:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
i own an elise and now a father of 2, i need a car that i can bring my 2 boys out on Sunday drives without being the laughing-stock of the gang...
plus i have to convince my wife that the car is also practical.
and the 159SW fits beautifully.
although i cannot keep up as well with the lotuses, but the twisty bits don't seem to bother the car at all.
certain fast corners, i can manage as well in it as i do in the elise.
and that is what amazes me most.

i must say, i love this car!
and i am glad i bought this and not the Audi.... :thumbs:
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top