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Discussion Starter #1
Just seen this on the Autocar site, and for them it's surprisingly positive, considering they're writing about something that isn't either a Ford or German.

Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon 1750 TBi TI - Road Test First Drive - Autocar.co.uk

One thing surprised me though, their complaints about the quality of the interior, my 159 is two years old, and there's nothing wrong with mine, no 'poor quality plastics' as far as I can see, and I've owned four Audis, so I know what quality looks like. Is that pic of the interior a current car though? The only new 159 I've sat in had a much darker finish on the aluminium bits. All forums attract t0ssers of course, even this one at times, but the comments that follow the article make sad reading. Old prejudices about Alfas certainly die hard, and I bet none of those slagging off the cars has so much as sat in one, maybe they all drive company Astras and are secretly consumed with envy.
 

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It certainly doesn't look like my Ti interior... Quality wise I agree, it's good and materials have good feeling to them. The only thing I would change is stalks . look and feel cheapish.
 

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Have to agree with most of the review.
Have now done about 1400 miles in mine (though mostly in rotten weather).
Generally speaking I love it. Only niggles:-

B&M media player flakey, clunky, clumsy. Easier using MP3 cds.
Seat belt catch awkward to reach between seat and centre storage.
Poor economy so far. Average this morning of 28.1 MPG. Engines still tight and it does seem to be improving. Official combined figure is 34.9. My 1.6 147 had an official combined figure of 34.3 (so slighlty lower) and I used to regularily get 35-38 MPG on my normal run to work. 28 seems kinda low. Any other TBi owners out there getting better/worse?

But on the whole, a great car with a cracking engine.
 

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Er, I may have just registered with the Autocar website and thrown a bit of a rant....people here may agree with me though

cheers, Fraser
 

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There's nothing wrong with the plastics. Typical Autocar, have to find something to bash an Alfa with. And the comment about the chassis being " no spring chicken", what does that mean? It's about as modern as anything else out there and is known to be one of the stiffest in its class. To**ers!:mad:

But yeah overall a good review.:)
 

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Yeah what was that nutter on about it having a crap interior and should have had 200bhp per litre!! WHAT THE F????? Total tool, probably never driven a car in his life.
 

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I am just about to change cars. My adorable 156, changed for an 159 ti.
The Autocar story and the forum discussion, makes rather enjoyable reading.
In the process of changing cars, I was looking at BMW x1, Audi A4, Ford Mondeo, and even Opel Insignia. All Brand new cars. After comparing them to the 159 TI, It made my choice easy! It is still a totally smashing looking car. Interior to die for! Cheap plastic bits my a**!

And in the end. I love owning an Alfa, I am really looking forward to each drive:)
We are the lucky ones...
 

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The interior of the Alfa 159 :cool: is simply superb, miles ahead of an A4, BMW or Merc. in terms of design, appearance and quality of materials! Mine is black and beige dashboard with beige Alfatex and after three years of ownership is wearing well with a noticable absense of rattles, squeaks and any other noises.
 

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I honestly do not get the plastic quality comment or that of the ride which is limo like compared to the 3 series:confused:
 
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I think the interior of my 06 Brera was better than that of my 09 159.

However the 159 is still bloody good. Better than the leather clad
A4 I rode in today.

Only bad points are the visible unsprayed boot area and sliding
shutter centre console ashtray area.
 

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the only cheep plastic will be from the polyester suits that these reviewers must wear:lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I honestly do not get the plastic quality comment or that of the ride which is limo like compared to the 3 series:confused:
I made the point about plastic quality in my opening post, you have to wonder sometimes if Autocar writers actually examine and drive the cars they write about, what are they comparing them with? I'm preaching to the converted here, but although my 159 is on 18" wheels, and the test car was on 19"s, I can't think that makes a lot of difference, I've driven a Ti, and the ride wasn't noticeably bad. My wife is not a car enthusiast, a harsh critic in fact, and we do quite a lot of long distance stuff in mainland Europe. We've driven to Italy at least once in each of our 21st century cars, a Mk4 Golf GTi which was adequate but nothing special for comfort, ditto for roadholding, a Mk 3 GTi which was better, two Saabs, a 9-3 and a 9-5 which were both good with excellent seats, and better road feel than the Mk4 Golf, even the much maligned 9-5 surprisingly, an Audi A4 which had uncomfortably hard seats and an unbelievably bad ride, though very good handling, and that was a nice car despite the distinct lack of comfort. The 159 is unquestionably the best, good seats, and a pretty impressive ride, even on mountain roads, it's my wife's favourite by a very long way. But of course, being impartial would prevent my wife's unbiassed opinions counting for much with Autocar. The Saabs were the most troublefree cars I've ever owned with a 100% fault and problem free record, but my current Alfa isn't far behind them, beating all the German stuff hands down, my Audi spent quite a lot of time back at the dealer with recurring faults.
 

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They gave the engine a good review and I can't see any problem with the interior plastics, not a bad review for once from Autocar
 

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Yep, I thought the review was positive enought to get people to test drive. Just hope they don't change their minds in a few years, like they did with the 156 :(
 

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Discussion Starter #16
A couple of personal opinions from Autocar staff here the day after their test appeared, and they both agree that the car has real charm and ability, something we could all have told them of course.

Alfa builds a cracking car - at last - Tester?s notes

Both admit that the 159 total on the road experience adds up to more than the component parts. I agree with others that the original test was good by Autocar standards, but I'm still a bit mystified by some of their criticisms, how can anyone complain about Alfa ride quality after driving an Audi? The writer admits it's better than an A5, but they didn't make that comparison in the original test. My 2002 A4 Avant was tolerable, but an uncomfortable weekend in an even worse loan A3 Sporthatch put me off Audis for life.
 

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Kayem, I think the way we see ride/suspension quality may be subjective. I had a chance to drive Audi A3 loaner for 2k km and remember it as one of the most comfy suspensions ever. Not thrilling driving experience but comfortable ride. My 19" Ti comfort is ok and fine with me. On the other hand, our 3yo 50k km VW New Beetle Cabrio has the worst suspension under the sun (bought brand new)...
 
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Not a bad review at all. :cool:

I think one in ti spec would make a great alternative to some of the other marques out there.

A decent engine and of course that unmistakable Alfa styling.

Agree though about the tired old cliches in the comments section. :rolleyes:
 

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A couple of personal opinions from Autocar staff here the day after their test appeared, and they both agree that the car has real charm and ability, something we could all have told them of course.

Alfa builds a cracking car - at last - Tester?s notes

Both admit that the 159 total on the road experience adds up to more than the component parts. I agree with others that the original test was good by Autocar standards, but I'm still a bit mystified by some of their criticisms, how can anyone complain about Alfa ride quality after driving an Audi? The writer admits it's better than an A5, but they didn't make that comparison in the original test. My 2002 A4 Avant was tolerable, but an uncomfortable weekend in an even worse loan A3 Sporthatch put me off Audis for life.
I had an Audi A4 SE which drove and handled like a sofa but somehow conspired to pick up every imperfection in the road. The much newer A4 Sportline that I tried just before I chose the 159 was even worse. Utterly dead at the helm, a feeling that you were driving over a washboard and completely devoid of charm or appeal. Add to the distinctly poor reliability record and arrogant dealerships they are the complete opposite of Alfa - Audi's are the most over-rated cars on the planet.
 

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Well, I'm just back after spending today's hours of daylight conducting an extended (120+ miles) test drive in one around south-central Scotland - a good mix of city centre, cross-country and motorway miles. This - :D :thumbs: :inlove: - says it all really! Just as well since I've already put a deposit down on one last week, :rolleyes: :lol:.

OK, with the stiffened suspension and 19" wheels it did 'crash' around a little bit in the city streets compared to my current Lusso on 18s but, hey, some of those roads resembled the surface of the moon and would have been a bumpy ride in a hovercraft, :eek:. Compared to 'my' 2.4JTDm (and even more so my previous V6) engine, this one is a bit quiet and initially I was disappointed by its lack of 'Alfaness' in the aural department. However, once out on the open road, it takes on a character all of its own and any sound deficiences very quickly became insignificant. Turbine smooth and almost clinical in its power delivery with a virtually instantaneous rush of power at an revs, it seems to combine the best of both worlds - all the best characteristics of a nice free-revving smallish (relatively) capacity petrol combined with loads of low-down diesel-like torque, :thumbs:. Quite addictive really!

The handling is pin-sharp, almost go-cart like and feels more like a MiTo than any 159 I've sampled before. I was always fairly satisfied with my current Sportwagon's road manners, but I now realise just how much it is compromised by that big heavy 5-pot oil burner over the front wheels. A series of mixed-radius S-bends had me grinning like a Cheshire cat, :D , as it went through as if on rails, rather than gritting my teeth at the fast approaching terminal understeer that my 2.4 would exhibit under similar circumstances. So, progress through the bends can be at a much swifter pace than I would have previously thought possible, and down the straights is almost akin to sitting in an Exocet missile - something the driver of a Focus ST170 bore witness to when he had to concede defeat (eventually) and let me through so that I could leave him struggling in my wake, :cool:.

Roll on the 1st of March.
 
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