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Discussion Starter #1
Hoping to buy my first Alfa in the next couple of months, have done extensive reading on here and official reviews of all three models. I also flirted with the idea of buying a Mito as I would have a fairly new car within my 15k price range but don't think it would suit my needs (OK then, 'ego' :D ) - so....

I love the Brera but would like the 2.2 Brera S, which would mean having to save up for longer and I don't do patience...

I like the 159, would prefer the 2.2 Ti but it's the missus who would prefer a 4-door - but she doesn't drive and there's only the two of us, kids having grown up (?) and left - I haven't carried a back seat passenger in over a year and would really like a coupe...

...which leaves the GT. Older model/design means I would be able to afford one sooner than a Brera or 159 (hoping to get one within 3 years old, under 25k miles, has to be petrol for me and I can't afford to run the 3.2, would like leather seats though). I much prefer the style of the Brera and 159 but the GT seems to get pretty good write ups everywhere, more so than the Brera, and price-wise it does look like a lot of car for the money in the used market and as there are few Alfas of any type in my area it would still be a good choice for exclusivity.

Decent choice? Reliable? (Mechanical reliability is the most important thing to me, especially given the nearest dealer is 65 miles away).

Any thoughts? Thanks.
 

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Well I think you just answered your own question there!

If you are looking at a GT and cannot afford to run the V6 then no matter how much you prefer petrol engines, I urge you to also test drive the JTDm.

I have recently bought a GT JTDm and am really pleased with it - not mega fast but the torque makes it great fun for a B road blast. I have come from a long line of powerful petrols and still really enjoy driving this car despite it being an oil burner.

The car had to go in to have some niggles sorting so Mangos have given me a 2.0 petrol JTS Cloverleaf as a courtesy car.

After a couple of days driving it I utterly despise it.

Whilst the interior is great and the handling excellent, the engine feels woefully underpowered. My JTD feels much quicker and far more fun to drive. The JTS despite supposedly having 165 bhp on tap has a flat torque curve with no real pull at any point in the range. An utterly lifeless engine with no urgency and a pathetic muted whining soudtrack. The gear shift meanwhile is stiff and heavy and every gear change is a chore, plus the car seems to insist on lurching every time you try and make any sort of swift gear change. By the time I finished my commute just an hour ago I was actually angry at the car - it is one of the most irritating cars I have ever driven, so much so I will be taking the Mrs's Honda Logo 1.3 to work instead now until I get the JTD back!

Please please PLEASE ensure you test drive the JTD and the JTS as I am sure you will reconsider the diesel if you give it a chance. It is a great engine that doesn't even sound like a conventional diesel, with pulling power, great economy, plus potential to unlock more power easily via a remap.

If you are still also considering the 159 however, whilst I haven't driven one, I did sit in one when I dropped my car off at Mangos on monday morning. The interior is stunning and the short shift gear box in the model I sat felt great when I played around with it.
 
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I've owned all three GT's and without a doubt I would have the 3.2 V6 again in different circumstances. It's a pity you can't stretch to one as it is simply a stunning engine. Like James says the 1.9 JTDm is a better car than the 2.0JTS. I was impressed by the handling of the JTS but I'm afraid that's it. There is no way it's the 165bhp it claims to be...but if you just want a gentle cruiser then I'm sure the 2.0 JTS will suffice. I now own a 1.9 JTDm again as need to save money and although I am enjoying it I am hugely missing the 3.2 V6. As soon as I get that out of my mind and begin to realise all the benefits of the JTDm (i.e £120 a month savings in fuel, insurance and tax) I'm sure I will be happier

I was all ready to buy a Brera a couple of weeks ago (had been hankering after one since they were released) but I never even botherered test driving it due to lack of space in the back (my missus is pregnant and there is no way we could have lived with it once the baby is here). The GT is an amazingly practical car for a coupe as another advantage

I'd say test drive them all as the 2.2 JTS engine may be better than the 2.0 but like James says do not put the diesel range totally out of your mind
 

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I'm on my second GT and while its the older technology they certainly have a sparkle which is lost in the newer range. This is probably more down to weight than engine efficiency.
Unless you're opting for the V6 then I'd have to agree with James Junior. The 1.9JTDm is a cracking engine and has far more life than a JTS. Its well worth checking out.
A good remap will see it with 190-200bhp and the torque will be considerably more than the V6. Not only that, it should give you 50mpg+.
Having said all that, you really must drive all three to make your mind up. The 159 and Brera are certainly better build quality. In comparison to the GT, they both feel heavier but then they do have a few more toys in them. :thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, good information. I haven't dismissed the oil burners, especially as I recently drove a couple of Mini Coopers as courtesy cars (having pranged my BM and waved goodbye to my no-claims and probably any thoughts of a 3.2 Alfa) one diesel, one petrol and to my surprise actually much preferred the diesel!

I'm not ruling out the 159 mainly due to the insurance premium being 3 notches higher on the GT for some ridiculous reason, given that the performance figures for the 2.0 GT and the 2.2 159 are remarkably similar - 0-60 is in fact the same - and will have to see how the next couple of months pan out, but will be test driving as many as possible in the coming weeks. I have read several times that the diesel is a very good unit, whereas the 2.0 petrol feels underpowered, something I might find hard to live with. Seems to be plenty more diesels to choose from too, makes sense to give it serious consideration if it's not too noisy (again something I would find hard to live with).
 

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Seems to be plenty more diesels to choose from too, makes sense to give it serious consideration if it's not too noisy (again something I would find hard to live with).
Unfortunately its does sound like a diesel on start up but its as quiet as the petrol when cruising.
If you're heavy with the right foot, then it sounds like an angry Alfa. :)
Not quite the same as the petrol but definately an Alfa.
Its actually very appealing after a few goes as long as you can get used to shifting at 4500rpm.
 

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Unfortunately its does sound like a diesel on start up but its as quiet as the petrol when cruising.
If you're heavy with the right foot, then it sounds like an angry Alfa. :)
Not quite the same as the petrol but definately an Alfa.
Its actually very appealing after a few goes as long as you can get used to shifting at 4500rpm.
Yeah that is an important distinction to make actually - good call V6 Dog.

The engine does 'clatter' when fired up and getting up to temperature, but once warmed up and on the move it does sound more like a conventional petrol engine to me.

Also it doesn;t have a tiny power band like a lot of diesels - there is still power to be had right up to the tope of the rev range, though it does fall away near the redline.
 

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As everyone else has said here, you really need to test drive the different cars and engines.

I've felt the need to defend the 2.0JTS engine a number of times on here from the same comments that it's underpowered. Mine is very lively when it needs to be, but you do have to put some urgency into your driving to whip it into a frenzy. When the revs pick up it just pulls and pulls and pulls. And sounds great. But in normal driving I find the 2.0JTS very calm and easy to drive. I just wish it had a 6th gear for motorway speeds.

Personally I didn't get on with the diesel GT, despite it's obviously superior mpg, and just couldn't live with the noise at start up and idle. Yeah, I'm shallow, but a car this beautiful deserves to be accompanied by a similarly beautiful purr in my view, and I don't do enough miles to warrant the extra mpg and used-cost-to-buy of the diesel.

Whichever you get (car and engine), it'll still be an Alfa!
 

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I had a GT 2.0JTS as a courtesy car for a week a few months back and, while it was great fun, the ride was terrible (it was on 18" wheels) and anything other than a smooth road really unsettled it. It also had the 156 trait of bottoming out in dips or rises in the road. The big downside for me though was the noise at motorway speed - it was turning over huge revs at 70/80 and got a bit tiring after just an hour.

I love the GT but it would have to be a remapped JTDm on 17s for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
159TI vote here - not as raw as the GT but stunningly beautiful
Can't argue with that! I spent 2 1/2 hours down at Mango's in Knutsford today, and went with an open mind but expected the cars (none of which I have really seen properly up close) to look good but maybe not be quite so special behind the wheel. Upon getting out of my car, the first thing that struck me was how stunningly beautiful the whole range was - there is no other way to describe it - and the 159 Ti immediately caught my eye. It looks like a 40-grand plus car - in fact no, it looks like no other car in it's class at any price!

I was lucky enough to arrive just in time to hear a 3.2 Brera S being fired up - what an amazing sound (and that's just at idle speed), it immediately made me wonder why other manufacturers strive to make their 3 litre cars sound so quiet! :confused:

Anyway I had a long chat with the sales guy who was never pushy but very enthusiatic despite telling him I wasn't ready to buy for some time yet. He then unexpectedly dropped a huge bonus in my lap - he lives in Blackpool a couple of miles away from me, and said it would be no problem for him to bring up a courtesy car and take mine down there the next morning if it ever needed to go in for servicing etc. - a great start.

To cut to the chase, we went out in the only 159 available at the time, a 159 Ti 2.4 JTDM. I don't like diesel, never have, but I just might have been converted! The interior looks as good as the outside, and every bit as good as any beemer I've sat in, but what an incredible engine - once on the road and warmed up you would be exteremely hard pushed to know you were sat in a diesel, both from the sound and it's drivability - 20 to 80 in the blink of an eye in 4th, never driven anything like it and I have driven the BM 520d and 530d on numerous occasions, which were refined but you still knew you were driving a diesel. I wanted to know how it would handle going into a bend too fast if you had to brake down quickly, and discussed it with my unflinching passenger who just calmly said, "Try it!". I hit a sharp right hander at 80, faster than I had intended, braked and with a squeal of rear tires the car powered out without a hint of drama, totally effortlessly. Not a hint of the TC cutting in. Now I wouldn't have dared throw my BM in at that speed and braked, and if I had I would not have been able to take the car out of the bend the way I wanted to, the electronics would have been fighting with me to do it it's own way with the car flinching and twisting a dozen times before settling down. If I wasn't already hooked, I was at that moment. This is an incredible car. I haven't driven anything else yet, and will definately give the 2.2 an the GT a run at some point, but I think this is the car for me although I will probably have to go for the Lusso as I think the missus will find the seats more comfortable, so long as you don't lose too much of the tautness of the Ti.

Oh, one other thing - one of the main reasons I'm looking to change is I have back problems and my lower back suffers in the BM no matter how much I try to adjust the seats/steering. I was instantly comfortable in the Alfa with little adjustment, but didn't actually realise it until I got back in my own car for the trip home. As PAJ said, whatever my next car is I am now 100% certain it will be an Alfa. To think I can buy a decent one of these for under 15k is almost unbelievable. Now if only I could stretch to running the 3.2 and life would be just perfect :D
 

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If you are a petrol man get the GT V6. Save until you can. In fuel economy terms there won't be loads in it between that and the 159 2.2, and the GT will hold its money better IMO. :)
 

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As PAJ said, whatever my next car is I am now 100% certain it will be an Alfa. To think I can buy a decent one of these for under 15k is almost unbelievable. Now if only I could stretch to running the 3.2 and life would be just perfect :D
Its too late, you're hooked! :D

Glad you enjoyed the 159. It is a beauty of a car.
If you suffer with your back and you're a big chap, you might struggle in the Brera as the limited headroom means you need to recline the seat more than you normally would.
I have to say although I love my GT I've never been 100% comfortable in it. This is due to lack of reach on the steering wheel and the rather high pedals.
However you need to see for yourself and try all three.

As the wife insists on 4 doors maybe you could come to a compromise. She can only have 4 doors if you can have the 3.2. Voila! I give you the 159 3.2V6. :lol: :thumbs:
 

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Aye! I like the '59 Ti .. it's a handsome beast!

2.4 lorry engined version is probably the one to have if petrol if you can't stretch to the 3.2 v6! :D


Ralf S.
 

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Glad you enjoyed the Ti. The Lusso is definately softer but can still handle itself well. People criticised the seats in the early Lusso's (mine is an 07) but I think they are supremely comfortable and just about grippy enough. I have never driven a car that leaves me so fresh after long journeys.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
That's a very convincing argument, V6 Dog! :D

Having heard the V6 soundtrack the question is can I live without one? :lol:

I have no loans or anything to pay and will be buying cash - I don't even have a mortgage as we rent our home and are happy to do so, so could anybody work out, very roughly, the total running costs of a V6 based on 15k miles a year?
 
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That's a very convincing argument! :D

Having heard the V6 soundtrack the question is can I live without one? :lol:

I have no loans or anything to pay and will be buying cash - I don't even have a mortgage as we rent our home and are happy to do so, so could anybody work out, very roughly, the total running costs of a V6 based on 15k miles a year?
It cost me £40 a week on average in fuel in the V6 GT I owned and I do about 8k miles a year. A vast majority of my driving is city and A and B roads though. I am very rarely on the motorway. In contrast the diesel is costing me £20-£25 a week thus far but I reckon I can better that with slightly more sensible driving. I never think to check to mpg on the computer
 

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That's a very convincing argument! :D

Having heard the V6 soundtrack the question is can I live without one? :lol:

I have no loans or anything to pay and will be buying cash - I don't even have a mortgage as we rent our home and are happy to do so, so could anybody work out, very roughly, the total running costs of a V6 based on 15k miles a year?
Based on 15,000 miles a year a V6 should cost the following in fuel:-

Average MPG 25, running on regular unleaded @ 102p per litre:-

£2,784.60 per annum / £232.05 per month

Average MPG 25, running on high grade unleaded @ 109p per litre:-

£2,975.70 per annum / £247.98 per month

Average MPG 20, running on regular unleaded @ 102p per litre:-

£3,480.75 per annum / £290.06 per month

Average MPG 20, running on high grade unleaded @ 109p per litre:-

£3,719.63 per annum / £309.97 per month

Clearly a lot will depend on your driving style and the general conditions you regularly drive in. If you do a lot of city driving then 20mpg average consumption is not unrealistic - the 2.0 JTS I have had as a courtesy car shows an average of 25 on the trip whilst i have been using it to commute to work in Manchester.

My model doesn't allow for rising fuel costs which do seem likely over the next twelve months given the sustained rises in oil price and the impact a global economic recovery (if it comes) will have on prices... :)
 

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GT will do 34mpg or so sitting at 70mph, so if you do a lot of this driving it won't be too painful. They engines take the miles well, the only thing you need to do is the cambelts every 4 years or 50k (Alfa say 5 years or 72k - too long)
 
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