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Discussion Starter #1
Well after 12 years of Alfa ownership I have gone to the Dark Side and bought a Merc!!!:tut:

Unfortunately it was the 159 ownership that killed it for me. After 3 166's and no 166 replacement available I bought a 159 1.9jtdm SW to reduce fuel costs (currently the biggest model in the range). To be honest as good looking as the 159 is the drive is disappointingly dull and the interior space is crap compared to the 166 (3 kids).:(

Anyway I persevered for 18months and 20,000miles but I never gelled with it. Thats when the problem began, what to replace it with!

I'm not a fan of German cars in general especially Audi/BMW but I've always quite fancied a Merc (I think I'm just about old enough:lol:) so started in search of a E class.

I can honestly say the E320 cdi sport has given me the same kind of feeling the 166's did but with 38mpg and stonking performance, its superb:thumbs:

Whilst I no longer have an Alfa (for the time being) we still have a Fiat in the family and I have a Benelli motorbike and I wont be cancelling my subscription to Auto Italia or this forum:cheese:

I dont know what you guys think but Alfas current model line up leave me underwelmed, come on Alfa your loosing the plot:rant:
 

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You missing the Alfa 166 or do you prefer the Merc?

I def need mpg soon me thinks. Don't think I fancy a Merc tho.
 

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yeah, i think the chap that was in charge when the 159 (and related cars) came out was ex-beemer boss....the big problem now is that both alfas available are just fiat puntos and bravos. I know that a lot of fiat bits made it into the older alfas but these are pretty much all fiat!
 

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As currently the owner of a 2.4 JTD 156 and a Merc CLK 320 I feel the Merc wins for ride, build quality, toys and above all silky smooth effortless performance. Alfa scores on steering, seats, handling and fuel economy, though at the cost of the coarsest engine I've owned, and I've owned a few! A toss up which rusts the fastest.
 

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As currently the owner of a 2.4 JTD 156 and a Merc CLK 320 I feel the Merc wins for ride, build quality, toys and above all silky smooth effortless performance. Alfa scores on steering, seats, handling and fuel economy, though at the cost of the coarsest engine I've owned, and I've owned a few! A toss up which rusts the fastest.
What about exterior and interior style, ergonomics?

And we're talking 166 here, V6 please! A 156 oil burner and its plasticky cramped interior isn't really a good comparison to be honest.

Keine punkten dahin fur das Deutsche Taxi, oder? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
did you not like the 159 because of the diesel bit or the 159 bit?
Its hard to pin point exactly but the 159 doesnt feel like an alfa should. It looks like an Alfa inside and out but lacks any character when you drive it. Compare the diesel engine with the Mercs and the Alfa sounds like it came out of a tractor (especially on a cold morning). You can hardly hear the Merc engine when it starts up. The 159 is better built than previous Alfas but it feels heavy, underpowered and lacks any feeling through the steering. If you just want to trudge up and down the motorway is probably fine and fairly cheap to run too.:(

That said If there was a newer 166 replacement with a large diesel I would probably choose the Alfa. Alfa ownership sits more comfortably with me over Mercedes ownership but the E320 cdi is a bloody great car and great value as a used buy too.:thumbs:
 

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The 159 diesel (ours is a 2.4) is a great german style efficient car - great to use day-to-day but there's a reason I keep my 166 3.0 in the garage for weekends.
 

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Compare the diesel engine with the Mercs and the Alfa sounds like it came out of a tractor (especially on a cold morning).
Couldn't agree more. There are two such clatterers near hear that echo against the walls and make me think I'm in rural Romania when they fire up. :rolleyes:
 

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Isn't this a diesel vs. petrol discussion?

Surely a 2.2JTS 159, with a proper exhaust and induction, would feel 'better' in comparison to a 166? Especially a TS?

That said, about a year ago I was mooching around the Alfa dealer in Swindon, waiting for some part or something, and I sat in all the cars in the showroom. Yes, I was there that long.

159: Ok. Door bins felt cheap. Better than the 156, but not on a par with the 166
Brera: Seating position too high for a coupe. Same quality as 159 (so: ok).
Mito: Best interior quality of the lot, and probably better than the 166 (but not to look at)

The Giulietta hadn't come out at that point.

So summary: 166 interior still, in my opinion, the best Alfa has managed.
 

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Isn't this a diesel vs. petrol discussion?
Nearly but not quite. The Merc taxi in question has a much quieter oil burner than the Alfa's clattering heap.

I'd always favour a proper V6 or V8 petrol engine. But if a sooty was forced upon me, it'd have to be a non-clatterer as far as they can be had.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Isn't this a diesel vs. petrol discussion?QUOTE]

My point was the Merc E320 diesel was the nearest newer car that I've driven that gives a similar feeling the 166 V6 petrol does, but its got more torque its fast and does 38mpg (against 20mpg). The only thing missing is the lovely Alfa V6 howl.:D

Everyone would love a Busso V6 with 40mpg in an ideal world:cheese:

I considered for a while importing a LHD 166 with a 2.4 diesel engine, but the used car prices in Italy are really high, at least 10,000 euros for a good spec 2005 FL with low milage plus import tax and registration etc. :(
 

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To be fair to anyone reading this without experience of either car (or just experience of one of them), the 159 is a great car in many respects. I personally felt though that only the current 1750 TBi engine did it justice.

The driving experience was great with that engine (albeit you do sacrifice sound) and I felt that space was fine with two kids, prams, holiday baggage etc. I was sad to part with it last summer but had the Alfa bug and went searching for a 166 straight away!

I do love my 166 though :thumbs:
 
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