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Discussion Starter #1
...but I can't decide what I want.

I've just started my first full time job after finishing uni and I'm looking at getting a new car in the coming months. I probably won't end up buying a car until after christmas but I like to do my research and spend 6 months finding the perfect car rather than deciding what car I want in february and buying a car within a few weeks.

Anyway, at the moment I'm paying about £900 a year to insure my 1.6 147, I'm 22 and when it comes to buying the car I'm going to have about £5000 to spend as a max although would prefer to be buying in the £3k range rather than £4k. I am not that bothered about how new the car is as long as its 2002+ and in terms of mileage anything below 60k miles is fine by me. Probably the most important factor is I do not want a diesel. Although I am in love with my alfa I am wanting more in terms of performance. I did a quick confused.com insurance quote and I can get insured on a 210bhp saab 9-3 for about £1.2k. The extra £300+ for me is worth the extra power and this is what actually sparked my desire for a new car.

The cars I am looking at for now with various ranges of seriousness are:

  • Facelift 147
    Loving owning an alfa so why not buy a newer one? The only problem is the lower power available from a 2.0 compared to other cars combined with a high insurance group makes it a slightly less desirable option.
  • Jaguar s-type
    A 22 year old driving an s-type? Is that too far? I don't know, my dad has always been a bigger car man (Vaux senator, lexus ls400 and now merc e320 looking at getting an s500) and I just enjoy the big luxobarge comfort. A quick s-type example is a 04 3.0 V6 sport with 53k miles for £3.6k on autotrader.
  • Saab 9-3
    Would be looking at the 2.0T version with 210(ish) BHP. I have always like the styling of them and again a quick example is a 05 Aero with 56k miles (a very good example) for £4.5k. At the moment this is probably the most desirable choice for me.
  • Hot hatch of some kind

The only thing is I really do not want to be the owner of a common car that when on the daily commute I see many other of my car. This rules out bmw (not that I would), mercs, audis, volkswagens and vauxhalls. Whatever car I get I would really like leather seats and other toys. The perfect car for me would be a brera but they are out of my price range. If I did leave the alfa badge I wouldn't be gone for a long time either coming back for a brera or a 159 Ti.

So down to the point of this post, what are people's opinions on the cars I am currently looking at and what does anyone else suggest I have a look at? With the rising fuel prices and having not started a family yet I feel this is my time to just go for it and own a beast of a car for a few years.
 
K

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Anything with a decent size petrol engine is dirt cheap at present so now's the time to buy.

S-Types represent mega value for money but beware of autos. The earlier Ford boxes are crap and the later ZF ones aren't without their problems. I've wanted a Jag since I was ten so I don't see your age as an issue.

Saabs also offer a lot of car for the money though the later ones are less Saab and more Vauxhall than I would prefer.
 
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I'd go for a 166 super over an S Type. Both are a love or hate looks but the 166 has doesn't have that whiff of tweed with leather elbow patches ;)


GTV V6 :cool: :thumbs: ?
Scooby WRX?
Nissan Skyline?
Merc CLK?
 

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Disesel 156/147. I got one when I finished uni a few of years ago. Tuned it to make it quick and handle better but still get good mpg. It is almost as quick as my GTA now so they really are worth looking into. Plus when I swapped over from my 155 1.8 ts to the 1.9jtd 16v my insurance stayed the same :cool:
 
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I'd go for a 166 super over an S Type. Both are a love or hate looks but the 166 has doesn't have that whiff of tweed with leather elbow patches ;)


GTV V6 :cool: :thumbs: ?
Scooby WRX?
Nissan Skyline?
Merc CLK?
Those CLKs are pretty cars. For that money you should be able to find one that hasn't gone rusty yet too.
 
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I'd go for a 166 super over an S Type. Both are a love or hate looks but the 166 has doesn't have that whiff of tweed with leather elbow patches ;)


GTV V6 :cool: :thumbs: ?
Scooby WRX?
Nissan Skyline?
Merc CLK?
GTV - yep

Scooby WRX - at that price you're in total chav territory

Skyline - As above but even more so. Non 4wd R32 if you're lucky. Welcome to Ali G world.

CLK - not bad but the 230K supercharger engine sounds like a bucket of spanners.

At the money mention you'll get a nice Clio 182 if you go down the hot hatch route or possible a previous gen Civic Type R ?
 
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What about an RX8? £4000 will get one that fits all your criteria and you won't get more performance for the money.
 
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What about an RX8? £4000 will get one that fits all your criteria and you won't get more performance for the money.
My brother-in-law had one of these - 15mpg average and big repair bills and his was well looked after. At £4k you'll be looking at major bills in the near future.
 
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My brother-in-law had one of these - 15mpg average and big repair bills and his was well looked after. At £4k you'll be looking at major bills in the near future.
Nah - I know plenty of owners and ex owners of these, they'll comfortably get more than 15mpg if you don't drive like a ****. Maintenance is different to normal engines and rotaries do have their drawbacks but go into it with you're eyes open and they'll treat you fine.
 

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Id say stick within the Alfa range, 147 GTA? Or even an older 159?

Salute, Giordano.
 
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159 would be cool (I'd have that over the Saab anyday) - but his budget is £5000 max prefereably £4000 so I think a GTA is outta the equation. Can't imagine insurance being great for a 22 year old either.
 

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I only have experience of hot hatches, and my seat leon cupra r was a damn good car. You can pick up a nice remapped one pushing 300bhp for around 4-5k. Comfy too. If you like the look of them then I can tell you the drive is great as well. You could also get an S3 quattro with leather interior for 4-5k if you want a hot hatch?

I was looking at rx8's after selling my leon, read round the owners club forums for a bit and the only reason I didn't get one was I was in a hurry for a car and I had nightmares about poor compression and engine rebuilds.

Whenever I see a nice one I kind of regret not buying one though. I know they can look a bit girly but there's something about them, especially the interior and dashboard that I really love.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the replies. I haven't replied because I've been busy with the new job.

I am liking the s-type as a big cruiser with decent power rather than a more performance oriented car. I have always liked them but I think it's 2 different things liking a car and actually driving one.

166 - I am tempted but I am not so keen on the styling compared to other cars. I would probably step up to a 156 but then that leaves me with the same engine choices as a 147.

GTV V6 - Not thought about them I'll have a look.

Scooby/Skyline - If I was going to go for a car like this I would go for an evo, skyline or supra. I would rather have a newer car which would mean an evo but I haven't looked how much they are available for or how much work they might need.

Merc CLK/Other Mercs - I am interested in mercs however, the bigger models are on autotrader with about 10% of them being manuals and they are above my price range.

Diesel 156/147 - I know there is potential with the diesels but at the moment I can't see myself driving a diesel. Some people might think it's stupid but I just don't like the sound of a diesel. Even the brand new german diesels are too clattery for me I like the sound of a petrol engine.

Clio - Would feel like a massive downgrade, alfa to renault. They look like fun but it's not what I'm looking for.

RX8 - I haven't looked into much as the styling isn't to my taste. I don't know about reliability but I've heard rumours that the RAC/AA won't touch the wankel engine at the roadside and just tow to a garage. Either way it's not on my top list of cars.

147 GTA - Would love one and I have thought about them but they are too rare will be a lot more on insurance in comparison to the other bigger cars.

Seat cupra/Audi S - Out of the 2 I would go with the audi but then it's a common brand. It's weird but I enjoy it when people say to me "Oh we saw an alfa when we were at..." and obviously they wouldn't say "Oh we saw 8 audis when we were at...".
 

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166 - I am tempted but I am not so keen on the styling compared to other cars. I would probably step up to a 156 but then that leaves me with the same engine choices as a 147.
166 to 156 is a step down :p

Sure diesel doesn't sound as nice as a V6 Busso, but I quite like the sound of a 5 cylinder diesel
Alfa 156 2.4JTD custom zaust - YouTube

The 156 were also available in a 2.5 V6 if you want to burn more petrol in return for the sweet V6 sound.

I'll just leave this pic here of a 166 with 18" Ti wheels and a bodykit http://images.forum-auto.com/mesimages/360649/z tuning 115.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #15
166 to 156 is a step down :p

Sure diesel doesn't sound as nice as a V6 Busso, but I quite like the sound of a 5 cylinder diesel
Alfa 156 2.4JTD custom zaust - YouTube

The 156 were also available in a 2.5 V6 if you want to burn more petrol in return for the sweet V6 sound.

I'll just leave this pic here of a 166 with 18" Ti wheels and a bodykit http://images.forum-auto.com/mesimages/360649/z tuning 115.jpg
Oh by step up I meant 147 to 156. That 166 does look good but I am not that keen on them. I think I am pretty much decided on a saab 9-3 but it has to be an aero. However, until I have sat and possibly test driven one I could be persuaded. The only problem is there is so much room in the front of my 147 (and me being 6' 4" I do apreciate it) and until I get to try cars hands on I won't be able to make a real decision.

The other point is the brakes. I have driven my brothers vectra and my girlfriends corsa and both have felt like their brakes were useless they took so much effort to get a feeling from. In my 147 I only have to put minor pressure on the pedal and the brakes just latch on reassuringly.
 

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I had an S Type 3.0 V6 ... lovely car ... got fed up with the "old man car" comments ... but now I accept I am an old man (54) WTF ... its a great cruiser and is so relaxingto drive. Downside was the handling was a bit sloppy, and the torque convertor needed replaced (£800.00)

I got an Alfa 159Ti 2.4 Sportwagon after it ... it was a better drive and got better fuel economy (diesel) ... My Wife loved the Jag and hated the Alfa. I think she didnt like diesel engines.

Given the option again I think the diesel version ofthe S Type would be perfect.

I'm driving a Fiat Doblo now ... ! (1.9 Diesel) sublime to ridiculous ...
 

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Stuart - stick 18" alloys on it.. :thumbs: :D


For the lad... The 147/156 are perfectly pleasant cars to look at.. pretty and inoffensive... but a GTV is a coupe. (Chicks like coupes).

Nice Phase 2... T/Spark or v6 if you can afford it. You WILL get laid just because of your car.. :D


Ralf S.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've been a silly boy, but I've seen the error of my ways and now I have decided on a V6 alfa GT. At the moment my daily commute is only 4 miles and with fuel and tax costs rising now is the time to have a 'silly' car. If my commute increases a lot or running the V6 works out too much I'll have my fun and then get a diesel.

As I side, I had been tempted at first by a GTV cup but at 6' 4" I will try sitting in a GTV if I come across one but reading other peoples opinions on space I'm not hopeful that I'll fit.
 

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Ahh, good man.

I was going to suggest the GT!
Second choice could have tried the Merc 200K Coupe. Good power range and not bad on fuel and the full glass roof version is a bit different.
Still, you stuck with Alfa, and God will reward you in heaven for that, as surely anyone who has one of these beautiful motors has the patience of a saint.
 

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Stuart - stick 18" alloys on it.. :thumbs: :D


For the lad... The 147/156 are perfectly pleasant cars to look at.. pretty and inoffensive... but a GTV is a coupe. (Chicks like coupes).

Nice Phase 2... T/Spark or v6 if you can afford it. You WILL get laid just because of your car.. :D


Ralf S.
Well, as a previous 156 owner and a current GT owner, I can say that may be true or it could be my good looks, humour, wit and modesty. Or my imagination. :lol:
 
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