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Discussion Starter #1
Basic info..

around £2-3k
<5k miles a year
Not worried about insurance ( cos of age )
ideally 25+ mpg

I really like the Alfa GT 1.9JDTM..and maybe the 159

BUT..and I'm sorry for asking...are Alfa's reliable !!

My wife will need it for work every day and we will use it 2 or 3 times a year to drive to cornwall

I am not a mechanic so any repair or maintenance work will have to be done at a garage..this means I really need to have a bit of confidence in the Alfa

Thanks
 

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If you're not convinced why are you asking?
You buy with your heart because you've seen an Alfa you like and want to justify it to yourself!
The 159 is bigger than the GT and very different ....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm asking because I thought this was a club of members who really know about Alfas and can give me advice...if its the wrong forum for that then thats not a problem, I'll have a look for other forums
 

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In general they are more reliable than than many would think

Buy a well looked after example, look to see evidence of recent maintenance and enjoy

Would be best to test drive a few to see what suits your needs
 

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The GT is sportier than the 159 and surprisingly roomy. Some of the sportiness comes with a bit of suspension bush maintenance but there are many happy owners on here. There's probably a buyers guide for it as there is for the 159.
 

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Just to add, in that price bracket it may be wise to have a maintenance fund for those inevitable wear and tear jobs that need doing, chances are an Alfa in that price range will almost certainly need suspension work if it hasn't any recent evidence of maintenance in that area
 

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A well looked after GT will not creak as you take it over speedbumps and is worth considering. It's not that expensive to get maintained for an owner who cares and if your annual miles are not too great then not a big worry. You get a great drive from the setup. You should try a few and you'll know it when you try it.
 

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Alfa reliability is similar to most other makes really and your budget puts you in the "will probably be ok, but no guarantees" bracket regardless of manufacturer. If you want better odds than that (for any make) you may need to up your budget.
 

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That price range may well get you a car somebody has " finished with "rather than a prepared-for-sale car.
 

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If you are doing less than 5K per year don't get a Diesel.

They only really make financial sense if you do more than 10k or if you want better residuals when buying new. The reason being is that they don't like short journeys as they take longer to warm up, and until warmed up MPG is nothing special.

My choice in that price bracket would be a 3.0 GTV. You will struggle to get a good GT 3.2 for that price. You should bag a reasonable example at that sort of price.

The Busso V6 engine is a classic, and values are going to go up.

The 159 is a nice looking car, but they are quite a heavy car and are more of a cruiser than a sports car. The 2.2 JTS petrol is mainly of GM origin and isn't the most reliable unit out there.

All Alfas tend to be reliable is looked after, but if neglected they suffer sooner than most. If that makse sense? Most issues will be down to wear and tear or will be minor niggles such as creaks from suspension, wonky bits of trim or the odd electrical glitch.

Compared to something like a mid 2000's VW Golf for instance they are generally much less troublesome.

Hope that helps. :)
 

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I'm asking because I thought this was a club of members who really know about Alfas and can give me advice...if its the wrong forum for that then thats not a problem, I'll have a look for other forums
To be honest your original post wasn’t looking for advice. You asked a specific question – “Are Alfas reliable?” – this really is a “how long is a piece of string question”. A fairly brief review of this forum will show a myriad of Alfa breakdowns – so if your question is “Are Alfas 100% reliable?” the answer is clearly No! But the response would be the same for any other brand of car.

If you had asked, “Are Alfas less reliable than other cars?” I think the answer would be that they are somewhere in the middle. Some owners report that they have absolutely no problems whilst others are desperate to get rid of the piece of Italian ****! I’ve owned a lot of Alfas – a few have been complete lemons and some have been no problem at all. Are they more or less likely to break than other manufacturers… I know it’s anecdotal but my experience is that Alfas do seem to have silly little niggly faults but terminal (mega expensive) issues are less common (again, that’s my experience).

My advice? With your budget you are looking at a 159 that is knocking on 10 years old with 100k on the clock. It will almost certainly have issues in the not too distant future so I would say it’s unlikely to be 100% “reliable”. Who’s to say if another brand would be any better? At that age, how it has been looked after in the past has a very significant role and it’s very difficult to be sure that it has been “looked after”.

Final point, for such a tiny mileage why are you looking for a diesel? Alfa diesels (and most others) do not thrive on short commuting type journeys.
 

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Keep your eyes open for a well looked after 156 2.5 V6.
Your budget will allow for a really good example (if you can find one!)
Much lighter and more fun to drive than a 159. Mine's been very reliable during 6 years of ownership. The Busso V6 will make you happy. :thumbs:
 

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One thing i would advise is to give any car you're considering buying a really thorough going over.

Certainly in that price range i would be looking for paperwork to suggest recent maintenance and if a model fitted with cambelt to see it had been done on time.
Its surprising how many Alfa's have not had their belt changed on time, i think some dealers tend to hope you won't bring the subject up, of the 3 GT's i enquired about on my hunt, 2 of those showed no evidence of the belt being changed, and of those, one example was only a couple of weeks from its next replacement and the dealer wasn't exactly overkeen on carrying this out (would eat too much into his margins perhaps )

Another point, don't just think that if the model you are viewing has a fully stamped service book, that it means all the jobs required have been done, ideally its receipts you want to see, many ,many people run their cars on an absolute shoestring

Good luck with the hunt
 

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The above is all fantastic advice for buying a second hand car.

For a simple answer don't look below this paragraph unless you're suffering with insomnia. I believe cars are made by the previous and current owners. Maintenance and how they are driven/cared for in general. The manufacturers do accidentally design faults into the cars but it's the owners that ruin them. Now if you are an insomniac then read on.

I've bought many second hand cars in my time and one or two new. Recently mainly Italian. Three exotic (all Italian) and we're on our third Alfa.

I bought the first Alfa a, 1997, 916 Spider 2.0TS. 100k. All new discs and pads, and a few suspension components have been replaced. Best value for money car I have ever bought.
Summer use only.

Second a GT diesel (had 68k when I bought it). Had a few issues mainly EGR valve (cleaning regularly) and creaky suspension which although annoying was never an MOT failure (apart from a loose drop link on one occasion which just needed tightening).
Third is this 159 with 100k on when I bought it last year. I just bid on it on eBay and won :lol: so I had to buy it :p.

I'm think I'm a bit too casual when buying a car. The most unreliable cars I've had were a 1983 Ferrari Mondial which would only ever start from cold, if I went into a petrol station I had to get out my special prayer mat before attempting to start it :lol: I loved it though. It was 23 when I bought it and 28 when I sold it. At the point of selling it would fire up just looking at it :)

A Renault 19 which I did over 50k in six months and quite reliably until eventually I had to call the AA out when a core plug failed. That was all my fault. The brakes eventually failed one morning going to work, I lived but the car I sent away to die.

A 2003 VW Passat which was three when I bought it. That was **** and leaked water inside, stopped on the motorway (though I limped home) with a failed water pump, had a dash like a Christmas tree (sensors failing) yada yada. I'd say the worst car I have owned.
That had a design fault double bulkhead with insufficient drain holes and was probably an exception to the "it's all the owners fault" theory I have :D
 
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