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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi folks, thought I'd introduce myself.


I currently drive an import Mazda MX6, and run the UK MX6 owners club... but with the cost of fuel, the low MPG's I get from my car and a need for something larger mean that after 8yrs of owning them... it's time to say goodbye to owning one.

I love those cars, I know my way around them and have tweaked and modified them in many ways.

So I began my search for something suitable... I need a larger car because my folks are now pensioners and my dad is disabled (Parkinsons) and had to quit driving 3yrs ago due to deteriorating health. My older brother passed away just over 4yrs ago, and my sister lives too far away to be able to pop round very often. I can't get round as often as I'd like because of the cost of fuel and only getting around 23 mpg.

So I feel that I have a responsibility to look out for them, take them out and about and even take them away for trips and such... This can't be done in a coupe and hiring a car for a week means going somewhere really cheap.

If I am going to give up a car I love to drive... it has to be for something I will enjoy... I'm not going to be driving a car I hate, I'll only be resentful at giving up my baby.

So this means it must have a sensible amount of power, 4 doors and a reasonable sized boot that can accommodate a folding wheelchair for my dad.... and above all, it's got to be a Diesel and have a leather interior.

I'll be honest... an Alfa was not high on my list at first, and my budget is not large.

But as I started looking at the more luxurious and sporty cars it quickly became clear that Alfas don't seem to hold value as well as some other brands, and they are very nice to look at... which is important to me. I want a car that is beautiful in my eyes and that puts a grin on my face when driving it.

So after looking at BMW's, Saabs, Volvos, VW, and dismissing anything French along with Nissan, Toyota and even Mazda because they don't make something that makes me sit up and pay attention... I'd love another Mazda, but that means a Mazda 6 and in my price bracket, Leather and so forth just aren't found on a diesel model... this also pretty much rules out most cars on the market.

Everytime I check out specs on cars, I drift back to the Alfa, I checked out average prices and you get newer with an Alfa... anything up to 3yrs newer for the same price... But best of all, the insurance is only a few quid more than I pay for my MX6... and as a 42yr old with 14yrs no claims... I only pay £200 fully comp on an 18yr old, modified car with agreed value as it is... £220 for an Alfa is sweet in my book.


So I have narrowed it down to the following car... and I have a lot of questions about them and no doubt a lot of reading of these forums.

I'm thinking a 156 2.4 JTD on a late 2002 or 2003 plate... the facelift model would be nicer as it's prettier.

One area I am a little confused on is the specs... I've seen references to a Tourismo, Veloce and Lusso specs. I just don't know in what order they should be placed, or which version of the same engine goes with what car. I see the 2.4 JTD quoted as having 136, 150 or 175 BHP with anything between 200 and 284 ft/lbs of torque.

I'm also unclear on the weak spots of these cars, what areas I need to pay special attention to when checking them out.

My ideal car would be a 2003 Estate in black with red leather (but I can easily compromise on many things)... My budget is around £1500-2000.

I'm in no rush, I need to sell of some of the spare and rare MX6 parts I have to raise some extra cash and borrow some from the folks to buy this, as I can't sell my car until I have a replacement. But ideally I'd like to find something within the next 6-8 weeks.

Hope you can help point me on my way to a new car. :)
 

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Welcome to AO, Heckler, good luck with your search!

The specs tend to go:
Tourismo
Lusso
Veloce

But... you'll get some toys on the Lusso (Luxury) that you won't get on the Veloce (Speed)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Cheers.

So the Veloce is the sport model and the Lusso is the luxry... with the turismo being the base model.

I'm then assuming that the difference in engine power is down to the 2.4 being a 10v or 20v and the spec, as the later model Veloce seems to be 175 and the lusso 150.
 

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hey pal,
not too long ago i picked up an 2002 preface lift alfa romeo 2.4 10v...and its the best purchase i have ever made, it is the 140bhp model, but still gives you shove back in your seat feel, also to mention its the turismo spec, i found out that on the turismo from factory you could have any option put on it, so id keep an eye on some turismos out there, and tend to fetch less money :), but do watch out for the 136bhp models..i wasnt too keen on that engine, but anything above 2001 you should be fine.
 

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Welcome to AO :)

Saluti, Giordano.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Cheers everyone... will probably find myself asking lots of noob Alfa questions. I know my way round an MX6 blindfolded and all of the faults and weaknesses. I feel like I'm starting all over again.

Would be nice to have a car that I can get some fun out of, one that I can take to the Nurburgring even. I wonder how quick a 156 JTD will get round. :) I know what an MX6 will do.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've been pondering on this for a few days and I've come to a couple of conclusions.

I much prefer the facelift model, and I really do want the sport wagon body.

As it's looking like it might be hard to find a 2.4 20v JTD within my price bracket, I think I may have to go for the 1.9 16v JTD instead... There seem to be more of them around in the wagon shape, and I can get a much newer one for the same price.

With the 1.9 16v being around 140hp and the cars in my price range being the 150hp 10v and usually the pre-facelift models. I think this may be the more sensible route to go down for my first Alfa.

If I do find that I love driving and owning one... I can always upgrade at a later date.
 

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the only thing that put me off 1.9 jtd is the 4cyl engine..are these not GM engine on facelift ? same as the 20v JTD ? just personally id go for the 150bhp, you will enjoy the 5 cylinder note, but of course it is on whats around for your price braket aswell, and theres a few sportwagons on ebay too in that spec, take your time and im sure youll find the right one :)
 

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Welcome, from another newby.

I had an MX6 (UK car) many years ago, I loved the sweet V6, but hated the handling, not sure if my car had a problem, or are MX6s a bit boaty when pushed?

Anyway it is my first day of Alfa ownership (156 2.0), and I find it hard to believe I have bought such a fine feeling car for just a few hundred quid.

Good luck in your search.
 

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hey pal,
not too long ago i picked up an 2002 preface lift alfa romeo 2.4 10v...and its the best purchase i have ever made, it is the 140bhp model, but still gives you shove back in your seat feel, also to mention its the turismo spec, i found out that on the turismo from factory you could have any option put on it, so id keep an eye on some turismos out there, and tend to fetch less money :), but do watch out for the 136bhp models..i wasnt too keen on that engine, but anything above 2001 you should be fine.
Hi, get yourself into the Lincs lounge and have a look at what's happening in there meets and fun wise.....you can always pop over the border to Cambs ;)
 

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Welcome, from another newby.

I had an MX6 (UK car) many years ago, I loved the sweet V6, but hated the handling, not sure if my car had a problem, or are MX6s a bit boaty when pushed?

Anyway it is my first day of Alfa ownership (156 2.0), and I find it hard to believe I have bought such a fine feeling car for just a few hundred quid.

Good luck in your search.
Welcome Fandango :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Welcome, from another newby.

I had an MX6 (UK car) many years ago, I loved the sweet V6, but hated the handling, not sure if my car had a problem, or are MX6s a bit boaty when pushed?

Anyway it is my first day of Alfa ownership (156 2.0), and I find it hard to believe I have bought such a fine feeling car for just a few hundred quid.

Good luck in your search.

They handle great, mine has got more grip than I have nerve. :)

I think I know what you mean though, UK spec models have a slight bit of movement in the rear, and this can be exaggerated if the boot is loaded, if shocks are getting tired, tyre pressures are low, if rear bushes are a little worn. It can feel like a very slight movement from the rear under hard cornering. This can be addressed for around £150, an uprated rear antiroll bar and poly bushes for around £100 (50% stronger than stock) and a rear strut brace for around £50.

You can also get rear trailing arm poly bushes... do the whole lot and it will transform the car. Spend £500-600 on a decent set of suspension made for the car (not those crappy universal things you see on ebay) and you've got a setup you wouldn't believe.

I've owned UK spec ones, but I currently have an Import, I've added those 2 mods and also have the addition of 4 wheel steering (one of the perks of an import) to go with the extra 36bhp over UK models. (plus extra from the other mods) :)

The back end on mine is now firm and sticks like glue, especially as I also went from 205/65/15 to 225/55/16 tyres.

I've thrown mine around country roads like a maniac... a cautious maniac, and I've taken it to the Nurburgring, and she's never given me cause for concern when throwing it into a corner at speed.
 

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Yeah, I guess mine was probably a bit tired, with 130 odd thousand miles on it.

Got to love the Nurburgring, I have done it in a Mazda 323, and an RX8.

Its like owning an Alfa - something every petrolhead should do once.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Rumour has it that the SW GTA is a bit of a beast, and only 1mpg less than the MX6 ;) :thumbs:

Welcome to AO and good luck in your search.

I have drooled over a few of them... but the idea of selling the MX6 is to get something that does more mpg. Whilst driving to the Nurburgring with friends, in well loaded car at a steady 60mph (all motorways) I managed to get 34mpg out of it.

I've never come close to that since, it's just too much fun and I do mainly short journeys of 25 miles max these days... with only the occasional trip further. The price of fuel and the fact that contracts are a little more scarce at the moment, mean with an average of 23mpg at the moment... I can't afford to use the car as much. Replacing it with something that will roughly double my average mpg means I can use it more and visit the folks and friends more often... I won't have to face the situation where I can afford to go to one of our reunions but not be able to eat or drink... and I can finally again be able to visit friends in Devon and Cornwall and my fave Aunt near Carlisle... Hard to visit for the weekend when the fuel alone costs you as much as 2 weeks in Spain.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
£220 for your insurance ? how good is that,where how why. I,m 52 and pay 292

This year it was £251, but that includes £52 for european breakdown recovery. :)

When I called about a 2003, 2.4 JTD 170hp sport wagon, it was only going to cost me an extra £20 for the rest of the year until Oct.

My current policy is limited mileage on a classic car with agreed value... but it's group 17 and the Alfa is 14 I think.

I've been with Adrian Flux for about 6yrs now, they're great for classics.
 
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