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Discussion Starter #1
Had a test drive in a Spider V6 Q4 and a 2.2jts 159 today.

The Spider was out of their showroom (i.e. not a demonstrator) and unfortunately due to the time of day and the test route, I didn’t get any chance to see how the V6 performed above 4,000rpm – what was a shame as that was he reason for driving it; a V6 159 not being available.

Firstly, in respect of the car itself, I was very impressed. Even though it’s a soft top it feels very ‘solid’ and there was an absence of scuttle shake despite some of the roads having a few bumps on them. My only criticisms would be that the top surround of the window screen appeared very low and was in your line of site. Also, it was very sunny today and occasionally the bright sun would reflect of the aluminium dash/console and semi-blind you. For the Spider they really ought to loose that trim.

As for the V6, it felt quite gutsy at the revs that I used; but was certainly less responsive than the 2.5 V6 I’m used to. It certainly isn’t a ‘bad’ engine however and does make a lovely noise (even if it is partly due to a valve on the exhaust).

Turning to the 159 – a lovely car. They certainly have concentrated on getting the handling/ride compromise sorted out – and it feels a more ‘mature’ car than the 156. I was left to do my own thing in the car and took it along some very bumpy roads that I have to travel along on my way too and from work. It dealt with them with aplomb. What pleased me most about it (and something that I initially was very concerned about) was that it didn’t really feel a lot bigger than the 156 and was just as easy (or even better) to place on the road.

The 2.2 didn’t feel that it was ‘underpowered’ but I think it’s been set up for initial low-down oomph rather than any kind of higher rev performance; because revving it high didn’t seem to gain very much in acceleration terms. Also, the mpg was pretty poor – I got an average of 22mpg.

The aluminium dash – which was literally ‘blinding’ in the Spider; and which I found very ‘in-your-face’ when I first sat in one; transpired not to be too of-putting and I didn’t suffer from reflections in the same way the Spider did – obviously due to the fact the roof shielded it.

I also discovered that the turning circle isn’t anything to right home about; as when I went all the way around a mini-roundabout I came very close to the edge of the road and having to back it up (but thankfully just managed to get round).

Finally, the controls, certainly the air-conditioning ones, aren’t as intuitive as on the 156 – but this would just take a little bit if getting used to – although the instrumentation is not as clear and as easy to read (when just glanced at) as the 156’s.

Overall a very very impressive car.
:) :) :)
 

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Thanks Kev :) Sat in a Spider the other day whilst I was waiting for my GT's spare key to be coded, and would have loved a drive. With today's weather I'd have given by back teeth to have been driving one!
 
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I can't get to nose round a Spider:( . We don't have Alfa dealers in Lincolnshire at the mo:(
 

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Went to my local Alfa dealer today to find out he isnt there any more. No Alfa dealers in East Yorks. ******** to driving all the wat to York just to have a look at a car.

ARUK really need to sort themselves out.
 

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Thanks Kevin - are you buying then?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Kevin - are you buying then?
I'm pretty certain I'll be ordering a 159 Q4 Ti (depending on how much the Ti pack costs); but when I order it will all depend on what I decide to do about work at the moment. Also, I've just gone through the 'pain' of a 72k service - so I'll probably want to get a 'return' from that out-lay.

But certainly; nothing else in its class appeals to me in the way the 159 does.

:) :) :)
 

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Wow, you lucky chappie if you get the Q4 (I can dream). Ti pack looks very tasty too - red or black?
 

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Finally, the controls, certainly the air-conditioning ones, aren’t as intuitive as on the 156 – but this would just take a little bit if getting used to –
This is typically Italian: AR introduced the most intuitive full automatic climatronic interface on the 147: three knobs. Simple but very effective! This interface has also been transferred to the 156. Now EVERY car maker uses this interface (for instance VW has ditched there stupid digital plus minus interface (Golf 4, Passat, Boring etc.) for these intuitive knobs and what does AR do? Ditch a knob and let you program the fanspeed with those stupid NON intuitive buttons!

Kevin, I just ordered a (lease) 159 SW last week and can't wait for it to arrive in the next couple of months!

Maybe a stupid question: but are you going for the 3.2 Q4, since the Q4 will also be available on the 2.4 JTDm soon, right?
 

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I believe you could be right; but its the V6 I'm interested in :) :) :)
Hahahahaha, a true Alfisti :)

By the way: red exterior colour or red leather interior (this isn't available on the TI, is it)?
 

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Thanks for sharing your experience, was going to say that it would be an idea to introduce the 'TI' pack to the spider, as it will have a darker fascia dash. Was the quality of the materials up to scratch? I hear reports of the indicator stalks being brittle etc, and are you going for the estate or saloon 159? :D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hahahahaha, a true Alfisti :)

By the way: red exterior colour or red leather interior (this isn't available on the TI, is it)?
I was talking about Red exterior; I think only a black interior - with red stitching, is available for the Ti but TBH the saleswoman said they hadn't received any official information - and didn't know when it would be available in the UK:( :( :(
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks for sharing your experience, was going to say that it would be an idea to introduce the 'TI' pack to the spider, as it will have a darker fascia dash. Was the quality of the materials up to scratch? I hear reports of the indicator stalks being brittle etc, and are you going for the estate or saloon 159? :D
I must admit the stalks didn't look particularly robust - but this is more due to their size - I thought the quality of the materials, on the whole, was very good :) :) :)

It's the saloon I'd be going for
 

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I hear reports of the indicator stalks being brittle etc, and are you going for the estate or saloon 159? :D
I agree the stalks do seem a bit like you could snap them off too easily, but on the whole the materials in the 159 are impressive, particulary with the alu dash and leather seats.

Mine was in for its first service today and I borrowed a 147 from Mangos for the day :cool: The stalks were the one feature that stood out as better than the 159! (Nice car though, a black Collezione, would like to persuade the wife to get one....)

Glad to hear you'll be bringing another 159 into the country Kevin :)

I'm nearing 20k in mine and still think its the proverbial nuts, a real pleasure to drive and the best looking saloon on the road.
 

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You may need to hurry up, I think there are only 500 available in that trim.
Yeah, that's what it said in the interior, beneath the handbrake (disappointing the actual model number didn't seem to be included).

My wife says she's happy with her Astra though :rolleyes:
 
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