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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
....but it bloody well does!

I'm confuzzled :confused: Having had my 166 for about 2 years now, I no longer look upon it as a big car. I know the trend is for cars to get bigger over the years, and in that respect the 166 is quite dainty compared to many saloons now. But my point is, the 166 really doesn't seem like a big car when I look at it now.

Which leads me to my confuzzlement. Or should that be surprise?

I thought I'd check the dimensions on Wiki and compare them to my V70. Why would I do that? Well, the V70 currently takes up most of the space in my single garage, and I hypothosised that if - for some odd reason - I ended up having to keep the 166 once the V70 is reinstated to daily use, that surely the 166 would go in easier and leave a little more wiggle room.

Well not according to Wiki :eek:
166 length - 4720mm
V70 length - 4709mm

166 width - 1810mm
V70 width - 1803mm

One shall assume that Wikipedia is wrong. There's no way the 166 is bigger than the Volvo! :(
 

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I park my 166 daily behind what is advertised as "australias best value SMALL car" - an abomination of a collaborative effort between Suzuki and Holden. It's a foul cheap thing for people who buy a car without actually test driving anything decent.

But anyway, the SMALL holden Cruze is much bigger visibly then the alfa 166 - which was but 15 years ago a car so large that presidential and political figures would be chefeurred around in the back.

Yeah, the 166 is longer and wider then many cars, but it sure is a lot lower. I know where you are coming from, it's a low slung marvel of packaging I think. The interior uses many tricks to seem bigger then it actually is. including ditching the rear wheel drive layout in favour of front wheel drive - not popular, but it does have it's benefits in terms of interior space and packaging. The rear suspension is both complex and yet light/small. The V6 is literally shoehorned into a very tight low slung engine bay. It's a nice bit of italian design.

It's unfortunate that these days in today's throw away culture many people seem to value the number of cup holders and stupid inventions like 'split zone' air con or ipod connectivity above true luxury like a compact and yet spacious cabin, classy leather interior and sumptuous carpets.

The 166 has got a lot smaller, slower and doesn't even handle that great any more, but as they say "luxury doesn't go out of date". I feel this car has true luxury, not just loads of gizmos that go out of date so fast. Where they did try to stuff gadgets into the car to 'keep up with the joneses' 15 years later these are the worst parts of the car. The ICS system is a pile of poo these days. The Momo leather still looks like the best in the business though, and the sound the V6 makes is never going to go out of date.
 

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..i think the 166 is only around the same size as a modern 3 series give or take, so you wouldn't call it a big car these i suppose. The 164 actually feels more spacious inside, but that might be just the glasshouse. A modern 5 series looks like a Sherman tank beside the 166, but even a 159 looks like a bigger car when they're side-by-side.

Cars are getting bigger in Europe alright.. are they still growing in Australia..?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I just find it bizarre that my V70 is apparently the smaller car. It feels much more spacious up front, there seems like an acre of dashboard in front of the windscreen, rear legroom is better (a weak point on the 166) and then of course there's the cavernous boot, being a proper estate. If it was a V50, and hence not a proper estate but one of those silly "sportback" things then I could believe it.

The only explanation is that the 166 front end forward of the cabin must be significantly longer, and it's wing mirrors must stick out more (like some jug eared in-bred member of the monarchy). And that has to be the only explanation as Wikipedia can't be wrong :D
 

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I got a surprise the other day. I always thought of the 164 as a "big car", but a mate of mine had occasion to put his Mondeo in my garage and to my utter amazement, it wouldn't fit in the space vacated by the 164!
 

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Cars are getting bigger in Europe alright.. are they still growing in Australia..?
Two most popular cars in sales by miles are the Holden Commodore 3.8 V6 and the Ford Falcon 4.0 Straight 6. The engines have always been that big, but the body gets bigger... and bigger... so yeah they are totally growing here. The latest 4x4 wagons are USA size now.

Coming from europe you just don't get why people by them. You figure they must be really thirsty, power output seems quite lazy for the engine size and they are cheap and just a bit boring.

But after living here for 5 years and trying to drive euro cars in australian conditions, you totally start to get the whole commodore/falcon thing. They are perfect for australian conditions. They happily run for 100,000's miles on crap 91 ron fuel in temparatures over 50 degrees centigrade with minimal servicing. The air con always works, and You'll get parts if you break down in the middle of the desert. parts/servicing are a bargain. With the soft suspension you can literally hammer along at 70mph (110kph) down the many thousands of miles of unsealed dirt roads without knocking your fillings out even with a car full of kids and luggage. Most suprisingly I've come to realise that these types of large engine, modest power output 6 cylinders are actually excellent on fuel on long journeys, and you can cruise at highway speeds while pulling under 2000rpm. You still got the power to totatly waste most equivalent euro cars. Example the 4.0 Falcon does 0-100kph in about 8 seconds - which is plenty, but it'll keep on pulling hard up to twice that speed where your little mondeo would have lost it's puff a long time ago.

(I still drive around in my alfa though even if I look like a twonk slowing down for every single bump)
 

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..it's subtle stuff alright. Even though the 166 isn't that big, it still has the "presence" of an exec saloon.. the new 3 series is a very handsome car, but it's still clearly a junior exec.. this is no accident i suppose.

Parked side-by-side the facelifted 164 looks like a far more substantial, modern car than the original, and even today it still has presence on the road, yet there's nothing really different except the bumpers..
 

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But after living here for 5 years and trying to drive euro cars in australian conditions, you totally start to get the whole commodore/falcon thing. They are perfect for australian conditions...
..yeah i guess its horses for courses alright. When you spend a bit of time in italy you realise why italian cars are so small too.. :)
 
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