Alfa Romeo Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I’m considering the 147 or 156, the 166 seems a bit too big and expensive for me. I’m moving from a 7-series so want something a little less tank-like (both in terms of size and petrol consumption). My budget is £4k.

The big question I’ve got is about reliability. How reliable are Alfas these days? And is there any way of telling a car that's more reliable from one that's not so.

Other advice I'd be grateful for would be on the model to choose, what specs to choose or avoid, tips on where to buy from (I live in London). Anything really.

Oh and I take it from all the love for Alfas on these forum I’m making the right decision?

Thank you,

Dave
 
V

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
welcome to ao dave

for your money id recommend a 2.4jtdm 156, big enough to be comfortable, millions of miles per gallon plently of torque

look for one with good service history and on-time cambelt changes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
Alfa's are as good as they are looked after. The funny thing I found was, the same people taking the mickey out of Alfa's, tend to be the sort of people that don't look after their cars. Eg a friend with a BMW 3 series. Sure, its in great nick on the outside, but he has loads of bits wrong, stuff like MAF's, various knocks, speedo not quite right etc.


Anyway, my point is, if you find a well looked after car, and service it on schedule, and generally look after it (not to be mixed with not thrashing it - they were built for it - but ensure that it is mechanically as it should be, and use quality oils and bits), they are fine.

They can be a bit pricier to service and look after than a ford, but not necessarily, when using a good independent garage - prices seem similar to other cars.


I had / have for sale a 156 petrol, and I loved it. Great handling, fast, and my favourite bit - it just feels special.

Must admit though, the 2.4jtd would be very tempting. (200 or 210 bhp i think!)
 
J

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
I have had a 156, it was a very competent car....

Mine did 20K miles in about 10 months and aside from regular servicing and a set of wishbones it was totally reliable.

In addition the 156 is a great car to drive as well, i currently have a peugeot 406 and i somehow seem very devoid of any communication as to what the car it doing, the Alfa was great for that, and was really confidence inspiring.

Get the best one you can for your money, make sure it has lots of receipts to back up the service history, a service book full of stamps is not 100% reliable ;)
 
E

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
I will second what has been said. A well looked after alfa is as reliable as any other car, all my cars have been Italian in 13 years driving and I haven't (touch wood) ever had any serious problems.

I would either go for the 2.4 diesel as has been said, or if you can afford to burn a bit more fuel go for a 2.5V6 petrol. Both these engines seem well engineered and have very few problems, the V6 will easily go way past the 100k mark and 200k if looked after. I expect coming from a 7 series the fuel may be better than you are used to as well, but expect low 20's mixed driving with 30ish achievable on a run with the v6.

Things to check would be when the cambelt was done, and also suspension arm bushes. Neither are that expensive if you go to a independant garage but you would be able to haggle the price down a bit of they will need doing soon.

Happy hunting :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. Can I ask why you prefer the 156 to the 147 (and should I be considering any other models)? Also, how often should the cambelt be fixed and is that the main thing to look out for?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,241 Posts
The 156 will drive with less pitch, the 147 is a little harsh in the ride, unless you fit some better suspension.

If you have 17" alloys fit some fsd's or bilistens to improve ride and comfort.

Do the usuall checks. Cambelt, service history etc... And enjoy it :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,241 Posts
Jtd - about 60-70k or every 4-5 years
TS - 32k ir every 3 years - a must

ensure the TS has oil in it, if starved it can cause massive problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,280 Posts
cambelt needs replacing every 36,000 miles (used to be 72k but alfa moved the servicing goalposts after too many warranty claims for belts snapping early).

both the 147 and 156 are great to drive, very alive and full of feedback. in the 147 in particular you'll notice a very quick steering rack which makes it a hoot to drive down b-roads. in my experience (owned a 156 for 4.5 years and driven a fair few different 147's). suspension can be a bit of a bugger on 156's especially on sport pack models, or 'veloce' spec as it came to be known. it's VERY firm but is prone to hitting the bump-stops especially on the heavier engined models (2.4 diesel and v6 petrol)

personally i think the 156 is better looking, but that's in the eye of the beholder. coming from a 7-series, you might miss the space. the 156 isn't too bad, but the 147 has a very small boot

as for reliability, i'll echo what everybody else has said. modern alfas are as reliable as most other cars if they've been looked after. look for a detailed service history, and if you buy one check the oil very regularly, they tend to use a fair bit
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
welcome to ao dave

for your money id recommend a 2.4jtdm 156, big enough to be comfortable, millions of miles per gallon plently of torque

look for one with good service history and on-time cambelt changes
Seconded.

Some of the numpties on here will advise giving the diesels a wide berth, but they're speaking out of ignorance. Alfa diesel engines are crackers, the 2.4 particularly so. Get a test drive and don't look back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,609 Posts
If its got a zillion receipts and a FSH it will be fine, dont dismiss the 166 and if space is not an issue GTV's:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
i brought my first alfa after coming from a bmw....

i love it, i have had no issues with it, my budget was only £2000 so i went for a petrol... its had full service history, and 76k on the clock, but its great... and i can already see me sticking with the 156 for a long time...
 
E

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Thanks guys. Can I ask why you prefer the 156 to the 147 (and should I be considering any other models)? Also, how often should the cambelt be fixed and is that the main thing to look out for?
For me personally, I prefer the interior and dash design of the 156.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,881 Posts
welcome to ao dave

for your money id recommend a 2.4jtdm 156, big enough to be comfortable, millions of miles per gallon plently of torque

look for one with good service history and on-time cambelt changes

+1 ... although if you don't do to many miles I'd also recommend the 2.5V6 or also the 1.9 16v Diesel, which although not as powerful as the 2.4 (can be remapped to about 190bhp ish) they are alot lighter and handle far better ...


I found the standard suspension far too soft and understeered quite alot in my car (2.4 JTD), the veloce model I believe has the firmer suspension and handles alot better ... personally I upgraded mine to Koni FSDs and Eibach pro kit springs ...
 
V

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Seconded.

Some of the numpties on here will advise giving the diesels a wide berth, but they're speaking out of ignorance. Alfa diesel engines are crackers, the 2.4 particularly so. Get a test drive and don't look back.
yes but if you can afford the running costs a v6 will give more smiles per mile, i just thought a diesel would suit the ops need more than a v6,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,881 Posts
yes but if you can afford the running costs a v6 will give more smiles per mile, i just thought a diesel would suit the ops need more than a v6,

I thought your post was unusually un V6ish :lol: ... but then mine was strangely pro-v6 :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,866 Posts
Although all 3 are good cars, if you want refinement get a 166, the interior is streets ahead of the 147 or 156, the 147 is the best handling but not as quick as it should be, and I guess the 156 sits somewhere in the middle, but theinterior isn't as good as it should be. Whilst the diesels are very good, IMO having a oil burner in an alfa is like asking megan fox to wear a paper bag on her head whilst you boff her, you just wouldn't!!! V6 all the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,866 Posts
Although all 3 are good cars, if you want refinement get a 166, the interior is streets ahead of the 147 or 156, the 147 is the best handling but not as quick as it should be, and I guess the 156 sits somewhere in the middle, but theinterior isn't as good as it should be. Whilst the diesels are very good, IMO having a oil burner in an alfa is like asking megan fox to wear a paper bag on her head whilst you boff her, you just wouldn't!!! V6 all the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I went to Car Giant on Sunday and had a look at some out-of-my-budget 159s and 147. The 147 was lovely and I actually preferred the styling – though that may be because was the Ducati Corse model.

Looks wise I do lean more towards the 147 in general, though practicality has me headed for the 156. I do like the idea of a 166 but feel it’s a bit too big, too thirsty and I haven’t yet found a good model for around my budget.

I guess the next thing is for me to organise a couple of test drives to see which ones feel better. Quite like the idea of that actually.

(sorry if this appears twice, really thought I’d posted it earlier)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,127 Posts
The 156 is a very practical yet sporty car. I have owned a 2.5 V6 156 for 8 years now and it has done 155K miles. Passengers always comment on how smooth the engine is and how it doesn't sound like a high mileage car. There aren't many saloon cars around that will hold 5 adults, have a decent boot, drive in a sporty manner and reach 60MPH in just over 7 secs. Fun, fun, fun! I would highly recommend the 2.5 V6 as your £4K won't stretch to the 3.2 GTA, (which is even better).

Be aware that if you buy the 156 you will need to change the cambelt and suspension bushes regularly. You will get the odd knock from the dashboard and the electrics may not always behave. But these cars are so much fun to drive that you will never get bored of owning it.

Personally I'm not a big fan of the 147, though it has a big following and a lot of people on here love it. Although it is out of your budget, you should also have a quick test drive in a GT coupe if you can. Sporty, but surprisingly practical. When I was looking at Alfas for the first time, I test drove as many as I possibly good - it was a terrific experience. Make the garage salesmen work for their money :lol:
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top