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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

Been pondering over a 166 2.0 TI Facelift.

What is a 2.0 Twin Spark 166 like to drive with the 6-speed gearbox. Is there enough power? Do the engines wear quickly when running such a heavy car? Are there obvious things to look out for over and above a V6?

I currently have a very nice 159 1.9 JTDM which has had a stage one re-map, EGR blank along with EGR and DPF delete. It's a 2006 '55 plate and there are '55 plate 166 TI models out there too.

As per my other thread, have been wondering about changing to a 166 FL. It makes me nervous with the running costs as they're getting old now - especially to run as an everyday car. Would I be disappointed with the power delivery and economy of a 166 Twinnie? I wonder if it would cost much more to run than an ageing 159 diesel.

Also, what is a 166 2.0 TI worth - tatty, average or nice? Prices seem to be all over the place and I guess people pay whatever they want to pay but it would be interesting to get your views on values.

Difficult decisions. The other option is to go more modern and get a Giulietta. Just not sure if I can bring myself to finance a Giulietta as I couldn't afford to buy one outright but also not sure if I can fund a money-pit which is what I worry a 166 will become again (having owned one before)! Head, heart, head, heart etc!

Appreciate your thoughts chaps (unbiased, of course!)
 

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I have a twinny 2005 facelift Lusso. I bought it with a top end rebuild at 110k miles (belt failure). Now has 125k miles and running great. Use it for an 80mile round trip commute. Get 37mpg on average. Needs a lot of revs off the line to make any real progress but as a cruiser in 6th gear, it's great. Things to think about with the twin sparks, they drink oil and therefore need an attentive owner........so can be a bit of a lottery on engine wear as a used buy. Belts also need to be done at 35k max. Other issues are heater matrix leaks, misc electrical issues,rad failure, central locking motors and suspension wear. Plus points, looks great, drives great,fab leather interior, loads of space and little depreciation..........as you shouldn't be paying much for them at all ( a few thousand max)
 

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I have a twinny 2005 facelift Lusso. I bought it with a top end rebuild at 110k miles (belt failure). Now has 125k miles and running great. Use it for an 80mile round trip commute. Get 37mpg on average. Needs a lot of revs off the line to make any real progress but as a cruiser in 6th gear, it's great. Things to think about with the twin sparks, they drink oil and therefore need an attentive owner........so can be a bit of a lottery on engine wear as a used buy. Belts also need to be done at 35k max. Other issues are heater matrix leaks, misc electrical issues,rad failure, central locking motors and suspension wear. Plus points, looks great, drives great,fab leather interior, loads of space and little depreciation..........as you shouldn't be paying much for them at all ( a few thousand max)
Lots of questions ! I’ll start with price. I reckon a good 2.0 Ti can be had for £2.5K tops. I wouldn’t pay any more. You are talking about a ten year old car that has been out of production for years, and with the least desirable engine option. Anything costing more will not see a return when it comes to reselling in what is a rapidly declining market. Rather, buy a decent one, change the belt if needed, and run it until it becomes uneconomical. If you get 3-4 years motoring, that’s good value for a low initial purchase price. I don’t think there’s any value in paying a lot more for the best example. Looking at the 164 as a parallel, the only ones worth anything now are the V6 models.

I was pleasantly surprised by performance. It lacks the grunt of the V6 but is a perfectly capable engine. Yes, it needs some effort to shift but the economy is better, and I am guessing there is less tyre/suspension wear with only a TS engine upfront. I certainly found my 156 and 159 to be sportier, but frankly I now want comfort, and this car delivers.

A 166 will certainly cost more to run than your 159. There are no two ways about it. Fuel economy will lag behind a diesel, considerably. An older and rarer car means more costly parts and repairs. I do 6K miles per year. At this mileage, running an older car becomes a less risky proposition. At 15K miles per year, I would probably be looking at a modern diesel or a newer 1.6 petrol. I know in a year or two, suspension bushes, arms etc will come into play on my car. Mine was a heart over head decision. In your boots, I would go with head first and stick with what I have. You know the history of your 159. It does the job, and trading it for an older, less economical car if running costs are a concern, is probably not worth it. Although your 159 is a 2006 model, its running gear is a lot more modern than the 166 which originally came out in 1998 (?).

Sometimes you get lucky and people who buy a 166, E39 5 series, or Merc/Jag of the same vintage run it for peanuts and have no problems. You buy an older car because you like it, and you go into it with an open mind knowing it will probably cost you. It invariably does.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Lots of questions ! I’ll start with price. I reckon a good 2.0 Ti can be had for £2.5K tops. I wouldn’t pay any more. You are talking about a ten year old car that has been out of production for years, and with the least desirable engine option. Anything costing more will not see a return when it comes to reselling in what is a rapidly declining market. Rather, buy a decent one, change the belt if needed, and run it until it becomes uneconomical. If you get 3-4 years motoring, that’s good value for a low initial purchase price. I don’t think there’s any value in paying a lot more for the best example. Looking at the 164 as a parallel, the only ones worth anything now are the V6 models.

I was pleasantly surprised by performance. It lacks the grunt of the V6 but is a perfectly capable engine. Yes, it needs some effort to shift but the economy is better, and I am guessing there is less tyre/suspension wear with only a TS engine upfront. I certainly found my 156 and 159 to be sportier, but frankly I now want comfort, and this car delivers.

A 166 will certainly cost more to run than your 159. There are no two ways about it. Fuel economy will lag behind a diesel, considerably. An older and rarer car means more costly parts and repairs. I do 6K miles per year. At this mileage, running an older car becomes a less risky proposition. At 15K miles per year, I would probably be looking at a modern diesel or a newer 1.6 petrol. I know in a year or two, suspension bushes, arms etc will come into play on my car. Mine was a heart over head decision. In your boots, I would go with head first and stick with what I have. You know the history of your 159. It does the job, and trading it for an older, less economical car if running costs are a concern, is probably not worth it. Although your 159 is a 2006 model, its running gear is a lot more modern than the 166 which originally came out in 1998 (?).

Sometimes you get lucky and people who buy a 166, E39 5 series, or Merc/Jag of the same vintage run it for peanuts and have no problems. You buy an older car because you like it, and you go into it with an open mind knowing it will probably cost you. It invariably does.
Good advice there, appreciate the thoughts. Am thinking of getting a cheaper runaround to take the pressure of the 159. I may be selling it soon (reluctantly) to get something newer and with less miles. The Giulietta is the obvious choice but prices are still a little high at the moment so I may get something to use for a year and wait to get what I really want!
 

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My 166 2.0 TS has 55k miles on it. I get about 40mpg on my commute. My record was about 43mpg but it's hard work to get it up there.

It is slowwwww in my opinion. 150bhp maybe, but my old Citroen Diesel with 90bhp felt as quick. I have the six speed box and that's not nice either. The ratios are poor, and it's notchy when cold. And don't go thinking 6th is a long relaxing gear, you're still doing like 3000rpm at sixty. Did the belts recently myself and it's easy, but always waiting for the Variator to fail.

I'm not sure I agree with that it's comfortable. All sorts of things buzz or rattle in the cabin over bumps. It handles fairly well though.

I don't get the people who say they drink oil. Mine doesn't use any really. Put about half a litre in over ten thousands miles.

The rain sensitive wipers will make you scream too. Mine still play up despite rebuilding the motor. And the central locking is crap. Mine is working now but budget for new for motors every year.

Sounds like I hate it doesn't it reading that back! I do like the seats, and the icu thing. I like the styling too and the fact it's rare now. You need to be good with the spanners though imho. ?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I bought a mint 156 1.8 TS Veloce. Couldn't resist. Great fun car. My Alfa buzz is back!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
156 is more fun than the 166....and I'm guessing the 159 too.
Yes, it's fantastic to drive and a far more sensible proposition than a 166 on reflection. It was so cheap, I couldn't say no. Still can't believe it. It's in amazing condition. Not one car park ding or any notable damage. No paintwork either. It's the sort of car that will (dare I say it) be a good investment as the mileage is so low at 47,000 miles.

It's not a punchy as the 159 1.9 JTDM but feels much more 'Alfa' and more fun to drive if that makes sense. Very odd. But, as someone else noted, petrol will always be more fun than diesel!
 
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