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Discussion Starter #1
I have had a 2007 159 2.4 jtdm manual for over 4 years which perfectly suits the kind of driving I do - mostly traffic free B roads. It is great and I particularly like the look of the car and its interior. I am aware that nothing lasts forever - well I might get a couple more years out of it if lucky, and so regularly scan our used car market so possible updates and usually hit a brick wall. The newer 159's are very rare here. I like the idea of the giulietta or giulia but here they are mostly only available in auto apart from the occasional manual giulietta. However, personally I find the look and interior of the both a little bland and less distinctive compared to the 159 (sorry Giulia/Giuliettaistas) also the giulia is a bit out of my price range and probably will remain so for the next few years. Just hoping that my 159 will last until the giulia becomes affordable (the cheapest used here are now at about 25k gbp) but I can't get my head around the idea of an auto box even if it is a good one.
Still, I think either will be my choice over most of the other boring dross on the market.
 

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Cayman.
It’s what I’m considering as a replacement for my 159 2.4.


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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, the cheapest manual cayman I can see is nz$58k and only 2 seats, but also TBH personally I prefer the look of alfas over the reasonably priced German offerings that I have seen.
 

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Like you, I’m uninspired by much of what else is out there currently.
Until I do make the leap to a Cayman (we don’t cart kids anymore) I’m actually spending a little here and there on the engine, etc to make the 159 more fun.

Take comfort in the fact that Alfa used values plummet quickly. It’s already happening here in Aus.


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Id want another Alfa (almost 100%)....so effectively there is only one model in the range if you want a actually 4 seat car thats not an ugly and largely pointless (imo of course!) SUV...a Giulia. I was close to buying an early Quad before the virus....Sooooo glad I didn't now with the plummeting prices around now.
 

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I was in the same position, couldn't afford a Giulia so I got a Giulietta QV. I've gotten used to the auto now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bigjim, how are you finding it? The only modern auto (7 speed dsg) I have driven in recent times was a merc GLA which we rented for 3 weeks, which very bland but ok to drive to be fair, but I wouldn't own one.
 

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The Giulietta box is ok, it clunky but it's my first auto so I'm liking the whole not having to bother changing gear. My mate had a Giulia Veloce and that gearbox was smooth as silk.
I'm liking having a hot hatch again, it's been 15 years. MPG is rubbish mind.
 

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I'm also a 159 2.4 owner in NZ, although I've only had mine for a year, if I was in the market to upgrade I would go to Giulietta QV/Veloce. However, I personally have a soft spot of Peugeot's too so would also consider a 308/508 GT Diesel.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, I have noticed the Pug 508 as a good choice they but also seem to be only in auto and most with the glass roof that you really do not want here in NZ - I drove a fiat with one on a hot day and felt like my brain had been cooked even with the blind drawn.
How you getting on with yours? If it is an auto, how is it?
 

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I love my 159, although I'm learning well some of the, let say idiosyncrasies regarding the car. Such as the difficulty of getting parts and trusting the right mechanic to fix it (already had a mechanic screw up). Question for you too, have you ever had starting problem and blowing white smoke? Considering I've cleaned the sensors, put an injector in and EGR the likely culprit is a clogged intake manifold. The cambelt is due this year so will get it cleaned when I do that, but just wondering how common the issue is. I'm in Hamilton and just nervous about who to trust to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
White smoke not a big issue on mine but very occasionally a small amount on startup, but I have had that with other diesels - it depends how much and for how long -if only a bit I would say do not worry if it runs smooth.
I also have wondered about cleaning the intake but have never had it cleaned and despite that it runs real good - but then the car was owned rural before me too so always had long runs. I think if it is really clogged you would get poor power and rough running, however it could be worth the investment to get it done with the cam belt.
You def need a local indie mechanic you can trust. Also, I have sourced some parts off ebay at a fraction and have been good - eg control arms, window regulator (mechanism) and thermostat that my guy has been happy to fit. Poly bushed on those control arms are a good cure for uneven tyre wear if that is an issue along with zero toe alignment (straight ahead) mine has the early narrow bushes so we even had to go for slight positive toe on mine.
 

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Become your own local indie mechanic that you can trust. That is my view. There is someone in Cambridge that sells fiat/alfa parts and probably services them too. There's 2 or 3 in Auckland.

I have a good idea for a new vehicle for you. Join everyone else and buy a Ranger or a Hilux.
 

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Like the OP I had a 159 2.4 - I had it from new in 2008 and kept it for 11 years of very satisfying motoring, almost entirely trouble-free. I replaced it with a Giulia Veloce at the beginning of 2019. For most of the time I had the 159 I was doing several trips each year between Canberra and Melbourne (about 1500k round trip) and it was a very comfortable grand tourer, which would take off like a rocket when I needed to pass anything on the highway.

I agree with the OP that the 159 is the more beautiful of the two and when I pass one I still feel a pang. My wife is still in mourning for it.

I was a bit disappointed to find that the RHD Giulia wasn't available in manual, but I have found that on balance I don't really mind. In manual shift mode in "dynamic" the gears change with a bang, feeling more like a dual-clutch gearbox than a torque converter. And to be honest, with an eight-speed box the car is going to do a better job than me most of the time. I find that one of the things I use the most is the ability to force the transmission temporarily into manual by pulling either of the paddles. When the situation has passed, the robot takes over again.

The build quality on the Giulia seems a bit better than the 159, but the former is so much lighter that it is hard to compare - for all I know the build quality on such a light car needs to be a lot better to feel so rigid.

One thing I miss about the 159 is the passenger-side mirror turning down when reversing. I suppose they thought they didn't need it on the Giulia because of the reversing camera, but if so they were wrong.

One thing I absolutely do not miss about the 159 is fighting the enormous torque-steer when accelerating, particularly on Melbourne's tramlines. The RWD Giulia is brilliant by comparison.
 

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Yeah, I have noticed the Pug 508 as a good choice they but also seem to be only in auto and most with the glass roof that you really do not want here in NZ - I drove a fiat with one on a hot day and felt like my brain had been cooked even with the blind drawn.
How you getting on with yours? If it is an auto, how is it?
I was wondering about this. The Pug 508 GT has almost Mustang-like looks, but that glass roof looks like a greenhouse!

Surely it must be tinted a lot, or have the option. Maybe something for their 2021 or 2022 model - a tinted glass roof that can be brighten or darkened, like the passenger windows on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner!
 

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Nah, I'd rather be in an old Lada Niva than a Ranger or Hilux mate.
Those are getting rare now. Strangely enough, I have a desire to one day own a Niva.

What about a Subaru WRX? Got some power and available with manual transmissions if the desire is for that. Unless you want a diesel of course. Something from the VAG group. Skoda comes to mind, but generally finding a car that is newer than 2010 that is not super entry level with a manual gearbox is tough.

Nothing really wrong with auto boxes. Depends on the sort of car I think. Always a bit better to have manual in budget small engine cars I feel though.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
TBH I test drove a very low milage Niva many years ago and only got a few hundred metres before deciding it was terrible. Good thinking with WRX suggestion - I'm sure they are great to drive and it would leave my car behind but I think it would be too small inside (I'm tall and in most Jap cars the seat does not go back far enough even the Legacy - my wife has an Outback and it is surprisingly craped despite being a great car - not the most stylish - and frankly Subs are not the best looking I think - not the style of the 159.
The VAG cars - the only ones I like the look of are the Audi A/S5 but they are relatively expensive. I bough my son an old Polo GTI and many of the ancillary parts - ABS, gear linkages, engine mountings etc were surprisingly flimsy and parts were similar to buy as Alfa - I probably would give VAG another chance but I'm not that keen on the styling.
Still, I spoke to my mechanic today while waiting for him to WOF my old MX5 and he reckons there is no reason why the 159 should last quite a bit longer yet. But it is always a bit of a gable to do a longer trip in a car that is 13 years old with 160k - I would usually put the limit at around 200k which would give me around 2 years but I might just try to keep the 159 for longer.
I suppose the point being is that I still can't find anything newer than my 159 that could eventually replace it. A lower milage newer car - but they are very rare here. Probably my top choice so far would be a manual Giulietta at the moment.
 

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Long trips in old cars can be a gamble. I happily do 250km day round trips in my 2002 156 with 190kms. The owner before me travelled from Whangarei to Tauranga every few weeks in it. Not sure how he afforded the gas for the V6 to be fair.

My uncle did a trip along the Eyre Highway in Australia, through the Nullarbor plains. It was a club run in classic minis of all cars. Now that is a gamble.

I thought of something else. They are dirt cheap and virtually new. Spare parts and servicing in the future might be a problem though. The ZB Commodore. They look a bit Mazda 6ish but I think they are not too bad cars.

If you are tall, make sure you can fit in a Giulietta first of course. But 20 years/ 200kms should be achievable for any car. Once they get beyond that the cost of even just a simple repair is so disproportionately high compared to it's value it's hardly worth keeping on the road any longer.
 

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I did drive a Fiat Polski once. No comment! :ROFLMAO:

937276


Those are getting rare now. Strangely enough, I have a desire to one day own a Niva.

What about a Subaru WRX? Got some power and available with manual transmissions if the desire is for that. Unless you want a diesel of course. Something from the VAG group. Skoda comes to mind, but generally finding a car that is newer than 2010 that is not super entry level with a manual gearbox is tough.

Nothing really wrong with auto boxes. Depends on the sort of car I think. Always a bit better to have manual in budget small engine cars I feel though.
Yes, before I went Alfa I toyed with the idea of a Skoda RS, but struggled to find a manual that was post-2010 that hadn't been driven much. They also seem to hold their value well, and are becoming more and more popular. I think most people aren't selling them, but driving them, so they must be fairly reliable nowadays.

So, I went with Alfa instead. Cheaper to buy outright, manual, with only 50k (kilometres, not miles) on the clock!

But – and this will annoy some die-hard Alfistis – the Saab 900 Aero 16 was still (sightly) more fun to drive!
 
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