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      03-14-2011, 05:45 PM   #23
Palmnuts
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Well I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I reckon the Alfa's I had were less problematic than pretty much any of the German stuff I've had, save for the C63's which were bombproof except for the odd creaking seat/worn alcantara steering wheel.

Now, I know I'm a fussy b@stard and will compalin if my handbrake has too many clicks (not a problem on the Maserati with it's electronic handbrake ) but I've always been like this and some of the Fiats/Alfa's I've had have given me no reason to go to the dealers in the first place!

My Italian car ownership started in 2001 when I had two Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo's over a 2 year period - indeed, the second one which I had for 18 months is the longest I've ever owned a car. It also never broke once, and thankfully I never had to visit a dealer save for routine servicing....in 18 months!! Mmmm....never had that with a BMW, Merc or Porsche!

I then had 2 consecutive Alfa 147 GTA's. Now admittedly the first one lasted 8 months because it was, in a way, exchanged (plus a mileage fee) as a result of a repeat problem with continuously warping bake discs. Alfa fixed this with a big brake upgrade (using the brake set up from the Ferrari F355 of all things) but for me the replacement set-up did not have the 'feel' that I expected or liked. Yes, I pushed hard on this and got a great offer to swap it for another one...for little more than a cost of couple of grand for my 8 months and 8k miles of use!

The second one was impeccable - not a rattle, squeak or anything that went wrong in another 8 months of ownership and I reckon that car was one of the best I've had to date.

I only got rid of that car so soon as a change in job meant I needed something more economical and swapped the 3.2 GTA for a 156 JTD 20v which was another flawless car in 15 months and 30,000 miles of ownership. The engine on that was great - it was a great sounding 5-cylinder diesel that had 170bhp (c.200bhp after a remap), did 50mpg, over 140mph (average today but good stats back then) and on the whole was a much more individual and interesting choice than owning a newish Golf or oldish E46 3-series that I could have got for the same money back then.

The minute I no longer needed to do the mileage I was swiftly back in my 3rd 147 GTA which I had for nearly a year and again, except for a squeaking clutch which was fixed, it caused me no reason to visit the dealer.

I then entered a stage of my life when I started earning considerably more money and then treated myself to my first BMW 335i....supposedly my first premium car.

So,

....if premium means dealing with the often stuck up dealers who look down on and ignore you when you turn up to buy your first BMW and then screw up the order (yes, Bluebell Crewe....I'm talking about you and that tw@t who screwed up my order because he was a c*nt - thanks for firing him )

....if premium is having 40k+ cars that rattle and buzz (BMW again, and Porsche)

....if premium is having dealers who damage your car when you take it into them (Mercedes...much as I love your AMG's, your dealers are the worst I've dealt with yet)

....or if premium is having a car that breaks down and am never sure if it's fixed (yes, that'll be you Porsche)


....then you can stick premium up your arse - I'm delighted to be going back to an Italian car again!


On a serious note, the Alfa dealers of old weren't much cop and I'm glad the cars I had were largely reliable so I didn't have to deal with them too often but I do believe they have improved significantly in recent years.

Oh well, I'll be able to give some feedback on how my local Ferrari/Maserati dealer treats it's customers soon....but then again, I may never need to visit them


By the way Roger....Spiders are shit. As you can tell, I like Alfa's but the Brera is awful looking and the Spider is poorly engineered for a soft top....stay away. On the other hand the 159 is beautiful and I challenge anyone to put a 159 next a 3-Series, A4 or C-Class and not agree it's the finest looking of them all.

Last edited by Palmnuts; 03-14-2011 at 06:06 PM.
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      03-15-2011, 06:16 AM   #24
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Get review Palmnuts and I'm with you on the Fiat Coupe 20V Turbo. Bought one new in Sprint Blue in 1998 , kept it for 7 years although mostly used as a second car after the first couple of years. Loved it and honestly had very little issues with it, turbo seals was one that caused it to smoke like a train but EVENTUALLY sorted out by Fiat after several attempts and irate conversations with Fiat area Customer Services Manager or whatever he was. No squeaks or rattles and seemed well made and the 5 cyl engine was great. It was during this ownership that I tried many Alfas but never felt they were too durable and like I said they often had faults in test drives. Loads of character all of them.

Biggest concern for me as I got more mature was their depreciation. An example was someone I know who does a lot of driving, bought a 156 2.4JTD Sportwagon new for approx 18k, sold just under three years later to best offer of 3.5k. Almost 100k miles granted but still quite a hit in the pocket.
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      03-15-2011, 07:08 AM   #25
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Although, they could be about to get a whole lot better.


http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/255918/
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      03-15-2011, 09:33 AM   #26
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I was at the garage with the Alfa that the OP posted just the other day. Didn't drive it but had a look round it and it's a lovely car. I'd buy it in a heart beat if I knew I only had to own it for a month or so.
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      03-15-2011, 10:33 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by creepy coupe View Post
Although, they could be about to get a whole lot better.


http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/255918/
It would be a shame if VW acquired Alfa and especially if they actually tried to sell more of them. One thing on Alfa's side is often its slow depreciation (some core vehicles have held really well, I accept others haven't at all) which is down to design, flair and because relatively speaking you can't get anything else so exciting looking in the same class (small/medium hatch and small exec saloon I guess.)

VW will sell more, make them duller and definitely make them less exciting. It would be a shame and we'd end up with a load more anonymous bubble hatches.

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      03-15-2011, 10:39 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by davyk31 View Post
Get review Palmnuts and I'm with you on the Fiat Coupe 20V Turbo. Bought one new in Sprint Blue in 1998 , kept it for 7 years although mostly used as a second car after the first couple of years. Loved it and honestly had very little issues with it, turbo seals was one that caused it to smoke like a train but EVENTUALLY sorted out by Fiat after several attempts and irate conversations with Fiat area Customer Services Manager or whatever he was. No squeaks or rattles and seemed well made and the 5 cyl engine was great. It was during this ownership that I tried many Alfas but never felt they were too durable and like I said they often had faults in test drives. Loads of character all of them.

Biggest concern for me as I got more mature was their depreciation. An example was someone I know who does a lot of driving, bought a 156 2.4JTD Sportwagon new for approx 18k, sold just under three years later to best offer of 3.5k. Almost 100k miles granted but still quite a hit in the pocket.
OUCH!!
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      03-15-2011, 11:52 AM   #29
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On the other hand the 159 is beautiful and I challenge anyone to put a 159 next a 3-Series, A4 or C-Class and not agree it's the finest looking of them all.
I totally agree. I had a 159 for a few weeks as a loaner while my car was getting repaired. It was the first car I'd driven in a long while that you turned and looked again at as you walked away.
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      03-15-2011, 12:16 PM   #30
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Alfas - like a good looking woman that can't cook, is sh1t in bed and won't do the washing up.
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      03-15-2011, 12:56 PM   #31
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Alfas - like a good looking woman that can't cook, is sh1t in bed and won't do the washing up.
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