alfa 156, user experiences and opinions

sifu

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Hello, again..

Unfortunate but true, my beloved Citroen Visa 11RE is going to the junk yard. Nothing wrong with it (except it wont start properly, well it always starts at 1st try, but you must try it for 10-30 seconds at a time) So a "new" car is at need. I have strangely grew fond with Alfa Romeo 156. 1998-2000 is about in my price range (2-6k ?uros). So if you have had an alfa 156, tell me about it. Reliability? Which motor should i go for. 1.6ts,1.8ts,2.0ts or even 2.5v6. Differencies between motors (reliability,oil consumption, belt/chain options?, fuel consumption?, normal faults with em and with the car also?) Pros / Cons for that vehicle. Pros / cons with engines, opinions experiences etc etc.. Feel free to rant the italian stallion if needed.

Year should be 1998+
I have thought also s40 Volvo, Peugeot 306/406 (cant help it, they are dirt cheap in here), Golf (well, pretty expensive and lots of miles on the clock), Ibiza (cheaper but smaller also), Leon (too expensive also), Renault Megane (french, so dirt cheap). Mondeo, Focus.. Theres So Much Choice! But but but.

Remember im from Finland, so these cars are expensive for most of you, but i just have to deal with it. And take it into consideration that money doesnt grow on the trees for me. So it should be quite practical and economical.
 
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Interrobang

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[...]Year should be 1998+
I have thought also s40 Volvo, Peugeot 306/406 (cant help it, they are dirt cheap in here), Golf (well, pretty expensive and lots of miles on the clock), Ibiza (cheaper but smaller also), Leon (too expensive also), Renault Megane (french, so dirt cheap). Mondeo, Focus.. Theres So Much Choice! But but but.
Remember im from Finland, so these cars are expensive for most of you, but i just have to deal with it. And take it into consideration that money doesnt grow on the trees for me. So it should be quite practical and economical.
I really like the 156, but If I were you, I?d rather be looking for a Mondeo or better an s40, they are generally more reliable and more practical. /opinion

But I?ve got no first hand experiences with those cars.
 

Greatgraddage

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We used to have a 406, ran pretty well, clocked up 150,000 miles in 4 years, and I know of others with similar reliability. Fairly cheap to fix as well I expect.
 

MacGeek

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I've had four: a 1999 1.6 TS, a 2000 2.0 TS, a 2001 2.0 TS, and a 2003 2.0 JTS.

Do not even consider the 1.6 TS. Too slow. 1.8 is your minimum, really. I'd suggest 2.0 TS or 2.5 V6. Avoid the Selespeed if you're looking for a pre-2002 car. Bonus points if you can find one with the sport suspension. Try to get a car with 16" rims. 17" rims were not a factory option at the time, but they can be used, with 215/45 ZR17 tires. The engines are all belt driven. One possible source of problems with the 4-cylinder engines is the cam phaser. Initial symptoms: diesel-like rattling noise for a few seconds at startup, which eventually gets worse over time. Oil consumption varies a lot in Pratola Serra engines. Using 10W60 oil instead of the normal 10W40 can help in that regard.

That's all I can think of right now... hope this helps.
 

DJ

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AR 156 2.0 :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

How old are the S40 and Mondeo on your list? Those two would probably be my 2nd choice.
 

M3lover

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I'd take the Mondeo
While not as good handling as the 156 it's still relatively good

I love the 156 but, for me, it just seems as to much of a gamble.

The S40 is a nice car but I just can't get over the fact that there is a Carisma underneath (No offence Icebone).
 

kaBOOMn

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/Alfa Mechanic

No problems in general, as long as you avoid the selespeed gearbox. I cannot stress how much I hate the damn things. Please please please get a 5 speed manual.

As for other problems, make sure the oil is O.K, I've seen one run a big end erm and avoid oil cleaned pod/pannel filters. The EFI computers on the dear things run a Hot wire AFM and it can bugger the hot wire up in them.

Other than that, they are not bad. The odd V6 will eat a gearbox, however this was a GTA with the Hyper 3.2L 24v motor (in a 147)

Good (and good looking choice)
 

sifu

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hmm.. this came to a point where i got an offer from a friend.. its a mondeo -97 (newer model) lots and lots of miles on the clock, but the price and condition are like mint. Services are done in time and its got an air con. Also my bro has worked as a Ford mechanic + all sorts of tasks in Ford so with his help i should be able to maintain it more by myself. It has 200k miles on the clock :)

But its from a friend, i know this guy and he maintains it at it was his baby. Two brand new sets of wheels comes along (with aloys, is it pronounced right?) summer and spoke wheels. Belts and other mainteance has been done already and only air con mainteance (100 euros) must be done. 2.5k is the price. So what do you think?
1.8 petrol with 5-speed manual ofc.

If i run some figures. Costs etc...

Alfas 156 (1998-2000) 5-7k euros 100k+ miles (1.6 is 4.900 - 5.200)(others 5.500 - 7.000) (thought the 5.900 2.0ts, ~110k miles)
Volvo s40 (1996-1999) 5-7k euros 100k+ miles (thought a 2.0liter s40 with 110k miles ~5.900)
Ford Mondeo (1997-2000) 2-7k euros (lots and lots of miles on the clock, but example 150k miles, 1997, 3000+ euros) if 100k miles -> 3.5-4k
 

otispunkmeyer

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what about a ford focus? or is that too small?

i have a 3 door focus and i have to say you'd be amazed at home much room there is inside and even the 1.4 i have (while not fast in the slightest) is eager and at least gives the impression of speed... its quite enjoyable really because it makes you work, which if u like driving, is a good thing.
 

sifu

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well i was sensible and bought the mondeo, full service history, condition and known seller did the trick for me. 2.5k euros for a car that should last 2-3 years with my yearly mileage. Cant wait till summer cos ill have my first car with air con! :nod: Its in original condition, no big stereos, no tuning etc. No rust, engine sounds and feels healthy, interior is mint (one seam has some stiching open) Only con we (with my bro, former Ford mech etc) was the torn door seals (ice + melting ice +ice +melting ice, on and on and on) so they are about 50 euros extra cost for me. NOOOOOO!!! Also con is a too big fuel tank. Used to 32 liter tank which is reasonably cheap to fill up. But now its 60!

+ i had new summer and spoke tyres along. With massive 15" aloys
 

AiR

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Much more sensible choice than an Alfa :)
 

apack

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I work at a big Ford/Mazda/Fiat/Alfa garage... Yes the Mondeo is a good car. The new Mondeo model 39 is great actually... But i would choose the Alfa 156. The Alfa is so much more exciting to drive and the interiour is more... You know, Italian!

But you've bought the Mondeo, the sensible choice. It's just so ordinary :(
 

sifu

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i know, but i need to think about my economy + its a seller that i know well. So i can trust him. Its always the "sensible side" of me which keeps me from bying more expensive product if its otherwise similar.
 

sifu

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i know... may i turn gradually beige at the age of 24.
 

maateuszz89

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I would buy Alfa Romeo.
-great design, both interior and exterior
-you just feel nice sitting in AR
-handles very well
-great engines performance
(there is no better feeling than to rev up the engine to 7000rpm ;))

It's not economical car though. The fuel consumption in the car I drive is even up to 12,5l/100km. :cry:
 
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