Sticking me neck out here, but personally I like Alfas just can't quite come to terms with their reliability. Definitely individual in styling but almostly certainly a either you hate it or love it look. My other half calls them 'Sharks'. Go figure.
Love em... but like RayBan said, not sure what to make of the reliability. I wanted a 156 GTA when i sold the GTI... but i couldnt afford one as they were still around the 15k mark. Glorious engine... and fantastic styling. I went to look at one in red and loved it to bits, lovely interior too, and the engine was wonderful on startup and tickover (didnt take it for drive)... but i did see another one fly past me whilst i was at a postbox, and the sound of it was sensational.
Yup, used to work for Universal Salvage and took a V6 156 out for for a spin and it was cheap (?5K!). Was really tempted to get it cept a) other half hated it and b) the people i worked with (all motor trade people) said that they were great but reliability was still an issue. They said it really depended on the car (pot luck I guess) but said parts and servicing was expensive. Put me right off. Would still love to own one though, esp the 156 GTA.
I love 'em. The 2 litre engine from the older cars is a cracker, gorgeous sound and really quick. Came this close to getting a 145 Cloverleaf when I was buying my car-before-last, but chose a VR6 instead 
The only thing I couldn't get on with is the depreciation, which is a bit of a killer. May as well drive down the road chucking tenners randomly out of the window.
Quote: posted by RayBanUK on 24/01/2005 17:19:13My other half calls them 'Sharks'. Go figure.
I can see that. And talking of sharks, CH5 tonight 
Alfa Romeo. Love them. Unfortunately everyone has already covered why I wouldn't buy one. My day to day driving is loads of stopping and starting, in and out of the car and 90% around town. I reckon after 3 years I'd be trading in a cardboard box full of bits. Shame really.
My mate had a 147 that had more electrical gremlins than I don't know what. Luckily the dealer wrote it off for him on a test drive after a service [:O]
In my last job, one of my fellow directors had a 156 V6. Bought new in 1999, just before they slashed ?3k off the list price. Did 110k miles in it and really had little more than routine servicing. Didn't take it to franchised dealer - used a good specialist who looked after it. After 3 years it still looked stunning. Unfortunately, he drove round a corner one day and into a deep puddle - engine cut out. Before help could arrive, puddle grey and car was flooded. With only third party insurance, we basiccally had to give it away!
Mind you, another directopr had a grey import Impreza Turbo at same time - that was more expensive to keep on road, worse for fuel, needed more repairs and looked pretty tatty at same age and mileage. Now, if depreciation was your thing, my then company car beat them both hands down (it cost roughly same at purchase but was worth more than twice as much on disposal...) - but then you might not have been happy driving a Renault Grand Espace diesel! Given we made and sold ladders though, it was far more use to us than any of the posey machines they had.....
djhorace, at first I didnt like it but with that front end there isnt really anywhere else to put the number plate and I've seen a lot worse on modified Jap cars so it doesnt bother me. In fact, if I had it my way, I wouldnt EVEN like normal number plates stuck to the front of any bumper.
I say I would get a Alfa brand new but 3-5K for an secondhand Alfa 156 2.5V6 can't be bad, as long as its a good example. In my opinion, they have improved since the 145/155 days though. The sound is absolutely gorgeous though.
My partner has (its for sale currently as she has bought a 2.5 diesel passat) GTv 2.0.
As a drivers cars its fantastic. Handles well, goes well (150bhp) and sounds, well in my opinion it sounds better than her brother ferrari, much better.
As for the reliability, she has had it for over two years and not had any problems.
I can't remember the guys name, James will know it, but he intructs David Coulthard in F1 and sets up his car before each GP. Well he drives a 156 V6, and when I was out in a car with him at Goodwood (thanks James) we were talking about Alfas, and he reckons his has never broken down and is still on the original gearbox after 160,000miles. I could'nt get over it. He's a nutter in a car !
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