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A lex

11,726 posts

116 months

[news] 
Sunday 16th January 2011 quote quote all
T5SOR said:
Guvernator said:
T5SOR said:
I'm still not convinced. I thought the 2.2 that I drove was great. I went home in my MK1 MX5 and although I love it the Alfa stayed on my mind.

Mmmmm 3.2 on the way
Really? I understand that the fact that it is one of the best looking cars this side of £50K is very compelling but are you honestly saying you could live with the crashy ride, scuttle shake and general feeling that things were going to shake themselves apart at any moment. The test drive I had was in a basically new demo car and it was already squeaking and creaking if we ran over anything in the road thicker than a 10 pence piece. It felt as if it already had 100k on the clock and was running on woodden wheels rather than modern rubber.

Admittedly I've not tried it's hard top sibling so can't comment although I did have a go in a 147 GTA many moons ago which didn't seem to suffer from the same problem. I just can't put into words how bad I thought the ride was on the Spyder and being into cars of a more sporty persuasion I am usually very tolerant to harsh riding cars.

Edited by Guvernator on Wednesday 12th January 12:17
I need to test drive a 3.2 before I make a decision (only driven th 2.2), but I thought it felt a good ride. I was a bit bumpy at times, but my MX5 is like that on every bump in the road. Maybe I am used to a harsh ride, but I really liked the Spider when I drove it last weekend.

Anyone here have/had a 3.2 Spider and care to comment on ownership?
As far as I can tell its pretty much like owning any other Spider - economy is about 20mpg +- 5. Performance is good and it can be made to sound v. nice for not much folding. Are you going for an earlier model, or the 'update' which had the nicer seats and interior touches? I found the brakes to be powerful but a bit wooden, apparently a characteristic of a lot of Brembo 4-pots.

T5SOR

1,364 posts

108 months

[news] 
Sunday 16th January 2011 quote quote all
A lex said:
T5SOR said:
Guvernator said:
T5SOR said:
I'm still not convinced. I thought the 2.2 that I drove was great. I went home in my MK1 MX5 and although I love it the Alfa stayed on my mind.

Mmmmm 3.2 on the way
Really? I understand that the fact that it is one of the best looking cars this side of £50K is very compelling but are you honestly saying you could live with the crashy ride, scuttle shake and general feeling that things were going to shake themselves apart at any moment. The test drive I had was in a basically new demo car and it was already squeaking and creaking if we ran over anything in the road thicker than a 10 pence piece. It felt as if it already had 100k on the clock and was running on woodden wheels rather than modern rubber.

Admittedly I've not tried it's hard top sibling so can't comment although I did have a go in a 147 GTA many moons ago which didn't seem to suffer from the same problem. I just can't put into words how bad I thought the ride was on the Spyder and being into cars of a more sporty persuasion I am usually very tolerant to harsh riding cars.

Edited by Guvernator on Wednesday 12th January 12:17
I need to test drive a 3.2 before I make a decision (only driven th 2.2), but I thought it felt a good ride. I was a bit bumpy at times, but my MX5 is like that on every bump in the road. Maybe I am used to a harsh ride, but I really liked the Spider when I drove it last weekend.

Anyone here have/had a 3.2 Spider and care to comment on ownership?
As far as I can tell its pretty much like owning any other Spider - economy is about 20mpg +- 5. Performance is good and it can be made to sound v. nice for not much folding. Are you going for an earlier model, or the 'update' which had the nicer seats and interior touches? I found the brakes to be powerful but a bit wooden, apparently a characteristic of a lot of Brembo 4-pots.
Thanks Alex.

I was looking at 2007-2010 models. What year did they do the update?

A lex

11,726 posts

116 months

[news] 
Sunday 16th January 2011 quote quote all
In mid-08 there was an update. A few mechanical things (including weight saving for some models), few more bhp on the diesel and I think you could get the V6 with FWD only - but the most noticeable was the interior updates.

-Some minor dash touches including new type face for the main dials, darker polished aluminium on the centre console (early models had bright alu)

-Biggest change was the seats, better support and look much nicer. The easiest way to tell is the update models have 'Spider' etched on to a metal plate in the headrest, the early models were embroidered on the fabric itself.

The early Alfa branded sat-navs were a load of poo (I mean really really bad) and I would avoid. Some of the later cars were fitted with a Pioneer Nav unit which is brilliant. If you want to add your own HU etc id be tempted to hunt out a non Blue and Me model as on these you can literally rip the factory unit out and put yours in. For the models with B&M it was impossible for a long-time to remove the factory system (at least when I owned them), but this has probably been overcome by some clever soul by now.

Chairs and dash on my 07





and my 08




interloper

2,255 posts

138 months

[news] 
Sunday 16th January 2011 quote quote all
RicksAlfas said:
dwilkie said:
See I still think the 159 was one of the nicest cars from a driver pov that I've ever had the pleasure of, it was truly superb and every bit as good as the 156. The Brera/Spider on the other hand...
I'm not sure I understand. The 159 does drive very well and the Brera drives like a shorter 2 door version, so I'm surprised you like the 159 but not the Brera. Never driven a Spider but I find the Brera has a pretty rigid shell and a decent ride.
I understand perfectly! I used to work for an Alfa dealer, the 159 worked, the driving position was good, the ride and handling not bad etc. When they hacked a foot or so out of the chassis and lowered the roof, in the Brera they buggered up the driving position.

I'm a very average 5'10" and found that I couldn't get low enough in the Brera, my head was too close to roof, not helped by the fact that the A and B pillars seemed to curve inwards toward the lowered roof.

The comments re the scuttle shake on the spider are interesting, the early V6 models I drove didn't seem too bad (and the roads around Reading, Pangbourne, Bracknell etc are bleeding awful! Makes you wonder if as production has continued and the popularity dipped they have started cutting corners? Certainly not as bad for shake as the old BMW Z3 or Nineties Saab 900/93, which were utter horrors in this regard.

Another thing the "ribbed for her pleasure" leather seats, seriously what the hell were they thinking? The cheap cloth seats in the 159 are dead comfy, pay extra for leather and you get hard and unsupportive, they probably don't even wipe clean very easily due to the design!

In my view the Brera and spider were, poorly thought out hack jobs, the old GT was a much better coupe.

Edited by interloper on Sunday 16th January 10:46

Guvernator

3,407 posts

48 months

[news] 
Monday 17th January 2011 quote quote all
So what next for Alfa? I guess the Mito is OK as far as small hatchbacks but I'm not in the market for a small hatch and why they felt the need to replace that awesome 6 light arrangement which was probably the best "face" on any mainstream car I have seen in the last 10 years with this new startled owl look is beyond me.

The Giulietta isn't really doing to for me either. I don't think it's half as pretty as previous Alfa's, so what else has Alfa got in the pipeline?

If Alfa made a decent coupe or Spyder which addressed some of the previous issues mentioned, handled well and brought back some of the magic of the old V6 engines, I'd be there like a shot. Something about the Italian Alfa's which makes them a bit more exotic than some of the other mainstream manufacturers which appeals to me. If only they got some of the other basics right they could do very well and certainly earn another fan but at the moment I think they are still living off past glories.
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robsco

5,659 posts

59 months

[news] 
Monday 17th January 2011 quote quote all
Guvernator said:
So what next for Alfa? I guess the Mito is OK as far as small hatchbacks but I'm not in the market for a small hatch and why they felt the need to replace that awesome 6 light arrangement which was probably the best "face" on any mainstream car I have seen in the last 10 years with this new startled owl look is beyond me.

The Giulietta isn't really doing to for me either. I don't think it's half as pretty as previous Alfa's, so what else has Alfa got in the pipeline?

If Alfa made a decent coupe or Spyder which addressed some of the previous issues mentioned, handled well and brought back some of the magic of the old V6 engines, I'd be there like a shot. Something about the Italian Alfa's which makes them a bit more exotic than some of the other mainstream manufacturers which appeals to me. If only they got some of the other basics right they could do very well and certainly earn another fan but at the moment I think they are still living off past glories.
Living off past glories is a little harsh. Alfa have a strong line up at the moment, their strongest for a long time. The Mito has received a lot of praise, cracking up to date engines and good build quality. The 159 is an excellent steer and looks simply divine with another line up of good engines (1750TBi to replace the old 2.2, excellent range of diesels). The GT's only real weak point IMHO its interior, which, being based on the 147, doesn't seem to have the same robustness as the 159/Brera etc.

Interesting that you mention the Giulietta's looks. They might not be to your taste, but there's no denying that it seems to be a great car (though I've not driven one). It was only just pipped by the Golf in a recent road test, which is an honourable result. They also have the new Spider in the pipeline of course, if the Duettotanta concept was anything to go by. If the pricing is keen and they get the chassis right, Alfa should have a field day.

Guvernator

3,407 posts

48 months

[news] 
Tuesday 18th January 2011 quote quote all
robsco said:
Living off past glories is a little harsh. Alfa have a strong line up at the moment, their strongest for a long time. The Mito has received a lot of praise, cracking up to date engines and good build quality. The 159 is an excellent steer and looks simply divine with another line up of good engines (1750TBi to replace the old 2.2, excellent range of diesels). The GT's only real weak point IMHO its interior, which, being based on the 147, doesn't seem to have the same robustness as the 159/Brera etc.

Interesting that you mention the Giulietta's looks. They might not be to your taste, but there's no denying that it seems to be a great car (though I've not driven one). It was only just pipped by the Golf in a recent road test, which is an honourable result. They also have the new Spider in the pipeline of course, if the Duettotanta concept was anything to go by. If the pricing is keen and they get the chassis right, Alfa should have a field day.
The Mito has got fair reviews but certainly not enough to put it at the top of the class. The 159 and GT platforms are at least 5 years old and due for replacement soon. They've also stopped making the Brera and Spyder.

I agree the new multiair engines are technically brilliant and very efficient, however they aren't very exciting which is what Alfa were famous for. I remember going weak at the knees on hearing and seeing some of the older V6 engines, can't imagine that happening now. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not on an Alfa downer, I'm very keen to see what they do with their next saloon, coupe and Spyder cars. The Spyder concept is certainly fantastic looking, I just hope they manage to add back some of the Alfa magic into the handling and engines departments.

jamieboy

5,479 posts

112 months

[news] 
Tuesday 18th January 2011 quote quote all
Guvernator said:
The Mito has got fair reviews but certainly not enough to put it at the top of the class. The 159 and GT platforms are at least 5 years old and due for replacement soon. They've also stopped making the Brera and Spyder.
I don't put much faith in other people's opinions, but the MiTo came top in the What Car reader's awards this year. It's not going to worry Porsche, but that's not its target market.

Also, Spider.

robsco

5,659 posts

59 months

[news] 
Tuesday 18th January 2011 quote quote all
jamieboy said:
Guvernator said:
The Mito has got fair reviews but certainly not enough to put it at the top of the class. The 159 and GT platforms are at least 5 years old and due for replacement soon. They've also stopped making the Brera and Spyder.
I don't put much faith in other people's opinions, but the MiTo came top in the What Car reader's awards this year. It's not going to worry Porsche, but that's not its target market.

Also, Spider.
159 4th out of 15 I believe, in the executive class? Nestling amongst the German brands if I recall correctly.

Howrare

115 posts

89 months

[news] 
Saturday 26th March 2011 quote quote all
robsco said:
jamieboy said:
Guvernator said:
The Mito has got fair reviews but certainly not enough to put it at the top of the class. The 159 and GT platforms are at least 5 years old and due for replacement soon. They've also stopped making the Brera and Spyder.
The GT was based on a 156 platform that harks back to the mid 90's. Saying that, having driven all the models being talked about in this thread, I'd still take a GT V6 over any of the 159 based products. The Spider V6 I drove to AutoItalia in 2007 was stunning. Stunning to look at, and always drew a crowd whenever it was parked up. But a stunning let down performance wise. Heavy, slow, unresponsive, and that "new" GM V6 was totally souless. I'll forgive an Alfa a fair few things. I've owned a few. My GTV TS wasn't quick, but it was sharp handling, made a great noise, and never felt boring.

The current models have never had the sales success of the 156 and 147. They undercut the competition price wise, looked stunning (and still do to my eyes) had character and were sharp to drive. No wonder they sold well, they were a real alternative in so many ways. Cheaper and more interesting than the premium brands, and more upmarket than the likes of Ford, and Vauxhall. They took sales from both markets. Today Alfa has lost the plot. The 159 family is just plain dull to drive. The Mito is hideous. In the same way a Mk1 Cayene looks shocking for being a 911 stretched over a Toureg, the Mito is an attempt to drag an 8C over a Grande Punto. The Guilette is a butter car. Nice bum, but'er face! The local hairdresser has one, and always parks it front on to the shop. The new concept 4C spider doesn't do it for me either. The Duoettotante was really were I would like them to go style wise, and a return to a lighter, sharper driving range of cars. Alfa are so fixated with competing with the Germans, when they should be getting back to being something different, and exciting.

As for the fella in this thread who has an MX-5 and is thinking of chopping it for a Spider... REALLY? I've had 2 MX-5s and would buy another in a heart beat. You’d swap pin sharp handling, involvement, and all the fun just for a pretty face? For the money you'd spend you could go Boxster, almost new S2000, 350Z... the list of far superior metal goes on and on. If it has to be an Alfa then a 916 V6 Spider would be a far better drive, and they’re not great to start with.

I love Alfa, always have, but they have to sort themselves out. I think the best thing would be for Fiat to get shot, and for something similar to what has happened to SAAB to take place. I hope it gets better soon.


jamieboy

5,479 posts

112 months

[news] 
Saturday 26th March 2011 quote quote all
Howrare said:
The GT was based on a 156 platform that harks back to the mid 90's. Saying that, having driven all the models being talked about in this thread, I'd still take a GT V6 over any of the 159 based products. The Spider V6 I drove to AutoItalia in 2007 was stunning. Stunning to look at, and always drew a crowd whenever it was parked up. But a stunning let down performance wise. Heavy, slow, unresponsive, and that "new" GM V6 was totally souless. I'll forgive an Alfa a fair few things. I've owned a few. My GTV TS wasn't quick, but it was sharp handling, made a great noise, and never felt boring.

The current models have never had the sales success of the 156 and 147. They undercut the competition price wise, looked stunning (and still do to my eyes) had character and were sharp to drive. No wonder they sold well, they were a real alternative in so many ways. Cheaper and more interesting than the premium brands, and more upmarket than the likes of Ford, and Vauxhall. They took sales from both markets. Today Alfa has lost the plot. The 159 family is just plain dull to drive. The Mito is hideous. In the same way a Mk1 Cayene looks shocking for being a 911 stretched over a Toureg, the Mito is an attempt to drag an 8C over a Grande Punto. The Guilette is a butter car. Nice bum, but'er face! The local hairdresser has one, and always parks it front on to the shop. The new concept 4C spider doesn't do it for me either. The Duoettotante was really were I would like them to go style wise, and a return to a lighter, sharper driving range of cars. Alfa are so fixated with competing with the Germans, when they should be getting back to being something different, and exciting.

As for the fella in this thread who has an MX-5 and is thinking of chopping it for a Spider... REALLY? I've had 2 MX-5s and would buy another in a heart beat. You’d swap pin sharp handling, involvement, and all the fun just for a pretty face? For the money you'd spend you could go Boxster, almost new S2000, 350Z... the list of far superior metal goes on and on. If it has to be an Alfa then a 916 V6 Spider would be a far better drive, and they’re not great to start with.

I love Alfa, always have, but they have to sort themselves out. I think the best thing would be for Fiat to get shot, and for something similar to what has happened to SAAB to take place. I hope it gets better soon.
Not sure what you've done there, but I didn't say any of that. smile
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