Alfa Romeo 166 | Auto Express

17 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Alfa Romeo 166 | Auto Express
Alfa Romeo 166

Alfa Romeo 166

18 Nov, 2003 3:06pm Comments

Big Italian executive cars aren#039;t renowned for holding their value, but this makes for some excellent deals when buying used. That#039;s certainly true of Alfa#039;s 166. Launched in 1999, it was praised for its sleek, alternative styling, large cabin and superb dynamics, while the range-topping 3.0-litre machine was said to have one of the finest six-cylinder engines in any production car.

Big Italian executive cars aren’t renowned for holding their value, but this makes for some excellent deals when buying used. That’s certainly true of Alfa’s 166. Launched in 1999, it was praised for its sleek, alternative styling, large cabin and superb dynamics, while the range-topping 3.0-litre machine was said to have one of the finest six-cylinder engines in any production car.

But time hasn’t been kind to the Alfa in terms of retained value, and now you can pick up a four-year-old example for less than a quarter of its new price. What’s more, the 166 has turned out to be a fragile beast and its interiors don’t wear well, so buy carefully to avoid getting caught out.

Checklist

* Engines: all units are generally reliable, but the quad-cam V6 needs setting up properly and easily falls out of tune, Hesitation and top-end rattles spell danger.

* Headlights: narrow lenses are vulnerable to cracking, while Xenon replacements are £300-plus a side. If a sidelight blows, the whole unit has to be removed to change it.

* Tyres: front wear is heavy, especially on 3.0-litre manuals, which are prone to torque steer. Replacements are £180 each; use as a bargaining point if badly worn.

* Electrics: while improving, Italian electrics are still not great. Problems include blown ECUs, sticking windows and broken air-con. Hard-to-trace wiring faults mean pricey repairs.

Some parts are scarce.

* Rear bushes: a light metallic tapping from the back while cornering or negotiating speed bumps means the rear radius arm bushes are worn. Repairs are cheap and easy.

Driving Impressions

Few executive cars put driving pleasure above comfort and efficiency, but this Alfa is one of them. Even in base 2.0-litre form, it has a characterful Twin Spark engine and lively performance. The chassis is well balanced and the ride firm, while the steering is precise and nicely weighted.

Alfa Romeo 166

The V6s are even more entertaining, and the 3.0 teamed with the six-speed box is truly thrilling. Our only real gripe is fuel consumption, which even in the calmest of circumstances struggles to top the high 20s.

Glass’s View

Large cars remain unpopular, and none more so than the 166. As it is built to order, used versions can be rare – but that doesn’t stop values plummeting. The Alfa depreciates fast, and after a year is worth less than 50 per cent of its new cost, dropping to 25 per cent after four years.

Build quality also lets it down. That puts buyers off, but does mean you can pick up a cracking bargain. We saw a 102,000-mile T-plate 2.5 V6 with all the toys at auction for only £3,400. Jeff Paterson, senior editor, Glass’s Guide

Life With An Alfa Romeo 166

The 166 is a fantastic car -wonderful to look at and drive. I’ve had a few problems, including a new clutch and stereo, but it hasn’t put me off. Marco Bevilacqua, Romford, Essex

My T-reg 166 3.0 struggles to top 24mpg, is pricey to run and isn’t the most reliable car, but it was that or a Y-reg Ford Mondeo, and I know I made the better choice – for driving pleasure, at least. Nick Beasley, Chester

Verdict

From the moment you slip into the driver’s seat, which is comfortable rather than supportive, any stories you’ve heard regarding compromised ergonomics can be forgotten. However, those used to the quality and materials of a BMW will feel let down, as some of the 166’s can’t match those used by German rivals. But the Alfa has lost none of its sporting heart – and that’s great news.

The 166 sounds great, and you’ll want to hold it in gear just for the fun of it.

Alfa Romeo 166
Alfa Romeo 166
Tagged as:

Other articles of the category "Alfa Romeo":

Twitter-news
Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

dima911@gmail.com

Born in the USSR

423360519

About this site

For all questions about advertising, please contact listed on the site.


Car Catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions about cars