Meeeeennkya!!! Alfa's got it all!
Water pump failed at 91,000 miles, 2,000 miles after previous owner had replaced it. Car had been driven less than 1,000 miles in two years before I purchased it.
Replaced valve cover gasket, cam-timing belt and two fuel hoses.
In previous posts, somebody mentioned "This is not a car for women." Indeed, the original owner had purchased it new in 1991 for his wife who hated it's bulk and rarely drove it. When I bought it, it was showroom fresh.
I am a woman, and I thoroughly enjoy the agility and high-speed gusto of this large Alfa sedan. "Off-the-line" performance is somewhat sluggish with the automatic transmission, but when shifted manually, the 164 can blow away a BMW M3 with ease.
The big Alfa hums along effortlessly at 80mph. A mere tap on the gas pedal results in rocket-like acceleration even on an uphill grade.
Fuel economy is an unexpected bonus. Compared to my previous Jaguar XJS, this is an econobox! It averages around 25mpg city even with aggressive driving.
The leather orthopedic seats seem to be custom-made for me. I can drive for hours without a "rest stop".
So far, the previous owner bore the brunt of repairs, and everything works as it should, with just enough sporadic quirkiness to keep me from taking the car's thrill quotient for granted. The downside is, there's only one mechanic in San Diego, CA who's familiar with the 164 Alfa, and he's 30 miles away.
This Alfa has all the luxury and performance features of a BWM, with a sort of spirit and panache all it's own. I forgot to mention the awesome sound system installed by the previous owner!
All I can say is "Wow!" After a succession of high-maintenance cars ending with the XJS (which was to be my last "fling"), I was intent upon replacing my passion for exotic cars with a bland middle-aged security blanket. A "normal" Lexus LS400 or Toyota Camry was my planned replacement for the Jaguar.
Just in time, and at half the price of a used-up Camry, this Alfa came along and put a huge smile on my face. If it goes up in smoke tomorrow, it will have been more than worth it... What a BLAST!!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th February, 2005