2001 Alfa Romeo 166 Reviews

2001 Alfa Romeo 166 Lusso 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.0 petrol Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired35000 miles
Most recent distance45000 miles
Previous carFord Mondeo

Summary:

I like it more and more as time passes

Faults:

I had the timing belt changed when acquired at 35k, essential! Done by independent specialist, also essential!

Rear brake caliper off side is stuck, but it still passed the NCT (MOT). I will repair this myself.

Window button loose, but still works.

Rain sensor wipers don't really work, I will just disconnect this and work on manual intermittent.

Uses very little oil compared to other twin sparks I have read/heard about.

In short, nothing of any real note has gone wrong.

It might not be Toyota reliable, but this particular model really has no vices (PROVIDED you change the timing belt every 35k or three years, and check the oil every week until you learn its appetite for oil).

General Comments:

LOVE this car a lot. I had not owned another Alfa, but I appreciate now what owners describe as the tremendous charm of the make; my car is growing on me all the time, the ride and handling are so tight and precise (for a big saloon you understand, this is not a rally car) while the car is never uncomfortable. Be aware however that you have to like paying constant attention to your driving. There is some torque steer that needs care when you boot it in second. The tight steering ratio is intended for enthusiastic driving rather than half asleep executive cruising.

There is almost no understeer, in fact I almost miss the ability to understeer and lift-off oversteer I had with the old Mondeo. This car just corners neutrally, if you accelerate in a corner it just goes faster with very little change of line or attitude.

With the lighter 2.0 petrol, the car feels very balanced and competent; I believe the 3.0 and the diesels are much heavier in the nose.

Turning circle is too big; you really must plan your turns very carefully with lots of nods and waves to other drivers. Park with care.

The engine is a furious sweet cracker. The car is perhaps a little big for this engine, and the engine does have to work hard for its keep, but it is just so addictively rev happy that it never complains. In second and third gear, between 3500 and 6000 (my self imposed redline), it feels enormously powerful, more than the power figures would suggest. It can potter around town at 1500 - 2000 comfortably, but it needs to be at 2500 - 3000 to take off. You rarely feel that the engine wants you to change up, rather it loves to be given its head. Fifth and sixth gears are overdrives only.

It engine sounds utterly beautiful, without any boy racer offence to anyone outside the car.

The 17 inch wheels look great, but 16 inches might actually be better in terms of real world fast driving on rough roads. The 225 width tyres do however bring a lot to the roadholding. With the 17s, there is a little vibration from the road that car wears on you if you are not in the mood.

Interior is so beautiful in light grey leather and black, that if the car was written off, I would want to transfer it to another! In fact if I had the space, I think I would buy another first generation 166 just to have as a future replacement!

Only a cross waist seatbelt in the centre rear. The rear seat is really designed for two rather than three.

The main mechanicals, bodywork and interior are all very solid looking and feeling.

If you like large drivers cars and don't care about cupholders, large turning circles, and a few surprises from the torque steer, then this is a very very good value second hand car.

I look forward to every opportunity to drive it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd November, 2005

2001 Alfa Romeo 166 3.0l V6 6 speed 3.0 V6 6 Speed from UK and Ireland

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 3.0 V6 6 Speed Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.5 / 10
Distance when acquired49000 miles
Most recent distance51000 miles
Previous carAlfa Romeo 164

Summary:

All show and no go. Wheres the oomph?

Faults:

Poor acceleration

Hesitation and flat spots at 4-5000 revs

Cruise control works when it wants to

Rain sensitive wipers don't work

Heated seat doesn't work

Passenger window only closes with driver switch.

General Comments:

Absolutely beautiful car, but has terrible fuel consumption and is not a patch on the old 164's performance.

6th gear gives the same revs to speed as 5th did on the 164. Either have a taller gear or don't bother.

The poor acceleration leads you to leave the car in top and potter around town at 1200 revs rather than reveling in the driving experience. No thrills, whats happened to the buttock clenching acceleration and raw power that flattened you into the back of the seat and insisted you lifted your foot before drove spectacularly to your death? Now I only fear for my life when I pull out of a junction, will I clear the oncoming traffic in time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th April, 2005

25th Apr 2005, 22:14

Hi.

I totally agree with your comments. I took delivery of a four year old 3.0 V6 sport tronic with full service history and had covered 90k miles only to find acceleration extremely disappointing. A 1.6 liter focus goes accelerates faster and handles better. Extremely unreliable, engine overrated. Kick-down is a joke and sport tronic has a mind of its own. In auto mode not very smooth at all and the adaptive system is useless. Fuel consumption horrifying, I know v12s with better consumption. Vibrates whilst stationary and dealer doesn't think there is anything wrong. Has spongy brakes, harsh ride and marginally improved built quality. Still can't compete with BMWS and Mercs.

2001 Alfa Romeo 166 Lusso 2.0 TwinSpark from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 2.0 TwinSpark Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired5400 miles
Most recent distance16200 miles

Summary:

Would strongly recommend it

Faults:

Rear driver side door central locking failed

Fan belt disintegrated due to tensioner failing - quick and simple fix.

General Comments:

Fantastic car, beautiful to look at, lots of fun to drive, very reliable and well built - a dream. Great bargain second hand.

Fast and fun on open roads and motorway - around town the poor visibility, heavy clutch and too-high first gear mars the overall experience.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st October, 2004

Average review marks: 6.7 / 10, based on 3 reviews