2002 Alfa Romeo 166 3.2 V6 from Australia and New Zealand
Excellent tourer, great engine and fantastic design inside and out
Two electric motors in the climate control system have developed intermittent faults that cause a malfunction warning on the console display, it also means that the A/C will not respond to changes to the settings and will basically do what it wants (heat/cool - change the airflow directions) until the ignition is turned off and turned back on again. I have had the motors on order with my Alfa dealer for 4 months, but they have not arrived yet - it will be a $1000 repair when they do arrive.
In winter there is a whiff of coolant when the heater is operated - apparently this is a common fault in the heater hoses, which if left unchecked, will result in coolant dripping into the console display behind the dash, ruining the electronics for the radio/sat nav/climate control...
When traveling on rough roads, the radio will sometimes change stations to the next preset.
Drivers seat belt has severe wear on the edge where it slides inside the door pillar.
Overall I am very impressed with my 166, I searched all over Australia to find one in the colour combination I wanted and with a sunroof, and eventually bought one in Sydney and drove it back to Perth (about 3700 klms). The car performed well apart from the A/C faults.
The gearbox is a vast improvement on the selespeed of my old Alfa 156 - if you use the tiptronic function, it is possible to beat the traffic to the next red light, but fuel consumption suffers as a result. The automatic is smooth and very relaxed; perfect for city traffic conditions.
The V6 engine is the real jewel in the 166 crown - it revs freely and has a great bellow when you give the throttle a good push - the exhaust note is very addictive, and the economy of the V6 is better than most cars in the class.
Storage in the cabin is a bit limited for bulky items, and there are no cupholders. Overall the quality of the interior plastics and leather is excellent, with no wear at all after 6 years of use.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th October, 2009