Monday, 30 March 2015

Car of the Week: Alfa Romeo 166

This weeks car is another quickie and one that I hope gets back to the premise of my whole blog; the reality that interesting European cars can be had in Australia for surprisingly little money.  This week is the Alfa Romeo 166 complete with stonking V6 and enough Italian style to out catwalk any big saloon rival.
Alfa Romeo 166

Totally unique 

So on the theme of catwalks lets examine just how beautiful the 166 is starting with what I've always felt is it's most striking feature, those tiny headlights. Unlike other cars bestowed with massive units the Alfa makes do with 2 little ones pushed right into the front wings that make it look a bit like a hamerhead shark, not traditionally beautiful but certainly striking. Small lights also mean your attention is drawn to other aspects of the car, the crease that runs down the sides for example, connecting said headlights with the rear lights eliminates any worry of the 166 being slab sided. At the risk of using an Alfa cliche, the 166 really does oozes character compared to its contempory rivals.
facelifted 166 featured a reprofiled nose

 A rare beast

Alfa 166 interiorThis cars other rather characterful feature lurks under the sculpted bonnet, Alfa's venerable 3 litre V6 as featured in a previous car of the week, the 147 GTA. Australia was only ever offered this engine, so it seems it was a case of go hard or go home with no 4 cylinder or diesel available like it's euro rivals. This probably accounts for the 166 remaining a niche choice when new, it's reported that globally less than 100,000 cars were sold. A real shame as reviewers rated the 166 rather highly. The NRMA thought "when driving the 166 the sports nature of the model is immediately apparent" thanks to direct steering and a firm yet still pleasant ride. Unfortunately though the 166 was only offered with an auto box in Australia, that at times was a little bit slow to react. But to offset this it was at least Alfa's top of the range car so it came with a fair amount of standard kit; like heated leather seats, climate control, cruise control and rain sensing wipers to name nut a few.   

Facelifted Alfa 166

Will it break down?

Facelifted Alfa 166
Now as we are talking about an Alfa, that ugly word reliabilty is going to rear its head again. However reports seem to suggest the only major fault is rear suspension arms wearing out, everything else with regular servicing should be just dandy. Of course everything being fine doesnt account for how well the car was put together in the first place so each individual car might have its own unique problem, again though a full service history should protect you somewhat.

Alfa 166 came with generous levels of standard kit

Go get yourself one

Alfa Romeo 166 for saleMy hope though is that when you relise just how little this super rare, super sexy sedan could cost you to buy you might forgive some of its flaws. As you will see from the car I've picked below a decent 166 should cost you no more than $8000, not a lot of money for a car that will definately make you stand out in a crowd. The car I have picked is at a dealer, but it is very well priced given its low km's, recent cambelt change and importantly it's service history. It looks immaculate from the pictures and given it was probably a bit of a car enthusiasts who bought it in the first place I reckon it has been well cared for.   

1 comment: