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.
A rare beast
This 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.
Will it break down?
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.