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View Full Version : Which One Would You Go For - Alfa or Merc ?



kaiser78
16th November 2012, 08:50
Decided to change 9 yr old Merc and looking at either newer model or something slightly different and more sporty. I do 400 miles per week mainly motorway/dual carriageway -

Merc CLK
2009 32k miles £13,500
Approved Used 2009 MERCEDES-BENZ CLK200 KOMPRESSOR in Tonbridge for sale (http://used.mercedes-benz.co.uk/tonbridge/used/2009/mercedes-benz/clk200-kompressor/2009-mercedes-benz-clk200-kompressor-tonbridge-for-sale-wj09hzh)

Alfa Romeo Giulietta
2010 (60) 13k miles £13000
Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.4 TB MULTIAIR LUSSO 5DR..BIG SPEC 170 BHP.. 2010 (http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201245491691334/sort/default/usedcars/price-to/15000/model/giulietta/make/alfa_romeo/onesearchad/used/onesearchad/nearlynew/onesearchad/new/page/1/radius/20/postcode/e107ld?logcode=p)

StopTheEarthIwantToGetOff
16th November 2012, 08:55
Neither. Although I hear GT86s are popular with OAPs and retired folk

The Spartan
16th November 2012, 09:02
The Merc for definate, Alfa's aren't exactly reliable judging from what friends and family how told me they're just slightly better Fiat's

sasguru
16th November 2012, 09:07
The problem with the Giuletta is not reliability, it's just that it's a dull, uncharismatic car, unlike the Alfas of old.

Lockhouse
16th November 2012, 09:09
Merc. But only because it'll be easier to sell on, hold it's value better, be just as nice to drive and more reliable.

norrahe
16th November 2012, 09:10
Alfa every time for me.

sasguru
16th November 2012, 09:10
Alfa every time for me.

Me too usually, but not in this case.

Qdos Contractor
16th November 2012, 09:16
I switched from an Alfa 159 to a C class this year. I do love Alfas, but mine did start to live up to its reputation towards the end. Lots of random warning messages and various issues that continually outfoxed mechanics.

I feel far more confident driving the Merc, but far less quirky.

Paddy
16th November 2012, 09:17
The Merc for definate, Alfa's aren't exactly reliable judging from what friends and family how told me they're just slightly better Fiat's

Mercs up until the 90s were great quality.
(I had three)
Mercs are no longer reliable. They are mass produced like any other car.

As an example the automatic selector as plastic linkages and has a plastic locking device that is non serviceable. They invariably stick had will stop the car from starting. There is no way of releasing it. The merc garage has to hit the gear shift with a rubber hammer and break the plastic link. The plastic linkage can then be replaced. At a cost of £1200.

It happened on my cousins merc along with many other users. Just google the forums,

SupremeSpod
16th November 2012, 09:22
Merc with a big lazy Diesel engine.

gingerjedi
16th November 2012, 09:39
Mercs up until the 90s were great quality.
(I had three)
Mercs are no longer reliable. They are mass produced like any other car.

As an example the automatic selector as plastic linkages and has a plastic locking device that is non serviceable. They invariably stick had will stop the car from starting. There is no way of releasing it. The merc garage has to hit the gear shift with a rubber hammer and break the plastic link. The plastic linkage can then be replaced. At a cost of £1200.

It happened on my cousins merc along with many other users. Just google the forums,

I had heard this but thought they had improved again over the last 5-6 years? A the same time Alfa have a former BMW quality guy running the show so they should be better than Alfa's of old.

Saying that, I wanted/desired a 159 Sportwagon but just couldn't bring myself to take the plunge when it was time to change.

Old Hack
16th November 2012, 09:45
£15k puts you in a 3/4 yo E320CDI estate, which is about as bullet proof as cars go. You'll never regret it, for comfort, space and for punting As for Mercs no longer being the last bastion in reliability, they had some issues with cars in the early 2000's, once they shifted a lot of production to the States as it happens, but since the last E class, they're grand. Have owned Mercs for years, and never, not once, been let down. Have owned lots of alfas too, but for once Assguru is right; the Alfas of today are pale shadows of those or yore. Stating pimped up fiats isn't too far off the mark.

CLK will see your sat nav take you to Clapham Common each time you drive it...

If you aren't a car snob, 13k puts you in a 6 month old Skoda Superb, which is about the most car 13k can buy at the mo. Or wait a couple of years and buy ass's GT86; he's too old to have ragged it...

kaiser78
16th November 2012, 09:59
Thanks for all replies - am angling towards the Merc, the only off puter is the consumption isnt great, but then I am not doing lots and lots of miles each week.

DimPrawn
16th November 2012, 10:19
Mostly motorway work, why not a modern diesel Merc?

CLK 320CDI much better than a wheezy four pot petrol with an unreliable supercharger on it?

http://classifieds.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/mercedes-benz/clk/mercedes-clk-320-cdi-tip-sport/445348

Paddy
16th November 2012, 10:51
Mostly motorway work, why not a modern diesel Merc?

CLK 320CDI much better than a wheezy four pot petrol with an unreliable supercharger on it?

Used MERCEDES CLK 320 CDI TIP SPORT for sale - PistonHeads (Ref 445348) (http://classifieds.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/mercedes-benz/clk/mercedes-clk-320-cdi-tip-sport/445348)

What puts me off that car is the low profile tyres. Low profile tyres are great for autobahns but crap for pot holed British roads.

norrahe
16th November 2012, 11:02
Thanks for all replies - am angling towards the Merc, the only off puter is the consumption isnt great, but then I am not doing lots and lots of miles each week.

Consumption is pretty good with the Alfa, had our GT for 4 years, lots of mileage and no problems ever, apart from front bumpers meeting with foxes

sasguru
16th November 2012, 11:14
Consumption is pretty good with the Fiat, had our GT for 4 years, lots of mileage and no problems ever, apart from front bumpers meeting with foxes

FTFY:wink

Old Hack
16th November 2012, 11:32
FTFY:wink

Again, poorly informed assguru; the GT and 147 were actually true alfa's, based on the 156 chassis which was widely regarded as being exceptional. It also used the best alfa engines in the Twin Spark and 3.2 V6, the latter being probably one of the best engines ever built.

Right about the Julie, wrong about the GT. It's the only Alfa I have considered in recent years, the GT. Nice car, and thunderous with the 3.2 and 4x4...

Old Hack
16th November 2012, 11:33
Mostly motorway work, why not a modern diesel Merc?

CLK 320CDI much better than a wheezy four pot petrol with an unreliable supercharger on it?

Used MERCEDES CLK 320 CDI TIP SPORT for sale - PistonHeads (Ref 445348) (http://classifieds.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/mercedes-benz/clk/mercedes-clk-320-cdi-tip-sport/445348)

WDPS - Cracking value this. 32k is hardly run in for this engine. Elegant pillarless couple too, but not too sure about the front lights, never liked them.

norrahe
16th November 2012, 11:53
Again, poorly informed assguru; the GT and 147 were actually true alfa's, based on the 156 chassis which was widely regarded as being exceptional. It also used the best alfa engines in the Twin Spark and 3.2 V6, the latter being probably one of the best engines ever built.

Right about the Julie, wrong about the GT. It's the only Alfa I have considered in recent years, the GT. Nice car, and thunderous with the 3.2 and 4x4...

I miss my GT Q2 :frown

stek
16th November 2012, 12:05
Again, poorly informed assguru; the GT and 147 were actually true alfa's, based on the 156 chassis which was widely regarded as being exceptional. It also used the best alfa engines in the Twin Spark and 3.2 V6, the latter being probably one of the best engines ever built.

Right about the Julie, wrong about the GT. It's the only Alfa I have considered in recent years, the GT. Nice car, and thunderous with the 3.2 and 4x4...

Come on OH the last true Alfa was the 75! The 164 was the first fake Alfa - decent car actually but still a Fiat Chroma with knobs on!

shelby68
16th November 2012, 12:30
If you've got deep enough pockets to support the servicing then get the Merc, running mine was like the maintenance payments to an ex-wife.

kaiser78
16th November 2012, 13:38
If you've got deep enough pockets to support the servicing then get the Merc, running mine was like the maintenance payments to an ex-wife.

I'll get it serviced by local Merc specialist like I do with current one - agree saves a fortune...

stek
16th November 2012, 13:50
I have an inkling to buy a wreck 70's or 80's iconic car, fit it with modern stuff, like proper injection, satnav, ICE etc, keep the shape but all-new-under-the-hood, hmm, plan B anyone (plan D for me, B and C ongoing...)

I love the shape of the cheap to buy seccy hand Ferrari 412, I'd gut it, fit a modern drive chain, new interior, sympatetic to the original but with toys, or, more likely based on my track record, buy it, gut it, leave on my drive for 10 years and give it away for scrap...

Anyway, the 412, imagine that shape and nice to drive - LPG as well, hmmm

http://www.carfinder.se/pl_ferrari_412_046-road-sidah-800.jpg

Old Hack
16th November 2012, 13:55
Come on OH the last true Alfa was the 75! The 164 was the first fake Alfa - decent car actually but still a Fiat Chroma with knobs on!

It was actually a combined effort with Saab, on platform sharing with Fiat group (Saab 9000/Lancia thema/Fiat Croma/Alfa 164) The 75 was a cracking car, itself based on an older Alfa, but was flawed (I had a 3.6 75 btw). The 156 was the first of the last, admittedly, for me, but was still a true alfa, with it's own chassis; it was not a shadow fiat, which was what I was replying to. IMO, the 164 wasn't a bad car, not a bit.

DimPrawn
16th November 2012, 13:57
If you've got deep enough pockets to support the servicing then get the Merc, running mine was like the maintenance payments to an ex-wife.

I believe the customer service of Alfa is the worst there is, so it's all relative I suppose. Plus if the car is like 5 years old you'd get it serviced at a specialist rather than main dealer.

Old Hack
16th November 2012, 13:59
I believe the customer service of Alfa is the worst there is, so it's all relative I suppose. Plus if the car is like 5 years old you'd get it serviced at a specialist rather than main dealer.

Specialists all the way even if it is 1 year old; Alfa service centres are proper shite. Genuinely bad.

gingerjedi
16th November 2012, 14:06
Would anyone buy a SAAB now?

I notice that the other GM (Vauxhall & Chevrolet) dealers are advertising SAAB servicing.

Quite like the look of the last 9-5 Estate:

http://www.carsuk.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Saab-9-5-SportCombi-FT2.jpg

stek
16th November 2012, 14:06
It was actually a combined effort with Saab, on platform sharing with Fiat group (Saab 9000/Lancia thema/Fiat Croma/Alfa 164) The 75 was a cracking car, itself based on an older Alfa, but was flawed (I had a 3.6 75 btw). The 156 was the first of the last, admittedly, for me, but was still a true alfa, with it's own chassis; it was not a shadow fiat, which was what I was replying to. IMO, the 164 wasn't a bad car, not a bit.

Agree! I liked the 164 Lusso I had, and the 166 after it, the 75 based on the Alfa 90 or Alfa 6? Can't remember. I had the 3.0 75, was the 3.6 a bored out 3.0? Had a 75 2.0 at the same time and preferred that, was unslidable on normal rural roads in Scotland as I was at the time, best car to drive I ever had.

There was a 166 3.2 24 valve facelift - had a go in one but it lacked the oomph, I still say that 24 valve was a bit too top endy, lacked the low end oomph of the 12 valve.

Only had one bad Alfa, a 1985 33, shiiiite....

Old Hack
16th November 2012, 14:07
Would anyone buy a SAAB now?

I notice that the other GM (Vauxhall & Chevrolet) dealers are advertising SAAB servicing.

Quite like the look of the last 9-5 Estate:

http://www.carsuk.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Saab-9-5-SportCombi-FT2.jpg

Yes, and yes thrice more. Very good value for money at the moment. They still ave parts manufactured, they can still be serviced. Cheap as chips now, relatively.

norrahe
16th November 2012, 14:13
Specialists all the way even if it is 1 year old; Alfa service centres are proper tulipe. Genuinely bad.

I think I was lucky with the guy I used locally, he was a right Alfa nut and didn't charge the earth either. Also helped me sell the car when I moved and didn't take a cut.

Old Hack
16th November 2012, 14:16
Agree! I liked the 164 Lusso I had, and the 166 after it, the 75 based on the Alfa 90 or Alfa 6? Can't remember. I had the 3.0 75, was the 3.6 a bored out 3.0? Had a 75 2.0 at the same time and preferred that, was unslidable on normal rural roads in Scotland as I was at the time, best car to drive I ever had.

There was a 166 3.2 24 valve facelift - had a go in one but it lacked the oomph, I still say that 24 valve was a bit too top endy, lacked the low end oomph of the 12 valve.

Only had one bad Alfa, a 1985 33, shiiiite....

I had a couple of Alfas in the 80's; an Alfetta that I loved and a GTV, which was a love hate relationship. Bought a 75 in 92 and transplanted a stroked and bored 3.6 and it was a monster. It was based on the Guilietta iirc, itself based on the alfetta. Just nice cars; I loved them. Left them alone for a while, then bought a 145 Cloverleaf which was a zany little car and ridiculously fast once fettled. Then bought a 166 3.2 (6 months old, 18k - 14k off list) which we used for a while, and I actually quite liked. Then came the MPV days, but I still did my bit for tuning ;)

75 was like the GTV in that it had the gearbox on the rear axle, as such. Made it wonderfully balanced. The 3.6 would powerslide at will, but was lovely to drive. TS engine was a gem in the 145, lovely and peaky too. Never had a 12 valve, and not too sure I drove one either, so probably couldn't comment. The 24 valve was probably the best engine I have seen in a car.

I loved my alfas, I must admit. I had 2 Lancias as well, including a Fulvia S3 1.6. I genuinely mourn the day I sold it; the most elegant little car I have ever owned.

stek
16th November 2012, 14:19
I had a couple of Alfas in the 80's; an Alfetta that I loved and a GTV, which was a love hate relationship. Bought a 75 in 92 and transplanted a stroked and bored 3.6 and it was a monster. It was based on the Guilietta iirc, itself based on the alfetta. Just nice cars; I loved them. Left them alone for a while, then bought a 145 Cloverleaf which was a zany little car and ridiculously fast once fettled. Then bought a 166 3.2 (6 months old, 18k - 14k off list) which we used for a while, and I actually quite liked. Then came the MPV days, but I still did my bit for tuning ;)

75 was like the GTV in that it had the gearbox on the rear axle, as such. Made it wonderfully balanced. The 3.6 would powerslide at will, but was lovely to drive. TS engine was a gem in the 145, lovely and peaky too. Never had a 12 valve, and not too sure I drove one either, so probably couldn't comment. The 24 valve was probably the best engine I have seen in a car.

I loved my alfas, I must admit. I had 2 Lancias as well, including a Fulvia S3 1.6. I genuinely mourn the day I sold it; the most elegant little car I have ever owned.


I had two (at the same time) Lancia Gamma Coupe's - the most elegant mass-produced coupe ever, though not that many RHD. One blue like this, and a red one for spares really. ONC 955W I think.....

http://www.monteverdiclub.com/images/gamofsi.jpg

Old Hack
16th November 2012, 14:21
I had two (at the same time) Lancia Gamma Coupe's - the most elegant mass-produced coupe ever, though not that many RHD. One blue like this, and a red one for spares really. ONC 955W I think.....

http://www.monteverdiclub.com/images/gamofsi.jpg

Gammas coupes were beautiful, but used to catch fire didn't they? Were they also the most unreliable cars on earth? Were they 2.5 4iL

Edit: forgot to add, the one car I did want to own as a kid, and one that still makes me itch a little, is the Fiat 130 Coupe. Always thought it even mroe elegant than the pagodas of the day

stek
16th November 2012, 14:22
I had a couple of Alfas in the 80's; an Alfetta that I loved and a GTV, which was a love hate relationship. Bought a 75 in 92 and transplanted a stroked and bored 3.6 and it was a monster. It was based on the Guilietta iirc, itself based on the alfetta. Just nice cars; I loved them. Left them alone for a while, then bought a 145 Cloverleaf which was a zany little car and ridiculously fast once fettled. Then bought a 166 3.2 (6 months old, 18k - 14k off list) which we used for a while, and I actually quite liked. Then came the MPV days, but I still did my bit for tuning ;)

75 was like the GTV in that it had the gearbox on the rear axle, as such. Made it wonderfully balanced. The 3.6 would powerslide at will, but was lovely to drive. TS engine was a gem in the 145, lovely and peaky too. Never had a 12 valve, and not too sure I drove one either, so probably couldn't comment. The 24 valve was probably the best engine I have seen in a car.

I loved my alfas, I must admit. I had 2 Lancias as well, including a Fulvia S3 1.6. I genuinely mourn the day I sold it; the most elegant little car I have ever owned.


Also remember the 75 De Dion rear suspension and in-board disks and pads, unsprung weight! Nightmare to maintain and meant really small boot especially on the 3.0 - bigger fuel tank.

And the stupid u-shaped handbrake lever and electric window switches next to the rear view mirror....

Ahhhhhh....

Old Hack
16th November 2012, 14:23
Also remember the 75 De Dion rear suspension and in-board disks and pads, unsprung weight! Nightmare to maintain and meant really small boot especially on the 3.0 - bigger fuel tank.

And the stupid u-shaped handbrake lever and electric window switches next to the rear view mirror....

Ahhhhhh....

I had a girlfriend with an Alfasud that I was continually repairing the onboard discs.

U-Shaped Handbrakes have caught on, a little ;)

stek
16th November 2012, 14:24
Gammas coupes were beautiful, but used to catch fire didn't they? Were they also the most unreliable cars on earth? Were they 2.5 4iL

Edit: forgot to add, the one car I did want to own as a kid, and one that still makes me itch a little, is the Fiat 130 Coupe. Always thought it even mroe elegant than the pagodas of the day

2.5 flat four, not inline yes. Not fire, problem was power steering pump driven off the offside camshaft - cold engine, LH full lock, PS pump stalled camshaft, jumped teeth, smashed engine.....

stek
16th November 2012, 14:24
I had a girlfriend with an Alfasud that I was continually repairing the onboard discs.

U-Shaped Handbrakes have caught on, a little ;)

Yeah seen a few - Passatt have one now?

Old Hack
16th November 2012, 14:26
Yeah seen a few - Passatt have one now?

S-Max and Galaxy too. I built a 450 bhp Ford S-Max a few years back. Magic times...

Old Hack
16th November 2012, 14:27
2.5 flat four, not inline yes. Not fire, problem was power steering pump driven off the offside camshaft - cold engine, LH full lock, PS pump stalled camshaft, jumped teeth, smashed engine.....

I remember them having some issues they couldnt resolve. Must admit, the boxer throws me a little. My little Fulvia was a V4 and I didn't realise Lancia built a boxer

stek
16th November 2012, 14:30
I remember them having some issues they couldnt resolve. Must admit, the boxer throws me a little. My little Fulvia was a V4 and I didn't realise Lancia built a boxer

Part of it's legendary status for me, meant low bonnet line though the Coupe didn't seem to have that! Always seemed to work on it with long arms feeling well down around the axles line...

pic shows front view, PS Pump was driven off the back for some reason.....

http://www.gammaweb.nl/images/dutchtumbs/engine21.jpg

Old Hack
16th November 2012, 14:42
Part of it's legendary status for me, meant low bonnet line though the Coupe didn't seem to have that! Always seemed to work on it with long arms feeling well down around the axles line...

pic shows front view, PS Pump was driven off the back for some reason.....

http://www.gammaweb.nl/images/dutchtumbs/engine21.jpg

Looks very nice.

Ever fancied buying one and putting a 3.0 B6 in there?

stek
16th November 2012, 14:55
Looks very nice.

Ever fancied buying one and putting a 3.0 B6 in there?

When I had mine, circa 1994, I seem to remember the total UK RHD Coupe being about 570, with 28 left by then, and I had two of them! I'd started contracting proper by then so I'm afraid they ended up scrapped :( - no time!!

However, the reason I liked the Gamma Coupe is because it was a poor mans Ferrari 365GTB2+2/400/412/412i - much my favourite, far more of those about so might look at a shell for upgrade as I said above...

ZARDOZ
16th November 2012, 15:02
Merc c250 cdi is the only choice. 0-62 7 seconds and average of 50mpg combined.

Mercedes C250 CDI Coupe (2011) CAR review | Road Testing Reviews | Car Magazine Online (http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/Drives/Search-Results/First-drives/Mercedes-C250-CDI-Coupe-2011-CAR-review/)

Early 09 saloons can be had for around 15k

Malcolm Buggeridge
16th November 2012, 15:03
This is my old jalopy Uriah:
http://modculture.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451cbb069e20147e123a956970b-800wi


But if I were to replace him I'd probably go Jap.

Something like a Lexus and the new Infinity looks nice.

stek
16th November 2012, 15:11
This is my old jalopy Uriah:
http://modculture.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451cbb069e20147e123a956970b-800wi


But if I were to replace him I'd probably go Jap.

Something like a Lexus and the new Infinity looks nice.

You are Fred Gee off Corrie and I claim my Five Pounds!

Old Hack
16th November 2012, 15:18
This is my old jalopy Uriah:
http://modculture.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451cbb069e20147e123a956970b-800wi


But if I were to replace him I'd probably go Jap.

Something like a Lexus and the new Infinity looks nice.

My Dad had one, a 3500S. I used to love sitting in it as a young lad feeling all important

Currently building a Mk1 Focus track car with a 400bhp Zetec turbo

DimPrawn
16th November 2012, 15:21
Something for sas to get excited over.

Used SMART FORTWO COUPE BRABUS MCLAREN BODY KIT 2007 for sale - PistonHeads (Ref 891788) (http://classifieds.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/smart-car/city-fortwo/smart-fortwo-coupe-brabus-mclaren-body-kit-2007/891788)

DimPrawn
16th November 2012, 15:25
Me, I'd get the CLK 320CDI or up the budget a little and get this.

Used 2007 (57) Mercedes-Benz CLS AMG 320CDi Saloon for sale - PistonHeads (Ref 881665) (http://classifieds.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/mercedes-benz/cls/2007-57-mercedes-benz-cls-amg-320cdi-saloon/881665)

Old Hack
16th November 2012, 15:40
Proper value for money (http://classifieds.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/volkswagen/phaeton/2007-57-reg--volkswagen-phaeton-3-0-v6-tdi-4motion-4dr-auto--big-spec--fvwsh/855805)

Or even this, which has another 100k in it:

Dub (http://classifieds.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/volkswagen/phaeton/volkswagen-phaeton-v6-tdi-4motion-5-seat-auto-a-c-lthr-s/673444)

kaiser78
16th November 2012, 16:05
Decided to change 9 yr old Merc and looking at either newer model or something slightly different and more sporty. I do 400 miles per week mainly motorway/dual carriageway -

Merc CLK
2009 32k miles £13,500
Approved Used 2009 MERCEDES-BENZ CLK200 KOMPRESSOR in Tonbridge for sale (http://used.mercedes-benz.co.uk/tonbridge/used/2009/mercedes-benz/clk200-kompressor/2009-mercedes-benz-clk200-kompressor-tonbridge-for-sale-wj09hzh)



I have decided to have a look at this one tomorrow - not totally convinced but will take it out and see how I feel :happy

DimPrawn
16th November 2012, 17:22
I have decided to have a look at this one tomorrow - not totally convinced but will take it out and see how I feel :happy

1.8 litre petrol = rubbish.
5 speed auto = rubbish.
9 seconds to 62 mph = rubbish.
207 CO2 = rubbish.
30 MPG = rubbish.

Not even sport or AMG spec = rubbish.

Apart from that it's all good.

:happy

SupremeSpod
16th November 2012, 20:46
I believe the customer service of Alfa is the worst there is, so it's all relative I suppose. Plus if the car is like 5 years old you'd get it serviced at a specialist rather than main dealer.

My local Alfa Romeo dealer was brilliant but then again I did spend a fortune on replacement boot badges for my 164 Cloverleaf. One of the best fun cars I've owned. Didn't like wet roundabouts though :D

doodab
17th November 2012, 07:01
Get an old audi quattro, then you can say 'fire up the quattro' every morning when you leave the house. This almost makes up for the running costs :o)