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Hi all,

I daily-drive a 1983 GTV6 and after 40,000 km together it's time to admit that if I keep daily-driving it... it will send me bankrupt :).

So time for the GTV6 to become the weekend fun machine and for another car to step in for the commute.

My requirements: 4 doors and air conditioning, relatively low maintenance costs.

Question: here in Australia most 156s are VERY cheap, and 159s are getting there. Assuming all things otherwise equal: cars about the same kms, no current mechanical issues, should I get a 156 or a 159?

Really I want to keep a bit of Alfa sauce, but have a car that is more toward the Camry end of the maintenance spectrum. With the GTV6 in the garage, performance is not really a concern. I just want a good car.

Any advice appreciated! (Except the advice that goes "well get a Camry then." In Australia, Camrys are too expensive!)
 

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Newest 156s are getting close 10 years old so needing some maintenance and change of suspetion and major engine parts (generator, steering pump etc.) will probably come up. Oldest 159 are more or less the same age and mileage so the same can be said for them.
In my eyes the 156 is a real sports sedan where as the 159 is heavier and somewhat slower with the 4 cylinder engine. The V6 engines compensate for that but consumes more fuel.
I know the 156 as I owned one untill this was 12,5 years and 215k km old. I was very relaiable and hadn't needed much is repairs and drove very well until I sold it. You would probably apriciate a V6 version with a more modern version of the Bosso engine (24 valves) as your GTV6.
I didn't change to a 159 as I find it too big and heavy, so I went for a Fiat Bravo (very similar to the AR Giulietta) which is nearly or just as roomy and more practical with the hach back and folding rear seats. It's got a 1,4 L turbo engine and has more or less the same performance as the 156 2,0 TS but drinks a lot less pretrol.
 

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I think 159 2.2 would be best option for "low maintenance" cost, just keep eye on timing chain... If you get 156 get v6, that isnt so low maintence tough
 

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Get yourself a 156 or even possibly a 147 (4 door). My preference, given I have owned a 156 sportwagon for 7 + years now is that they are fine. Mine is a '03 JTS model and yes while it is now technically an "old" car, as it is still the newest car I have ever owned and it was only 4 years old when I bought it, it still feels relatively modern to me.

In terms of maintenance, they are pretty easy to live with, have all the modern comforts and safety gear one seems to need these days and are economical. The V6 provides all the same sorts of things as the 4 cyl cars, but are a little more thirsty. But against that you do get that engine note.

EB Spares is the place to go (UK) for parts, rather than buying from suppliers from Aus.

I tried a turbo diesel 159 and while they look great, and feel very solid, the finish quality is better than on a 156. But against that they are larger and feel as such. I do kind of like the 159 Sportwagon and still am of the view it might be the replacement vehicle for my 156 sportwagon in time.

My 156 only has about 136,500km on the clock and so I don't see the need to replace it yet.

And yes these cars are so cheap to buy today. I paid $20K for mine back in November 2007, its probably only worth around $6K now. That's life with modern cars.
 

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