Fleet News

Alfa Romeo 166 2.0 Twin Spark Lusso

Alfa Romeo


THERE is an unwritten rule among salesmen that you do not drive a better car than your customer, as it looks like you charge too much for your services.

But the same could apply to customers themselves, as I learned when I had the good fortune to spend an hour chatting to a double glazing salesman, as I am considering replacing some lacklustre panes.

Before he arrived I suspected the car might work against me and, as he climbed out of his five-year-old Mazda and looked into my drive, I new I would have a hard fight for a discount. Once inside, he had barely taken the top off his Bic before he commented: 'Nice car. How much are they worth then?'

Such is the price of running a car like the 166, or any Alfa Romeo for that matter. It signifies sportiness, but also a choice not based on a cheap price, because at more than £25,000 for a four-cylinder, 2.0-litre car, albeit caked in leather and options to die for, this is a lot of lucre to pay out.

You don't get much of it back after three-years/60,000-miles either, as CAP Monitor, the future residual value expert, reckons it will be worth £6,650, or 30% of its list price, after that period. By comparison, a BMW 520i SE, which has six cylinders, but costs £23,360, is worth £8,750, or 37% after the same benchmark.

But money isn't everything and the extra depreciation comes down to about £30 a month, so if you say it quickly enough, it will not matter.

Build quality on our Alfa is excellent and far removed from the days when passengers could help themselves to bits that had fallen off at the end of a journey.

While the engine has only four pots, it feels like a much larger unit and sounds excellent and I have yet to experience the same yearning for more power that editor Jonathan Manning mentioned in the last test - 150bhp is fine with me.

My tests of its cornering ability have been limited to very swift negotiation of roundabouts, but so far at least it feels poised and well up to the challenge of carrying the Alfa heritage.

However, the traction control seems to be a puzzle, as when I most needed to use it in a fast exit from a junction, the tyres squealed enough to start burning rubber.

Jonathan Manning said that with an Alfa Romeo in your parking space, you are seen to have passion, but I would also add that you are seen to have cash, particularly with an executive model like this.

With this combination of pash and cash, the Alfa makes a thoroughbred choice for your fleet. But don't expect to get cheap deals for double glazing in future.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

Alfa Romeo Giulia first drive | now a better all-rounder

It’s not the cheapest, nor the most cost-effective, but embracing the Giulia will not end in tragedy.

First drive: Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TDI SE Business car review

A pair of ‘upper-medium’ segment cars from two of the biggest manufacturers in fleet will be launched within weeks of each other signalling an escalation in the battle for sales.

Search Car Reviews