I saw an Alfa Romeo 166 on the motorway earlier this week and followed it for some distance in peak hour traffic. If you want a big saloon there are thousands of reasons why you should just buy a BMW/Audi/Merc, rather than something less mainstream like the Alfa, and depreciation is just one!
However looks alone would have me ignoring logic in favor of the big Italian (not sold new now) or maybe a Citroën's C6. The same looks over logic argument applies, at a much higher price point, to the Maserati Quattroporte. Why buy a boring 7 or an S Class when you could have a Quattroporte?
Strange thing is when the 166 was released I preferred the 156's style but big brother has aged well. Maybe the fact that it hasn't been replaced is a factor? Aside from it's boring conventional door handles the 159 did make the 156 look it's age, if still stunning.
The reason I was following an Alfa was thanks to my car specific courtesy bias. While I try to be courteous to all in traffic I must admit to being kinder to cars I like. If you're in a smokey diesel or something incredibly boring to look at, like most Toyotas, I'm less inclined to let you in front of me than something stylish like the Alfa. You might be happy with your boring motor but I have to look at the back of it so if there is a choice nice gets preference over dull in the merging queue.
To get back to the paranoia. Since I first saw that 166 earlier this week I have seen eight more my travels. They were all different models and colours so not the same one. None were near the Alfa Romeo dealer I visited durng the week where you might expect to see them. I don't know how many 166s there are in Auckland but I bet it's not many, and I've seen quite a few. Am I being stalked by the 166 owners club or something?
Then I get home, slightly paranoid about Alfa 166 thing, and find one in my email courtesy of the YouTube Top Gear channel update. Logic be damned, if I wanted a big engine saloon I'd get a 166. As all are now "pre-owned" the nightmare depreciation makes them far more affordable than the equivalent BMW or Merc. The looks and that V6 sound are worth the ownership compromises, even if it means having to stalk Bravo HGT's at the owners club instruction...
Originally posted on rcd.vox.com