This Aston Martin DB9 for Santa Fé money

'For the price of a Korean SUV, such as Hyundai’s new Sante Fe, you could own a disarmingly striking convertible,' writes Lance Branquinho as he looks at some best buys in SA.


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Best Buy Monday: The Giulia QV alternative

2017-03-13 07:39

Image: Autotrader

Lance Branquinho

'It’s a 2013 model, just tidily driven-in, for only R145 900. That’s Polo Vivo money for a V6 Alfa Romeo,' writes Lance Branquinho as seeks used cars.

Midrand - Alfa Romeo’s new Giulia  launched in South Africa earlier in March and there is much to celebrate for fans of the erstwhile F1 brand. 

Issues, too. Unfortunately. See, if you want the high-performance M3/C63 rivalling Giulia QV, well, there are none available. South Africa’s entire allocation of the 2.9-litre V6, boosting 375kW, has been sold. 

Fortunately, the pre-owner market always offers a ready solution. And that solution is 159. Indeed, the precursor to Giulia and a car of similar style, if not quite engine configuration.

'Hateful jealousy' 

People without any semblance of design appreciation of aesthetic judgement judged 159 as the most incongruous four-door Alfa-Romeo ever produces. That’s just plain wrong. The oft-repeated criticism was that it had the appearance of a budgie with drinking straws in it beak. 

2013 Alfa Romeo 159 3.2 Distinctive for sale

Hateful jealousy, that’s the only explanation for anyone calling in doubt 159’s design.

Look at those distinctive lines – if was everything 3-Series wasn’t and as such, 159’s aged remarkably well. Inside the centre-stack is angled toward the driver (as all 3-Series ergonomics’ once were) and there are buttons galore to push and confuse. 

Beyond design merits the true appeal of this 159 is its engine. Like Giulia QV, it’s a V6, without the benefit of boost. For true followers of the Milanese serpent badge, atmospheric V6s are the only true Alfa engines and this one, 3.2-litres in capacity, is good for 191 of the most melodious kilowatts you’ll ever be privy to deploy. 

Image: Autotrader

No, it’s not torquey, at all, with only 322Nm, but there’s a six-speed manual gearbox to enjoy, so why would you complain about having to shift more often, due to a lack of abundant torque? We wouldn’t. 

Style? Check. Sound? Check. Performance? That too. Debits? It’s an Alfa V6, so fuel consumption is akin to a Subaru flat-six, which is a euphemistic way of saying ‘double’ what you expected. A small sacrifice for a four-door car of true style, with a magnificent sound. 

Best bit? It’s a 2013 model, just tidily driven-in, for only R145 900. That’s Vivo money for a V6 Alfa Romeo. 


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