The Fabia covered over 12,500 miles with Fu’Gutty cars in less than 7 full months – mostly with aplomb, and with considerable frugality. That said, it hardly filled its pilot with joy, being a staid and sensible conveyance for undertaking the mundane “Adulting Adult” type tasks oft expected of those in their mid 30s.
With the MOT due in September, I was beginning to consider replacing it with something a touch more characterful, even if it meant an increase in inconvenience and fuel consumption. My fairwell review to the Fabia can be found here: Fu’Gutty Fabia Review
I didn’t want to hobble myself too much though, so had a scout about for something I could swap the Fabia for.
Ideally, I needed:
- More MOT
- Decent MPG (40+)
- The practicality of an estate.
- The ability to Part ex the Fabia (I’m currently lacking the time to answer inane questions on Gumtree at 3am;)
With that, the trusty jump pack was prepped and I set out on an adventure.
The m74 was dispatched easily, and sustenance was procured at Tebay, as per. During this imbibing, the massed ranks of “ALL THE TRAFFIC IN BRITAIN” converged on the m6 and m56. Less than 100 miles to go, yet the sat nag was saying over 2.5hrs.
A touch of jiggery pokery saw me escape the gridlock at the Warrington junction, and take the A49 cross country to the m56. With the fuel light on, I crept through rush hour traffic, slowly edging my way to the destination.
In case you had not guessed, its the silver Alfa we’re after, not the Suzuki Ignis..
The usual pleasantries were exchanged, and the brief test drive revealed the usual Alfa squeaks and rattles, but a mechanically sound motor car none the less.
Deal concluded, it was time to fuel up for the long schlep North – bound for Hame.
Despite the tired suspension, I confess its nice to be back in a FWD car that communicates well with the driver, and handles confidently. No doubt, I’ll be cursing the same suspension at a later date..
After some swift seat adjusting, I was well in my zone – completely at home with the controls and the driving experience. Even the myriad squeaks and rattles were tholeable due to the engine.
The 2.4 JTD 10V as fitted to this car in 140bhp format is a delight. 5 Cylindered, and blessed with a massive WHUMP of torque, it hustles the lithe 156 along beautifully. The driving experience could scarcely be more different from the VW TDi PD I’d driven down in.
Tractable from no revs, you can drive it all day using only the 500rpm from 1250 -1750 rpm- its like having a mini truck! 1750rpm in 5th is an indicated 50mph and just about to start getting interesting.
Alternatively, the 5k readline can be reached most promptly, should you use the pedal with the subltly of Trump on a State visit. The turbo cuts in early and hard, with the engine pulling like a petrol all the way to the red line. Me Likely!
As always, with Alfas, there are a few niggles to resolve. At least with this one the engine is a crowning glory, rather than a tremendous dissapointment.
Tune in for more mishaps soon (gotta love #Alfalife)