Hello,Because it's probably very rare in the UK, I'd like to present my "everyday" car - Lancia Delta 1,9mjeTT.
It's a mid-2010 1.9 twin turbo diesel, Platino trim (second highest after Executive, very very rare and was probably bought only by Italian government) "Bicolore" roof (matt gray rails + double glass roof), 18in wheels, navigation, and with beige "Poltrona Frau" leather interior. If you're not interested in the story, scroll down as the rest of the images are the end
A year and a half ago I've managed to persuade my wife to change our reliable but tired Alfa Romeo 156 1.9jtd 8v sedan for something newer and roomier (we've become parents in the meantime).
Initially, we (mostly I) had our mind set on 3-4y old Alfa 159 station wagon, but after trying a few I've been disapponited with it (or the ones we've tried):
- the interior is nice, but cramped, especially the rear seats (low roof and short legroom), although the boot was pretty big (I have a feeling they should have moved the rear bench lower and 10cm back at the expense of boot),
- 2.4mjet and petrols were out of the equation as we needed something frugal,
- the "sensible" engine choice was 1.9mjet 8v 120ps ("alive" low end but a bit underpowered in heavy 159) or 1.9mjet 16v 150ps (adequate power but lazy low rev response),
- newer 2.0mjet were nowhere to be found, or waaay over budget for a decent specced one (no cloth seats or manual A/C please),
- generally solid and surefooted drive, but a bit ponderous and inert...
Out of curiosity, we tried one Lancia Delta, and were impressed with roominess, practicality (big boot, rear bench slided back-forth 15cm) and "solid" feel of a, technically, lower segment car. Afterwards, we've driven a pair of 1.6mjet-s (120hp manual and "Dualogic" automatic) and a 1.4tjet 150hp petrol, and then we stumbled upon this "loaded" 1.9 twin turbo for a great price.
The car was in mint condition, high milage (135.000km = 85.000mi) but without a scratch, good maintenance... I've brought my friend mechanic to check it (ECU scan, suspension inspection, paint thickness tests etc...) and he was speechless. I was really afraid of the twin turbo setup, but after 2-3 days of unsuccessful Google searching for problems and horror stories about it, we've bought it!
The low price was probably due to cambelt service scheduled at 140.000km, so I've had it changed with all filter and liqiuds at the beginning of 2015. We've covered 16kkm / 10k miles since, trouble free.
The engine is great, it's practically lag-free, when driven quick it gives impression of lacking the advertised 190hp, because it's got really linear delivery and wide power band (pulls practically the same from 1,5k to 5k rpm, no marked pull around 2-2,5k as most of modern I4 diesels), BUT then you look down to speed and realize you're 10-20mi faster than imagined. Gearbox's not goood (more on that later) so the sprint from standstill is not much fun, but in-gear response and acceleration is fantastic. The sound is nothing special, typical well isolated I4 diesel, a bit clattery when cold.
Handling is OK, electrical servo with not much feel, but light and precise. Relatively long wheelbase so pretty stable, quite a bit of roll when pushed but not too much understeer, although I didn't "hoon it" many times. Although heavier and down on max power, because of responsive engine I think it would be able to keep pace with stock Coupe 20vt on a B-road, both driven at 8/10.
Car does 1/3 milage in town, 1/3 B-road and 1/3 motorway, I'm no Stig but neither Captain Slow, and average consumption is 7lt/100km (40mpg) real (the BC lies/shows 5-15%percent lower consumption). It does real 50-55mpg on open road.
This winter I've changed the battery, as the installed one was under recommended capacity, and I've bought a set of second hand original 16in alloys and put winter tyres on them (looks humble on them, so no pictures
We're really happy with the car, although there are a few minuses:
- not very comfortable - the strange part is I don't think the suspension is to blame, not too firm or crashy, BUT the seats are too hard, as if they don't dampen anything... on long journeys they don't leave you tired or back-sore, bit it feels like you sit ontop a tabouret... really annoying, as they're the upscale "Poltrona Frau" (italian upmarket furniture producer) version, but are 10X worse than "Momo" leather seats we had in Alfa, or Coupe "Recaros".
- occasionaly, the DPF is annoying me... in the beginning it regenerated 2x per full tank (we do many city miles), but I've changed the oil to C3 (low ash) spec, even if Lancia/Fiat does't require one (?), and it dropped to 1x per full tank. The annoying part is ECU decides to start regeneration at the most inconvenient moment - eq. after a 50-100miles of A and B-road driving, it starts to regenerate at a crossroad 500m from destination??? Also, looking at BC, it bumps up the consumption 10% per regeneration.
- stereo is rubbish - it goes loud, but always feels tiny and hollow. Aftermarket 12y old Alpine unit with 16y old stock speakers in my Coupe sounds as audiophile grade gear compared to this. Apparently there was a Bose upgraded system, but I fear it would ba a real pain to buy complete second hand system and put it in...
AND THE WORST :-)
- gearbox is crap - slow and imprecise, difficult shifting on winter mornings. My mechanic inspected and lubricated everything, but it's still barely satisfactory. It's a GM "F40" gearbox that's got quite bad reputation.
To end on a positive note, the headlights are excellent... it doesn't have HIDs, and I was initially not too keen on that, but I've been blown away by the quality of standard halogen lighting - it's really clear and bright, sharp cut-out, if there wasn't a yellowish tint one could mistake it for a HID. I've had a bulb blow a few months ago, it was Philips (no XtremeVision or similar markings so assume it was standard line), I've replaced both bulbs with Osram NB Plus and the lights have improved even more!Now the pictures - they're from the original ad, as I was lazy to take some decent pictures (small baby so always in a hurry). And one mine...