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RedDom

Potential 220d Owner

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Well i found out today that a 220d falls into my company car allowance, I'm torn between a 220d and an alfa 159 lusso diesel, I can only stretch to the basic 220d so i have a couple of questions about that.

how comfortable are the cloth seats compared to the leather ones? are the drivers and passengers as adjustable e.g. passenger height?

I think the 16 inch wheels look a little small on the basic model, but i've only seen it in black, do they look any better in any of the lighter colours?

i may be able to stretch to a 220dSE in black if I'm lucky is the only difference the seats and the wheels?

anyone know how much it costs to fit a rear parking sensor?

also this vibrating mirror thing? is it still a problem on new 220d's I think it would really annoy me, as i seem to spend a lot of time looking behind making sure i can keep going at current speeds :) I had that problem on my current saab when it was new, and had to reduce tyre pressure a bit to make it go away

decisions, decisions.......

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i may be able to stretch to a 220dSE in black if I'm lucky is the only difference the seats and the wheels?

Don't bother with the SE if money is tight - go for a base + Multimedia package - far more value for money and you wont need the rear parking sensor.

To be honest:-

* electric seats - I only adjust these when getting car back from Lexus and when I'm low on coffee money to fish out all the change my mates have dropped down the back/side of the seats :)

* seat coolers - mine doesn't really work, passenger one blows like a whale. Not worth the extra cost.

* leather - nice to have but not necessary.

* 17" wheels do make a difference but I'll probably add the 18" wheels on later.

Black is a nice colour but watch out for stone chips as the white primer sticks out like a sore thumb.

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How comfortable are the cloth seats compared to the leather ones? are the drivers and passengers as adjustable e.g. passenger height?

I think the 16 inch wheels look a little small on the basic model, but i've only seen it in black, do they look any better in any of the lighter colours?

anyone know how much it costs to fit a rear parking sensor?

I find the cloth seats in mine very comfortable. I've only tried the leather briefly on a test drive, but in comparison the cloth is just as comfortable, if not more so (slightly softer I'd say).

Both the driver and passenger seat have identical adjustments - including height and angle of the front of the seat. I think the SE and above have lumbar adjustment, which the base model doesn't have (but are otherwise identical).

I agree the 16 inch wheels don't really fill the arches, though lighter colours do help. Mine's a Brechin Slate and they don't look out of place. In compensation, the smaller wheels do give you a better ride, and slightly reduced tyre noise.

As for a parking sensor, if you can stretch to the MM pack with the rear view camera, you won't need one!

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RedDom, you are in the position I was 2 months back, which company car to go for. I ended up with 3 on the list, Alfa 159, A4 Tdi (new 170bhp) and IS220D.

I tried the Alfa for an hour, its a fantastic looking car, which felt more spacious than the IS. The engine felt slightly more responsive (less turbo lag) but not really any quicker than the IS. The main issues I had with the 159 were road / wind noise and a plain interior.

If I had not tried the IS (see my earlier post comparing IS220d with a 320d), these issues would probably not have entered my mind and the drop dead looks of the 159 would have won. Its also a lot cheaper on car tax.

So I had decided on an IS220d for £40 a month I could upgrade to an SE with leather and 17' alloys but for £30 a month i could get base with Multimedia which has to be experienced to be appreciated.

IMHO the MM is far nicer to have than leather, it has the best sat nav. in any car including the ability to actively plot traffic jams on the map. The thing plays DVD's in 5.1 surround sound has Bluetooth phone which because the Lexus is so quiet can be used no prob. at 90mph, there is voice activated control for most functions (AC,audio,phone,sat nav. etc.) and the reversing camera is so so sexy and impressive.

The leather does little for me but the larger wheels are a big turn on, I know every time I look at the base IS I'll think why did I not get the SE but when I get in and see that glorious MM kit I hope I'll have made the right decision.

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Which alfa did you test?

I tested a 1.9 JTDM tuismo yesterday, I was expecting to be wowed by it but i wasn't, I'd probably go with the Lusso spec, which gets you a lot of toys as the turismo looked cheap inside. I can't stretch to the base + MM but could to a black SE. I'm going to test drive one later today.

the thing I'm worried about is this 6th gear running and the vibrating mirror, hows the best way to test that? Is it obvious or just something that grows on you after time?

Those people who have seen an improvement with different fuel etc does it help with the vibrating mirror? Are there any issues with high speed motorway driving in 5th instead of 6th?

thx

RD

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Which alfa did you test?

I tested a 1.9 JTDM tuismo yesterday, I was expecting to be wowed by it but i wasn't, I'd probably go with the Lusso spec, which gets you a lot of toys as the turismo looked cheap inside. I can't stretch to the base + MM but could to a black SE. I'm going to test drive one later today.

the thing I'm worried about is this 6th gear running and the vibrating mirror, hows the best way to test that? Is it obvious or just something that grows on you after time?

Those people who have seen an improvement with different fuel etc does it help with the vibrating mirror? Are there any issues with high speed motorway driving in 5th instead of 6th?

thx

RD

Isn't base + MM cheaper than SE?

Stick it in 6th at 60 mph, it should be drivable but with glacial acceleration. Motorway driving in 5th at legals speeds is perfectly fine but obviously more refined in 6th.

I haven't noticed that the different fuels make a difference to the vibrating mirror.

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Mirror vibrates no matter what...

I almost went base MM, then went the extra mile...got an SE MM. the base seats are OK, but in the demo's they looked "stretched" in the squabs and I was worried about long term quality.

The quality of the Leather is very very good, but if oin a budget I would stay with Base MM.

The SE pack costs £3k, the mm £2.7k

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Its a company car from the lease company we use and it seems Options are priced differently than "models", they assume 100% depreciation, which means over 3 years MM adds about 2700/36 a month wheras an SE although costing 3K more now, will be worth say 1.2K more in 3 years so the lease cost only has to pay for the difference e.g. 1800/36.

illogical i know but i guess for most cars there are so many options they can't be bothered to work out seperately what they mean for depreciation. It even applies to metallic paint, where as some other companies the lease goes down if you ge metallic because it helps residuals.

Had a test drive. Dealers are very nice, much better than the alfa ones, although all that sitting around drinking coffee means your eye wanders to some of the more luxurious cars! there was an 05 GS300SE with 3K miles going for 27K!

Drove a black SE, done about 8K miles registered 11/05. Its definately a pretty special place to sit when driving. It seemed very quiet, maybe a little tyre noise. It certainly seems to go pretty well in 3rd and 4th between 2&3K revs. It seemed that there is a bit of a gap between 2nd & 3rd, especially when changing down in slowing traffic. Test was at 4pm in town so a lot of traffic & speed cams and not much chance to stretch its legs, kept finding i was going a lot faster than i thought, i guess the quietness was respnsible for that. Managed a quick go at 60-65 in 6th it was slow, but not much vibration in the mirror.

I know everyone says go for the MM not the SE, but i did like the seats, (its one of the things i like about my current car too) and it definately looks better with 17's on. I mostly listen to the radio or my mp3 player, and have a portable sat nav for the times I'm going somewhere different, (it does traffic warnings as well). Work will pay for an aftermarket Bluetooth connection. So other than the DVD functionality and parking camera I'm not sure I will be missing much and the DVD function I can't see me using. (In my saab I built an in car pc, with sat nav, dvd, mp3, TV etc, but only ever used mp3's and sat nav)

I'm coming down in favour of the is220 over the 159. both seemed pretty good to drive but the lex in se trim seemed a better quality of place to be.

RD

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You do question whether £3000 for 17's and electric leather (albeit ventilated) is worth it...'cos that's all the SE really adds...

But I don't regret it one bit!!

On an equiv german car:

Leather = £1200ish

Wheel upgrade = £500ish

Heated seat = £300ish

Electric seats = £800ish

Total = £2500ish, but the lex can cool your bum too...!! That alone is worth the extra £500!!

Seriously, good luck with your decision, no choice is a wrong one!!

PS - forgot - you get e/lumbar adjustment too...that was £400 on an Audi SE!!

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The leasing company is charging my firm £410 for base Is20d and £469 with the MM, the SE is £470 however metalic paint is list price/36 which means I end up buying the paint !! I ordered Astral Black which is solid hence no extra charge but the leasing company can only get me Velvet Black which is metalic and suposed to be pretty dam cool looking I'm told, you might get away with metalic foc.

The Alfa I tried had leather and was very sexy.

I know what you mean regards the MM it is very expensive but I've had enought of driving around with TomTom, mobile phones and ipods plugged into my fag lighter and a mass of wires running everywhere.

With the Lex, you walk up leaving keys in pocket (keyless entry), immiediately my Bluetooth mobile connects again leaving it in my top pocket, I can voice dial most numbers and easily hold a handsfree conversation at high motorway speeds because there is little if any noise.

Regards the vibrating mirror and 6th gear, I can only go off my 4 day test drive. I tend to drive around 85-90 and I found 6th wonderful cruising along in the low 2000'ish rpms. 5th felt like top in my A4 or 6th in a 3 series so I would look on it as an overdrive.

I found the rear view mirror vibration to be neausious especially if you are trying to suss out if the car appoaching at speed from behind is a copper!

I can't understand why Lexus did not spot this and sort it out before launch, I wonder if they played with the final drive ratios until the emissions and mpg fitted their needs and did'nt bother to check if it affected the car !!! I have read posts saying it can be fixed with carful adjustment.

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Like everyone has mention before i had a A4with leather i opted for the 220d with MM without the leather and to say the least it is brill, sounds system is fantastic, if you like your music you will love it, not to mention all the wee extras it does, absolutely brilliant car

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Well decision made, order in.

220d SE Black with black interior.

wanted grey interior but a 5-6month wait!

I think the black interior is much nicer than the beige one, although it makes the car seem a bit smaller inside, but 99% of the time its only me, and i really didn't like the colour of the beige carpets!

now all i have to do is wait impatiently for 8 weeks.

RD

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Well if you are anything like me you definately won't regret it!

I have the same spec as you have ordered also in Astral black, I have had mine 6 weeks now and the only thing that I have found that I can fault is the rear view mirror vibration problem which I am going to discuss with my local dealer to see what can be done (if anything)

A little tip for you and any others who opted for the Black:

If you want to give your new paintwork the best possible start in retaining the excellent gloss finish

take a look at the Blackfire range of polishes and sealants (bit more expensive than your average Turtle wax type polishes) but definately worth the expense after treating mine to 3 coats of the sealant the finish is absolutely stunning, top that with a couple of coats of Collinite 476s wax and you will be all set for the winter.

If anybody wants to know where to get any of the products I have mentioned drop me a pm as I don't want to break the rules by putting a link on here

(I don't sell them either I just know a good place to purchase them)

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