2008 Alfa Romeo 159 JTS 1.9 petrol

Summary:

A decent priced, reliable, beautiful and sporty luxury sedan

Faults:

108000 km: Some oxidized wires made the license plate lights blink. The dealer replaced the wires under warranty since I've just bought the car from them.

108000 - 112000 km: The Have Engine Checked (HEC) light blinked, let's say, 2-3 times a month. Had the car checked, a couple of error codes came out: U1600 immobilizer, U1601 CAN bus & P0016 camshaft/crankshaft position sensor. After some conversations with the dealer, the local Alfa dealer and some other garages, I decided to have the timing chain replaced. All error codes disappeared, and haven't seen the HEC light ever since (it's been 2,5 months now since the chain was replaced). Some say the timing chain should last a lifetime, but it doesn't. Expensive, but worthwhile. The dealer covered a big share of the costs (a hint: fight for your rights, even for an oldish car).

110000 km: The error code B1001 engine oil level sensor appeared once, gave some false information of the oil level for a couple of days, but the problem disappeared by itself.

113000 km: The back left door hinge snapped. A 100 eur repair at some garage.

The car creaks a bit every now and then, but hasn't got any worse during the seven months of my ownership, so I don't mind. Minor creaking seems to be characteristic to some Alfa Romeos.

General Comments:

The car is in excellent condition considering the age of eight years and the harsh, wet and salty winter conditions in Finland. Everything works.

109000 km: Had the car checked by a local official AutoDoctor. No problems whatsoever.

Very smooth to drive, especially on the highway with the cruise control. The car is quite heavy from the front, so go easy on the turns to avoid unnecessary part wearing.

163 hp is quite powerful when driving and overtaking on the highway, but the engine lacks some torque when accelerating the heavyish car from zero.

Just beautiful design from the inside and the outside all over. Shiny chrome door handles, even the Design Giugiaro logo on both sides close to the front tyres. The Alfa Romeo 159 face is both mean and beautiful at the same time.

The car is very low, so go easy on the bumps. You don't wanna lose your oil pan (the previous owner apparently lost his/hers, ain't gonna repeat that mistake).

If you have to use your personal funds for a used car, why buy a 20000 eur boring excessive priced car with a "good reputation", if you can get a same spec Alfa Romeo for 10000 eur. The difference = 5000 eur of repair and maintenance money for your Alfa and the other 5000 eur takes you to Hawaii. Think about it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd August, 2016

4th Apr 2017, 06:46

It's Mar 2017, 129000km now, and the HEC light has stayed away. No problems whatsoever, the car runs like a dream.

5th Apr 2017, 08:01

Well, as a comment to your original review, you're right - chains are supposed to last a lifetime. The problem always starts with cost-cutting designs. It isn't the only car which had chain problems - my '01 BMW 316TI was the same, also changed as the chain stretched a bit. VWs and Audis can also suffer that fate. I guess when you squeeze the parts supplier to a price, they can deliver exactly what you don't want. Apparently with VW, the chain supplier was so squeezed for price that they didn't update the machines that manufactured the chains. I still believe chains are better - look at really old cars, no-one touches the chains at all until they are junked. Especially those with double chains.

22nd May 2017, 07:51

Always interesting and useful to read similar issue reviews from other car brands, too.

3rd Oct 2017, 11:51

Hi, it's me, the Finn, again. It's now October, 2017. No new problems since March. BTW, must have gotten my kilometers wrong in my previous posting (129 000 km), since I have only 127 000 now. Guess it was more like 123 000 last March. Awesome ride. No leaks, no rust, no error codes. Some tiny wire snapped a couple of weeks ago, so the front passenger seat heater works only partially now, but it's not a big deal.