2003 Alfa Romeo 156 Sportwagon 1.9 JTD turbo diesel


Lovable ear to ear fun with great looks - even the small diesel


Front upper wishbones - 2 hours and 150 EUR to change.

Radiator/fan corrosion after 5 years - 800 EUR to change.

Front seat starting to wear.

Headlights starting to milk over.

Stone chips in paint on front bumper and bonnet.

General Comments:

This is a 2003 internal face-lift model of the 156 SW (Board computer, steering column controls, ISO-FIX). Two months later the front and outer trim completed the final face-lift to the 156 series.

After a few months of ownership, the car still drives and handles like a dream. Though it sticks like glue in corners, it gives a somewhat rough ride when on 17" summer tires. The original 15" rims sacrifices a small amount of grip in corners, but makes a world of difference to the ride comfort.

For an estate, even the little 1.9 JTD gives great torque and plenty of pull up to highway speeds. Brim to brim, it runs an average of 6.5l/100km, giving some 1000 kms of fun before meeting up with your friendly neighborhood gas station.

Apart from the very comfortable seats, the cabin interior - while having an appealing design - is not quite on par with VW in terms of build quality, and has more "plasticky" feel. In terms of comfort there is reasonable space for 4 well grown adults - but try fitting 3 adults and 2 child seats, and grey hairs will be the outcome. Possible, but not recommended, as even the backseat is shaped to hug two passengers in comfort.

With preventive service and attention to the engine, this is a very reliable diesel. Oil consumption averages.5L/1000km, and strangely seems to be highest at long high speed motorway hauls.

Would I buy Alfa again? Certainly! Would I recommend it? If you know where to fill up oil and you feel it is second nature to check the water temperature as often as you check your speed - by all means yes! The 156 is no more expensive to service that other car... but it quickly will be, if not maintained with care.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th July, 2008

29th Jul 2008, 12:56

5L of oil for every 1000 km? Something is not right in your car, I think.

11th Dec 2008, 07:36

Half a liter that was (.5 - not 5!). After another few months I've come to the conclusion that high torque leads to higher oil consumption.

For my 1.9 JTD "high torque" can be defined as keeping constant speeds at 130 km/h or higher. I consistently use more oil on long motorway hauls than I do thrashing the engine on mountain roads...

2001 Alfa Romeo 156 Selespeed 2.0 Twinspark


An unforgettable driving experience


Vibration in front at very low speed with cold engine.

Selespeed gearbox sometimes doesn't come back to first gear automatically.

Rear gear sometimes wouldn't engage without engaging first gear before.

General Comments:

A really great driving experience. Really great handling/steering. Very direct.

Twinspark engine is impressive. Smooth, great noise, great power.

Selespeed gearbox is really a must have when you get used to it. Would never trade mine for a manual gearbox.

Comfort is not so good, room is sparse, noise level is high, but the car looks so good and is so nice to drive that you forget all these details...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th October, 2003

1998 Alfa Romeo 156 TS 2.0 16V gasoline


It's a genuine Alfa : the sports saloon!


Nothing wrong at this time, except little squeaks from the dashboard and right front suspension.

General Comments:

Every day is sunny, when you drive this car, it's fast, safe, and has Italian charm. What I like the most, it's the funny Bimmers face when they try to race me, and fail.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st March, 2000