1997 Alfa Romeo 156 T Spark 16V 2.0 four


Sporty and fun


On delivery one of the window lifters was inoperative.

The ABS sensors went inoperative after two days.

The steering hydraulic lines split several times.

The rear brakes seized.

The front upper wishbone bushes became noisy after a few weeks. Wishbones were replaced under warranty.

General Comments:

My 156 was the very first car of this type delivered to a private customer in our country. The car was marked as a hand built prototype by label in its engine room. Therefore there were a few quality issues to be expected.

The car has proven reliable once the teething troubles were sorted.

The car is tremendous fun to drive. Very agile, made the right noises and offered good comfort.

The running costs are high. This is mainly because Alfa Romeo spare parts are extremely expensive. The fuel consumption is tolerable when its performance is taken into consideration.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd July, 2013

2002 Alfa Romeo 156 Sportwagon 2.4 JTD (110 kW)


The 2.4 diesel is the better Alfa!

General Comments:

I've had the Alfa 156 Sportwagon from my dealer to substitute for my 146 1.8 T-Spark - some idiot crashed right into it, and the repair will take at least a week.

The 2.4 JTD diesel engine has been a revelation to me: Fast, responsive, powerful right away from the bottom of the rev band. Quite fuel-efficient too, only 6.5 litres/100 km. The only drawback: The diesels do not not have half as nice a sound as their petrol-driven counterparts. Top speed of nearly 215 km/h is acceptable (remember: there is no speed limit on German motorways! :-) but other manufacturers' diesels do much better.

The road handling is typical for Alfa: bumpy and rough when driving slowly, acceptable on motorways and irresistible on country roads with bends and sweeps.

Build quality is still light years away from Mercedes' or Audi's: left passenger rear door rattles, rear suspension produces noises, humming noise from the dashboard, too.

Despite the little flaws I believe that my next car will be an Alfa 156 Sportwagon with a 2.4 litre diesel engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th August, 2002