2002 Alfa Romeo 156 Standard Spec 1.8 Twin Spark (petrol)
Beautiful but very flawed
Front wishbones need replacing every couple of years, otherwise they creak. The lifespan of the front suspension on these cars is notoriously short! The rear suspension also developed problems, and all four tyres wore unevenly (the very inner edges were bald whilst the rest of the tyres had 4-5 mm of tread left!!!).
The gearbox developed a fault (difficulty engaging gears). Two oil leaks, MULTIPLE front bulb failures - they are difficult to replace. The front catalytic convertor failed and need replacing. Variator rattle! Rust on the roof!
Beautiful car, only spoiled by the niggly problems that detracted from such an amazing design :(
The suspension wasn't designed for Britain's terrible roads, where there are numerous potholes and other defects. Driving this car along bumpy country roads was torture... CRASH... BANG, CREAK, KNOCK :-|. However, if you found a smooth road it was a joy to behold, with quick-rack steering :)
The air conditioning KILLED the power of the Twin Spark engine. I frequently switched the aircon off to overtake other cars :-| The blower fan is shockingly weak, but there wasn't a fault in the system - this is a well-known 156 "feature". The 156 isn't the nicest place to be in hot weather - I could barely feel the air con (I had it serviced by a top Alfa independent garage - no improvement!)
I spent thousands of pounds on this car, and there was always another fault awaiting money!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 15th May, 2017