2008 Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon JTDM Lusso 1.9 diesel

Summary:

I'm glad I bought it, but probably wouldn't do it again!

Faults:

Power steering reservoir failed at 110,000 km, causing the steering to fail.

Tailgate release button failed at 115,000 km; can only open the tailgate using the keyfob now.

Headlight bulbs blow regularly (at least five occasions now).

Trip computer selector switch doesn't work.

The glow plug relays & controller needed replacing.

General Comments:

Driving & performance:

Though not quite as engaging as its rear wheel drive rivals, the 159 estate is capable enough, and strikes a good balance between a comfortable ride and responsive handling. The shift action of the six-speed manual is notchy and discourages smooth changes, but you get used to it in the end, and reasonable progress is possible.

The 159 is a relatively heavy car, so even with 150 BHP and 236 lb-ft on tap, performance is adequate rather than really brisk. That said, it never has any problems keeping pace on the motorway, even in the tall sixth gear.

Economy:

I have never got anywhere near the claimed 48 MPG (UK) combined economy figure. The best I've managed on a long gentle run with no A/C is 44 MPG, and my average figure for mixed driving is around 38 MPG, rising to 40 MPG when driven carefully on long runs.

In the cabin:

In Lusso trim, the 159's cabin is a pleasant place to be. The dials are angled towards the driver for a sporty look, and are clear and easy to read. While not the most modern in appearance, the interior has a classy feel and the car has a decent spec. The leather seats are supportive, easy to adjust, and comfortable. Some of the air con dials feel a little flimsy, but the overall impression is good.

Reliability:

Ah, the perennial Alfa bugbear! Apart from a few niggles, the Alfa really let us down once by breaking down the night before our holidays. The cause: failure of a non-return valve in the power steering reservoir. After three years of Subaru ownership, the Alfa has been quite a shock as parts are quite expensive too.

Styling:

The 159 is a beautiful car and I love the way it looks.

Practicality:

Being and estate, the Sportwagon has a decent boot and we can squeeze quite a lot into its svelte form. The rear legroom isn't great, though, and it's easy to scratch the rear bumper when loading things into the bag (especially dogs!).

Overall:

I'd give the 159 3 stars out of 5. It's expensive to run (even as a diesel), and not very reliable, but on the positive side, it's very comfortable and lovely to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st August, 2013

2007 Alfa Romeo 159 Ti 2.2 JTS petrol

Summary:

Miss 159 is better looking than her older sister Mrs 156... but you can still see the family traits

Faults:

- Boot release - covered under warranty.

- Heated door mirror (left) stopped heating. warranty.

General Comments:

General comments on the car? One word, brilliant.

I flew to UK in May 08 to buy and drive my 159 back home to Ireland. What a car. When I arrived home I could have drunk a cup of tea and simply turned around and started the trip again! Very comfortable, very.

Driving?

Motorway driving is brilliant.. I've had a chance to recently drive some other cars the length of the country (Cork to Dublin) for work purposes... Audi A6 (1.8Tdi), BMW (2.0 Petrol) and of course a Volvo S40 (can't remember the engine... does it matter?). I always found myself longing to get behind the wheel of the Alfa again... I can't put my finger on it but the driving position, even the weight of the steering wheel feels right (but that's just a personal thing). It also feels a lot nicer to walk up to one in a carpark..

On country/rural 'rough' roads... you have to go slow... sloooooow way down! It feels like you might break the car the suspension is so hard. You see the 'Ti' model has lowered/harder suspension, so that coupled with 19' 40-profile tyres does make the car a 'little' skittish on our terrible Irish roads (but they are improving, the roads that is).

On county/rural 'good' roads... what a blast! The cornering is excellent.. the Brembos all round (on the Ti model) do help with the braking... she feels solid, weighted, planted, stuck to the road. It's a reassuring feeling. The 2.2 Petrol is supposed to have 185BHP... in 1st and 2nd gear it feels like half that power... from 3rd gear up to 6th it feels a lot better.

Interior?

The smell of leather. Need I say more?

...but, the backseats? not much legroom.

Gadgets?

Well I was lucky with my car, she has mp3 USB port (for iPod) Blue&Me system, voice activated control, parking sensors, bluetooth phone thingy and other stuff etc etc.. One thing, I wish I could change the female voice in the car to a setting that sounds like Penelope Cruz or Sophia Lorraine... a car like that need an 'exotic' voice not a London accent! :) Then I could listen to "Please choose from the following commands" all day long...

Fuel/MPG?

It's a 2.2 Petrol. It's an Alfa...

As far as long term... who knows what else will break? I still have our older 156 and wouldn't sell it for the world. The 156 2.0TS engine/exhaust note is still gruntier (if there is such a word).. no argument, but the 159 feels bigger, more refined and more like a better quality car.

Finally I have to admit I don't care/worry about a cars reliability, running costs or depreciation.. I bought this car on its looks and driving experience alone... but then again, on what else should you judge a car?

cherb@eircom.net

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th December, 2008

15th Dec 2008, 19:26

Your comments gave me goose pimples :)

My dream is a 159 ti with of course red paintwork :)

I'm on my 4th Alfa - 2000 156 2.0 TS Selespeed - and I am addicted to it, however I have had my share of kind of small issues with missus' 156 - but same as you, I don't care, it's all part of it and it's the drive. Alfa Romeos are an addiction to say the least.

My first Alfa was an 84 Alfasud Sprint, then an 86 33ti, then a 91 33 boxer 16v, and now a 156 - all red haha.

Congratulations on your 159.

Alfaholic - Australia.