1998 Alfa Romeo 156 selespeed veloce 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Fun, cheap, annoying, but lovable


Intermittent power and was intermittent starting although this seems to have cured itself, injector light on dash comes on when problem is present, took it to alfa and they say faulty accelerator pedal sensor and my wiring loom has been altered and needs replacing, also may need new ecu.

But after research on forums etc it sounds like airflow meter could be cause,

General Comments:

I do love the car as it is rewarding, if only it ran OK 100% of the time, but that's what alfa ownership is all about!

Selespeed gearbox is great, heard so much bad press about it, but mines perfect.. touch wood!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd November, 2005

1998 Alfa Romeo 156 v6 2.5 V6 from UK and Ireland


Should be available on the NHS as an anti-depressant


Alarm had to be replaced at 50K.

Air conditioning fractured at 40K.

General Comments:

After a decade of ownership of a variety of Golf VR6's I decided on a change and after a short test drive of a 156 v6, I was hooked.

The fantastic styling coupled with THAT engine results in a refined cruiser that isn't adverse to the odd bit of motoring hooliganism.

After having owned a string of VR6's, I was initially concerned that the Alfa was going to disappoint. I couldn't be more wrong. While performance is on par with the VR6, it makes the VR6 appear boring and uninspiring. The noise and eagerness of the engine is simply stunning.

All of this comes with a price. Fuel econmony is lousy - low 20s, 28mpg if you're lucky. Fortunately the tank is large so range is around 350-400 miles.

Servicing is always pension threateningly expensive - my last one saw my future off-spring denied a £2000 inheritance.

The car eats front tyres and more alarmingly brake discs and pads. Tyres last on average 10K, brakes replaced every year (£400+).

Air-conditioning packed up at 40K - an investigation revealed a fracture i.e. an engine-out-job, so this will be fixed sometime never.

The car has other electrical niggles - fuel gauge is a pathological liar, sometimes central locking doesn't work. Alarm replaced at 50K due to water ingress into the control box.

Apart from this the car has never let me down.

When you've got a good Alfa - you hang onto it. There are only very good ones and very bad ones, none in between.

To sum up. Stunning. I am converted.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th September, 2005

1998 Alfa Romeo 156 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Distinctive looks. Sweet and balanced handling


So far only had the car for a couple of thousand miles. The suspension creaks on speed bumps which gets louder if it's been out in the wet. I've seen on Car Survey that this can be sorted with an application of STP silicon spray on the front suspension bushes. The Alfa Radio is not up to much. One channel cuts out sometimes over bumps. The timing belt was replaced at around 40k miles. Don't forget these HAVE to be checked at least every 50k miles. If not there's a risk of some heavy piston vale hitting damage. The 156 uses a lot of oil - always check it before any long journey and make sure you put the same oil in when you top up as what's already in there.

General Comments:

There's no question about it. This is a beautiful looking car. Far more distinctive than the legions of 3 series around. Handling is a dream and it drives beautifully with plenty of go even in the 1.8 version. It is a revvy car if you want to keep in the power. It's a great car in town and on the motorway, but the grins come from twisty (not too bumpy) A roads. Overall I was surprised a how comfortable the car is for me.

Being 6ft 2" I was relieved for all the driving position adjustments, especially the seat raise/lowering. Just as well as the car looked so good I would have bought it anyway! I am always worrying about the trip to an Alfa dealer as their reputation seems so bad. Don't forget if your buying secondhand, and it's a bargain of a car, consumables are very expensive so haggle hard for worn breaks, tyres etc.

Never by one of these without a full service history and check that the timing belt has been replaced every 50k miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd May, 2005