1999 Alfa Romeo 156 TS 2.0 from UK and Ireland


A good performer with a bad health


At 11.000 miles the engine was replaced with a new one (luckily under warranty). I still don't know the cause of engine failure neither does the garage.

Driver seat belt still gets stock unexpectedly even though I made couple of visits to the garage.

Poor and unreliable servicing: First had Follets of Mayfair as garage (until they switched to Ford), than got minimum servicing from Gyln Hopkins. Finally found a reliable service: Desira.

General Comments:

Great on looks, performance and handling but definitely an italian car which requires constant attention.

I thought, with new 156 and Fiat ownership, Alfa would become a reliable manufacturer: not so fast I guess.

They still have miles to go to catch German and Japanese manufacturing quality and servicing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 18th June, 2001

1999 Alfa Romeo 156 JTD Std 2.4 from UK and Ireland


Awesome diesel


Rear door retaining catches following replacement of the door rubbers (due to ill fitting roof bars).

ABS warning light on (hair line crack in the fusebox).

Engine would not turn off (intermittent fault, only occurred for about 3 days, had to turn back to MAR to switch off).

General Comments:

I bought a Alfa demonstrator, and what a great car it turned out to be.

Yes it has faults, but then what car doesn't, it's just how the faults are dealt with and perceived.

Have to to say that dealer (Hylton of Worcester) customer facing is excellent and can never do enough, but it is obvious that sometimes the back office (mechanical side) lacks a little something.

I have diesels now due to mileage and it being my own car, I have owned 4 Alfas prior to this but a long time ago. It had always been my intention to buy another when things improved, and they did so I did.

I drove a new BMW 530d last week and engine did not feel much better, in fact some of the trim was loose.

When having car serviced, I usually get petrol versions of 156 and whilst they feel marginally quicker when worked hard, the JTD provides all the power without the effort.

You buy these cars with your heart not your head (oh and some cash).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th May, 2001

1999 Alfa Romeo 156 Selespeed 2.0 TS from UK and Ireland


A waste of 23000.00 pounds sterling. Please don't buy one


Unexplained loss of Selespeed oil from new. 4 Selespeed actuators replaced. First at 3,000 miles, and the latest at 42,000.

Gears stuck in neutral on several occasions.

Power steering failed.

Fuse box cover replaced three times and counting.

Heating system fault on delivery.

Drivers seat (leather) damaged by the dealer. Replaced.

Inner edge of the off side front tyre suffers excessive wear. Watch out for this, the rest of the tyre will seem fine, but the inner edge could be worn through to the ply.

Water ingress into the boot (trunk).

General Comments:

The Selespeed system when working is excellent, but it's completly unreliable and I would not recommend this car to my worst enemy.

The customer care from Alfa is not caring, and the dealers aren't much better with limited knowledge of this car.

General build quality is poor, and the driving position is the most uncomfortable I have experienced.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st May, 2001

2nd May 2001, 04:26

I've had a similar problem with the fuse box cover - within a week of taking delivery of my new 156, the fuse box cover opened of its own accord, and now it refuses to stay shut. Appalling build quality is the cause (Alfa have probably saved a few lire in making the catches out of feeble plastic instead of metal). I've resorted to taping the cover shut!

27th Jun 2001, 11:11

Agree with these comments entirely.

My 156 2.0 T/S was delivered with the rear shocks smashing into the bodywork. Have lost count of the times I've been recovered after breakdowns - there have been lots.

Most unreliable car I have ever had - trouble is it looks so good.

Customer care is dreadful (don't think Alfa understand the meaning of this concept) and I drive 50 miles to the only competent Alfa dealer in the north M25 region (thanks Perry's Amersham, who are excellent).

Will never have another Alfa! Pity, but I think the dealers are victims of the huge sales success, but can't cope with the work load caused by the poor reliability.

10th Aug 2001, 10:26

Oh good, someone else who thinks that they are a waste of money. I can't tell you how many problems I had with mine. The worst car I have ever bought, EVER! I'd rather bloody walk (although most of the time I had to!)