1999 Alfa Romeo 156 velocce 2.0 lt from UK and Ireland


Do not buy an Alfa


Various minor niggles, including boot not closing (£30 to fix) and an overheating radio that cut out - described by Dealer as a safety feature!

Clutch bearing failure at 55000 miles - Alfa refused to fix under warranty (described as wearable part).

Car taken to dealer twice in one week for overheating. No problem found either time and car released back to me. 24 hours later engine suffers massive mechanical failure attributed by dealer to low oil (79000 miles). Dealer and Alfa HQ admit that oil warning light faulty prior to failure, but refuse to accept liability and threaten to withdraw any remaining warranty if I pursue a claim - cost to me £2500 for re-conditioned engine. Alfa refuse to accept warranty claim. Finally advised by Alfa Romeo Customer Services (Slough HQ) to sue them!

General Comments:

The problems I have had with this car have affected my health. It simply is not worth owning an Alfa.

Main-dealerships are patchy at best. Down right dishonest at worst.

After-sales servicing is expensive and shoddy (based on experience of 3 different Alfa main dealers).

Warranty is worthless, even when they admit car has a problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd January, 2003

22nd Jan 2004, 08:47

This is not a car you can neglect. You need to check the oil every 2nd visit to the petrol station. Low oil in these engines is death (bit obvious by now).

It is in the handbook and dealers should make people aware of this before they drive away.

Keep them in oil and they'll go for 120,000 miles no problem.

Basically, know what you're getting into. They are great cars if looked after. Think of it as a feisty beauty.

1999 Alfa Romeo 156 2.4 Jtd from UK and Ireland


Superb car shame about the reliability!!


Central locking developed a mind of its own. Keys had to be re programmed.

Turbocharger blew at 30,000 miles.

Front tyres scrubbed out at 11,000 miles despite main dealer checking suspension set up.

Windscreen rattled, had not been installed properly at factory.

Exhaust Heatshield fell off in road!

Airbag warning light stayed on, Faulty circuit board!

Engine Management developed mind of its own, one minute your doing 50..then total loss of power!!..frightening.

Clutch judder at junctions... faulty EGR valve.

Tyres scrubbed out on inner edge again!

At 30k 95% of tyre perfect just inner edge.. have had 3 dealers check and can find no fault! Car still wearing tyres?

General Comments:

Beautiful car to admire and drive.

Handles like a true thoroughbred.

Although it's a Diesel, it goes like the wind!! and sounds and goes like a true Alfa should.

Sadly despite all listed problems and a few more besides, Alfa GB have offered no goodwill, and letters to them have been unanswered, which I feel is very poor.

Although most items have been covered under its warranty, I feel let down by Alfa and its dealers, and will be getting a Mercedes or Audi shortly which is probably what I should have done in 1999.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd September, 2002

22nd Sep 2004, 10:45

Alfa Romeo make cars that are stylish and good to drive (early ones like the 33 and Alfasud are exceptions) but unfortunately when it comes to build quality, reliability and dealers they fall well below average. The 156 looks great and has a feeling of "passion" and such a strong character, but all this is spoilt by the "Will it get me home without breaking down factor?" and dealers who just do not give any iota of a damn!!

1999 Alfa Romeo 156 Selespeed 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Advanced technology that is seriously flawed


Previous mature owner required new gearbox under warranty at 6000 miles.

New gearbox was stripped and rebuilt to rectify fault, and was no better.

Gearbox ECU failed.

Gearbox actuator failed.

New gearbox ECU failed.

Gearbox repeatedly required resetting.

Gearbox hydraulic pump relay failed.

Engine camshaft lobe completely worn off.

Airflow meter "Has wrong voltage output", but a new airflow meter did not cure it. Engine still down on power and the dealer cannot fix.

Wires had been badly soldered into engine ECU wiring loom, trailing across hot engine.

Roof starting to rust.

Air conditioning was useless.

Rear brake calliper seized.

General Comments:

All of the above faults happened within three months and 2000 miles, I then had to sell the car as the warranty was about to expire and the engine was still down on power, (friends 1.8 was much quicker), not to mention the gearbox still did not work properly! changing into neutral when overtaking, then refusing to select any gear at all.

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

Review Date: 4th August, 2002