However at low revs in second gear, it sometimes jerks as though starved of gas.
Also could do with better damping on the suspension.
Standard audio system could be much better.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th October, 2001
21st Jan 2002, 17:07
I'm updating my previous comments with a few points. Firstly the stuttering of the engine at low revs was due to the car not being properly "TDI'd" after arriving in the country (bought on import! Important procedure if you import your car). Easily sorted reprogramming chip!.
I was charged £70 for the privilege, slightly annoyed by that, though very satisfied by the noticeable performance.
I absolutely LOVE this car, it has not caused me any problems excepting a few minor build quality problems which are correctable or can be improved upon. No problem for the enthusiast!. Nice one Alfa.
If you're thinking of buying this car, DO your homework! Find a good dealer, Build a list of quirks supplied by sites like this and check the car thoroughly!. There's a few bad 156's out there, but also a lot of good one's. It's worth the effort, it really is.
"Thank You God for a good one".
25th Sep 2002, 06:11
My experiences and sentiments exactly! Great car!
2000 Alfa Romeo 156 Sportwagon 2.0 Twin Spark Selespeed from Australia and New Zealand
A fantastic introduction to the world of sports cars
Nothing at all has gone wrong with this car.
I have had standard wear and tear against the car, such as a cracked windshield from a stone throwing truck and the standard paint chips that are expected from normal use.
I did have the dealer scratch off the '+' plus sign from my SeleSpeed button, and was quite shocked to hear you cannot purchase new buttons, but rather you need to buy a new steering wheel. That is off, but the dealer is going to fix my button for free.
I have a Sportwagon, and the housing for the retractable boot cover squeaks a bit when driving over bumps.
I bought a packet of those anti-scratching pads for the feet of furniture, and put them on the housing and it worked wonders. You cannot see them, and it doesn't squeak any more.
I love the car.
I have the Recaro Leather seats, and they are so comfortable that passengers from the soft cushy 'luxury' cars even claim they are fantastic.
The car sounds like a dream, really gets the heart racing, and it corners exceptionally well.
I do have good tyres on the car (Continentals) and they really do help the car corner like a demon.
Some people don't like the reduced visibility in the Sportwagon, but I wouldn't go to a Sedan for anything.
The Sportwagon looks extremely sexy on the road, especially with the hidden rear door handles, it looks very unique.
Mine is in Africa Grey with dark tinted windows, and it came up very well, though the Silver Grey with dark windows would also look great.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 25th August, 2001
29th Oct 2001, 08:52
I've noticed with considerable interest that a large number of Alfa owners from the UK with the Selespeed transmission are emerging with tranmission failure.
I was wondering whether this is an isolated case in Europe? Do you know of many cases in Australia where the transmission has failed?
2000 Alfa Romeo 156 Selespeed 2.0 Twin Spark from UK and Ireland
An unreliable wreck
Gearbox would not allow selection of higher gear when driving down a steep slope.
Gearbox would jump into neutral when driving around corners.
Gearbox would slip into neutral when on full steering lock.
Gearbox eventually packed up with the transmission beeping at me every ten seconds until I couldn't select a gear to drive the car!
I was told that I required a new Selespeed control unit but it only lasted two months.
Gearbox then proceeded to throw itself into neutral at 60 miles per hour, with the engine revving wildly. When I pulled over to try and restart the engine, it wouldn't even start. I was told that this was a problem with the gear lever, not the gearbox. The system was rebooted, apparently, and proceeded to work alright for the next 150 miles, when it packed up in exactly the same way. Now the garage tell me that it is a different problem and that I now need an entirely new gearbox, but they are not 100% sure that that is the problem.
When the car is working, it is simply magnificent.
When it is not working, which seems to be most of the time, it is nothing short of a dangerous piece of junk.
Alfa UK are a complete waste of time. The regional manager appears not to deal directly with clients.
When you get to speak to Alfa directly, as the dealership suggested, they cannot understand anything you say.
I wish I had never leased an Alfa Romeo, let alone one with a Selespeed gearbox.
I may never again experience the driving pleasure of an Alfa that works.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 23rd August, 2001
27th Aug 2001, 12:02
I have a manual 156 TS - it is fantastic. I have, on the other hand, never heard a good word about the Selespeed...
27th Oct 2001, 13:24
I have had my Selespeed for 2 months now (approx 3000km on the clock) - the only problem I have is having to press the boot remote twice before it opens (this is being looked into by the dealership - if anyone knows how to fix it, please let me know). Otherwise the style, gearbox system, comfort, handling & acceleration is awesome. I passed my Audi A4 1.8i to the wife & kids & got myself the Alfa 156 Selespeed. Absolutely no regrets - this is one kick ass car!! One thing for sure, I had to learn to drive all over again - but this time I really enjoyed it!
17th Dec 2001, 04:25
I have had my Selespeed for two years now and the gearbox trouble began after approx. half a year.
The first time it was leaking hydraulic fluid, caused by a faulty connection design. This was solved by replacing the actuator itself following an official ammendment of Alfa.
Exactly one year later, it now pushes out the fluid in the resevoir, leaving not enough fluid to shift gears.
Problem is that nobody understands why this happens. So, I am forced to drive with extra fluid until they know what is wrong. Besides this inconvenience I adore the vehicle, it makes me wild anytime I look at it.
One more small irritation, every half year I must realign the wheels and NO I do not pick the curbs.
Average review marks: 6.8 / 10, based on 62 reviews