2000 Alfa Romeo 156 TS Veloce 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Fragile diamond


Immobiliser/key-code failed 1 month after delivery. Told by the dealer to call the AA, and to get them to bring the car to the workshop. AA engineer knew about a recall that Alfa had issued, to get the immobiliser software upgraded. He fixed the problem by disconnecting the battery for 10 minutes, after which the car started as normal. Dealer knew nothing about the recall.

Car overheated at 4000 miles due to a loss of coolant. Dealer replaced the water pump, but the coolant still required topping up by 1 liter every 500 miles. Contacted 1 week later by the dealer, enquiring if the car was OK. I said no, the car was still loosing coolant, so they then told me about a recall to get the cylinder head bolts replaced, as the ones fitted were too long!

General Comments:

The car is a great combination of performance and comfort.

1.6 TS engine seems as powerful as other manufacturer's 2.0 liter engines.

Worried by reliability - 2 recalls in 3 months!

Dealer (Westover Alfa, Bournemouth) struggling to cope with service and repair work. Not enough courtesy cars, no room in the workshop. Mechanic sat in my car (pale grey leather seats) in dirty overalls!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th April, 2001

18th Apr 2001, 07:17

I had the same problem with my immobiliser/keycode. One Alfa dealer knew nothing about it, whilst another agreed to fix it the following day! A lack of communication within Alfa Romeo I think!

21st Jun 2002, 11:36

I currently have a 2.5V6 156. Love it to bits apart from when the immobiliser lets me down! My dealer obviously has no idea of the recall/bulletin as they've had the car in a few times and can't fix it!

Please could you post details, so I can pass on the info of what they need to look for...

Thank you.

2000 Alfa Romeo 156 TS 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Unacceptable service/repair support


Car delivered new 06/12/00. Engine Management Unit broke down 24/12/00 (yes Christmas Eve - how inconvenient was that!). I'm still waiting for the dealer to fix the car (now 07/03/01!!) - apparently can't get the parts from Turin! Had enough rows with Alfa UK and the dealer to last a lifetime. Do Alfa care - not a bit.

You have been warned - Don't buy the 156.

General Comments:

Appalling support from Alfa UK - customer service is straight from the dark ages.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th March, 2001

9th Mar 2001, 10:06

My 156 didn't get off to the best of starts either, but it seems to have been teething trouble. Hopefully yours will be same (when you eventually get it fixed!). Agreed though, the dealers only seem interested in selling cars, not in keeping them on the road. Once mine had its 3 initial problems sorted, it's been okay since, and a joy to drive!

2000 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 twin spark from UK and Ireland


Style and class for Mondeo money


Drivers door handle button jammed in.

Rear wheel bearings failed and started knocking loudly.

Rattle in the roof from the rear courtesy light.

General Comments:

Great car. Full of Italian style. Prettiest saloon available.

Reliability was a worry, but has turned out to be better than my last VW Golf.

Recaro seats are poor with all your weight through your bottom and not spread through your thighs. Spoils an otherwise excellent long distance car.

Engine has excellent top end but poor low torque. Town driving a bit of a pain with mucho clutch slip needed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd March, 2001

12th Jun 2001, 06:15

Seems to be an ongoing problem with the comfort of the 156. I've had mine for 2000km and only make short trips. My butt and back are copping a pounding.

If you crank the seating position way up high you get a little relief. Wonder if it's possible to swap the seats for something tighter?

2000 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TS from UK and Ireland


A stunning car, at a stunning (import) price


The ignition coding system packed up after 3 days - the car had to be started via a complicated "emergency code procedure", which took 5 minutes each time you turned the ignition. The dealer fixed the problem within 3 days. I understand there is a recall for this specific problem.

An airbag warning light on the dashboard was lit when I collected the car (faulty computer chip was to blame). The dealer fixed this problem within 2 weeks.

General Comments:

An absolutely stunning car to look at and drive.

Reliability may become an issue - I've had the car one month and it's already been in the workshop twice.

Smooth, powerful engine on the 2 litre.

Cabin quality not particularly impressive (the glove box creaks constantly), but this is a trivial irritation.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st March, 2001

29th Mar 2001, 01:51

I had the same problem with an airbag light going on. I took it into the dealership yesterday and they fixed it within a half hour (but then I live in Italy, so maybe service problems resolved a bit faster because of better spare parts availability).