2001 Alfa Romeo 156 Sportwagon TS Veloce 2.0 from UK and Ireland


A bargain at the price (15K on import from Germany)


Dent in bonnet when delivered.

Torn interior trim when delivered.

Handbrake button sticks in if pressed to hard.

Broken Stereo facia.

Difficulty changing out of 4th gear at 60+ MPH.

General Comments:

In spite of the faults, this is a really nice car - much nicer to drive than the Hyundia Coupe I had before it (although, my old MX5 was more fun).

The seats are among the most comfortable I've come across in a car, but lack driver's side lumbar support.

Gearbox is sweet (apart from the 4th gear problem).

Cornering superb (amazing for an estate).

Has a few nice touches on the interior, but the glove box is a joke and it really could do with at least on cup holder for those tedious M25 commutes.

I'm hoping the gearbox problem will be sorted soon (the other faults are being sorted this week), I'll then be happy with the car (even though it's really for my wife to use for her district nursing job).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th April, 2002

2001 Alfa Romeo 156 V6 24v Veloce 2.5 from UK and Ireland


V6 is genuine thrilling


Loose power steering hose caused steering wheel to rumble at low speeds. Fixed under warranty by dealer at no charge.

General Comments:

This is my third Alfa Romeo and each has proved to deliver a genuinely thrilling driving experience.

For the money no other four seater saloon has the power, the styling or the history.

In Alfa Rosso (Red) it still turns heads and those who don't see it coming will hear the sonorous V6 engine.

A pleasure to drive particularly over long distances this car is the epitome of power and grace.

With a 0 - 60 speed of 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 143mph very few cars will be overtaking you on motorways.

The V6 engine is quote glorious and was voted the best production engine in the World.

If you do one thing in your life. Dump the BMW or Audi and buy yourself this car - preferably the V6, but definitely ONLY in Alfa Rosso.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th March, 2002

2001 Alfa Romeo 156 Sportwagon Selespeed 2.0 from UK and Ireland


A slightly flawed diamond


Steering buttons for gear change have malfunctioned on two occasions, (i.e. not been able to change gear using them) but have "corrected themselves" before I had time to book the car into the dealer. Each fault triggered the warning light on the dashboard and lasted for a couple of hours.

General Comments:

Good points : Great looks, good handling, and driving experience. I have no complaints on rear load capacity. A rare blend of comfort, style and performance.

Bad Points : Interior trim, especially plastics around doors / sills good be better - showing scuff marks already.

Could do with more stowage bins for driver and front passenger - the glove box is well, just about suitable for gloves.. thin summer ones at that.

Rear reversing visibility very poor - potential drivers beware!

Larger than expected turning circle and poor reversing visibility make for some interesting and protracted car parking manoeuvres.

Economy is poorer than expected, with a tank lasting between 350 - 380 miles only.

Much has been written about the selespeed gear box - it took me a couple of weeks to get used to it. I have found that unless overtaking, it is smoother to let the Selespeed transmission change down for me whilst decelerating, and to manually change up using either the gear shift or buttons on the steering wheel.

Automatic "city" mode has a jerky change between 1st and 2nd gear. On reflection I do not think it offers the "best of both worlds" between manual and automatic, more of a compromise between the two. It remains not as intuitive as a manual shift, and certainly slower. At the same time it is difficult to simply put it into "city" mode and forget it, as the jerky gear change between 1st and 2nd, combined with the necessity to remember use of handbrake and throttle sensitivity on hill starts, reversing etc expose it as a brilliant concept only adequately executed.

However, subjectively I can say that the car still scores very highly on "pride of ownership" - would I buy another? Certainly - with a manual transmission and the new diesel engine, I would get the opportunity to enjoy more time behind the wheel and less time at the fuel pump!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th February, 2002

12th Jun 2003, 05:46

I don't understand the comment about economy being poorer than expected. The published urban figures list 25 mpg with combined being 33 mpg, any sort of "enthusiastic" driving will lower than further. A range of 350-380 miles from a tank fits perfectly with that.

The comments about a poor turning circle are correct. Yes it has a poor turning circle. However all Alfas sold over the past 10 years have had a poor turning circle and it is documented in the literature.

The review seems to be a good advert for test driving a car before purchase. Most of the "faults" could have been found then.