2001 Alfa Romeo 156 Selespeed 2.0 Twinspark from France


An unforgettable driving experience


Vibration in front at very low speed with cold engine.

Selespeed gearbox sometimes doesn't come back to first gear automatically.

Rear gear sometimes wouldn't engage without engaging first gear before.

General Comments:

A really great driving experience. Really great handling/steering. Very direct.

Twinspark engine is impressive. Smooth, great noise, great power.

Selespeed gearbox is really a must have when you get used to it. Would never trade mine for a manual gearbox.

Comfort is not so good, room is sparse, noise level is high, but the car looks so good and is so nice to drive that you forget all these details...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th October, 2003

2001 Alfa Romeo 156 Lusso 2.4 JTD from UK and Ireland


This car is an amazing performing diesel


About a month after receiving the car, I was almost left stranded at a car boot because the engine refused to start. To start the engine the car needed to be pushed and it only just started before the end of the field. This problem was a frayed connection to the battery which had burned. The front left door is currently at the wrong angle facing down-wards and loose, the part is on order, but could take a while. The gearbox is not as it was now, you don't have to pull the gear stick up to go into reverse and to get into 5th, the gear stick can't just be pushed all the way right and then up from neutral, it has to be pushed right a little bit then up.

General Comments:

The rev counter only goes up to 5000 revs before it red lines, but the sound of the engine for a diesel is truly amazing. It reminds me of an old Rover V8 when pushed at about 4000 revs in third. Overtaking two or three cars in one is no problem, the handling is direct and feels firm and the brakes are excellent. The leather momo seats are very comfortable, but there is a lack of leg room in the rear. A lot of people look at the car when it is parked, but some were turned off when they saw 2.4JTD on the boot, so I simply removed the J and the D, which was easy because the letters were merely glued on, and the car takes a lot more interest now!!

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

Review Date: 24th October, 2003

2001 Alfa Romeo 156 Lusso 1.6 Twin Spark from UK and Ireland


Great looking car - look don't buy


Engine Immobiliser - needed a new one after 20000 miles when the car wouldn't start.

4 new keys - keys just wouldn't remotely open the car or start the engine. 8 weeks wait per key.

2 new engine management systems - both fixed under warranty.

Rear suspension bushes - costly.

Rattling dash board and fuse box.

Loose roof lining - squeaks and rattles constantly, cannot be fixed under warranty as not a listed item and the dealer wants over a grand to have a look at it.

Faulty CD player - the multi-stack refuses to work and is not covered under warranty.

Broken timing belt and hence major engine trouble. It needs a new engine at 41000 miles and not covered under warranty because the car was not serviced exactly on 36000 miles.

General Comments:

This car looks the part and goes well, but it has done more miles upwards than on the road. There is not much room in the back and the quality of trim is not that good. Servicing costs can be horrific and running costs not that great with low twenties per gallon achieved and high emissions.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th October, 2003

3rd Dec 2006, 09:24

I totally disagree. I got mines at 59K miles. I've done 16K miles so far and I've replaced the timing belt as you normally would at 72K miles, brake pads, Mass air sensor which was faulty from the moment I got the car. but that's it!.. everything else is perfect!

7th Jun 2008, 05:48

I really want an Alfa, but many of the reviews on this site seem to be stating that they're a fantastic car to drive and to look at, but that there are serious reliability problems with them.

25th Jun 2008, 13:57

We had endless key problems on our 156 1.8TS, and spent over £1000 trying to fix it.  After new keys, recoding, software and then a new ignition immobiliser surround at the main dealer, the fix did not work and the car broke down sporadically many times with great inconvenience.

I note your point about turning the key slowly-we tried this and every other trick over many months, to no avail.

Along with other random faults, this particular fault caused endless hassle and expense, and even the expensive dealer could not fix it.  We sold the car, as this put us off the brand completely.