Minor electrical problems when car first purchased. Most were resolved after 1 or 2 trips to the dealer.
Airbag warning lights are now on permanently, and it's going to cost me £250 to have a new ECU fitted.
Some interior cabin quality problems - glove box door kept falling off. This was finally fixed after 2 trips to the dealer. Also a few annoying creaks here and there, but these are to be expected after 50,000 miles.
Hopelessly unreliable fuel tank indicator - you'd better use the trip meter instead and get to a petrol station every 350 miles!
Almost 3 years after importing this car from Ireland, I still think it's one of the best looking, handsome, beautiful, distinctive saloons on the road. It's absolutely stunning.
Reviews from other 156 owners suggest that when you "invest" in an Alfa, you either get a gem or a lemon. Fortunately, mine's a gem (he says, touching as much wood as can be found).
With the exception of (relatively expensive) routine servicing and tyre replacement, I haven't spent a penny more on this beautiful, speedy vehicle.
Rear passenger space, and boot capacity certainly aren't best in class, but they're suffice for me and my young family. As my kids get older, I suspect I'll need a more practical car than this.
The engine, gearbox, steering, and general handling of this car are the best I've ever driven, and I really look forward to driving it every day. That's some achievement given I've had it for almost 3 years.
On the downside though, it's quite a thirsty beast if driven hard. I do high mileage, and can squeeze 32 miles per gallon on the motorway if driven conservatively. A typical average is 26 mpg though.
And depreciation has been ridiculous. Not such an issue if you intend to hold on to the vehicle for a while, but otherwise, probably makes a better second-hand buy.
Dealers - they're not great. Servicing is expensive, parts can take an age to arrive from Italy, and they never return phone calls! But I've noticed an improvement in the last 12 months - perhaps they're starting to take notice of Alfa's appalling record in the reliability surveys (JD Power et al)...
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th September, 2003