2001 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TS Tourismo 2 litre from UK and Ireland




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!

General Comments:

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

11th Sep 2004, 05:19

You describe this car as beautiful. Were you looking at it through a pair of binoculars held the wrong way while wearing scratched swimming goggles? It's the ugliest car in the entire history of motoring. Just take a look at the front end. The headlights that look like melting sea slugs, the ungainly offset regestration plate, the ghastly alfa badge protruding & dominating the bonnet, the hideous air intakes. Please contact your local eye doctor immediately. If you STILL think it's beautiful, seek psychiatric advice.

2001 Alfa Romeo 156 Selespeed 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Full of character, but with flaws


Suspect rear wheel bearings worn. Intermittent squeal from rear end, but dealer hasn't been able to pinpoint what the problem is yet.

Rear trailing arm bushes worn.

Noisy gearbox. Dealer suggests to strip down gearbox and rebuild. Thankfully this is covered by the warranty.

Interior rattles. Has been fixed by inserting cardboard in the appropriate places.

General Comments:

Fantastic performance at mid-high revs and great gearbox once you mastered it. Exceptional audio quality from the charismatic engine. No need for the stereo. Only the squealing from the real wheels ruins the soundtrack.

Handling is excellent for a front wheel drive, but lacks feel in comparison to a BMW therefore difficult to sense when the car is on the limit.

Ride height is impractically low as the car constantly grounds over country roads. The sport suspension is too firm and uncomfortable over bumpy roads.

Dealer service is awful and expensive in comparison to BMW.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th August, 2003