2002 Alfa Romeo 156 Selespeed 2.0 Twin Spark from Thailand


Do not give it to your wife and keep it close to you at all times


Beside the gear shift mount on either side, I found black resin which can be smeared off. I'm not sure if this is due to the heat, but I found a similar spot beside the driver and front passenger seat handles to raise and lower the seat. This could be due to Thailand's humidity compared to places in Europe. I understand Alfa Romeo parts were imported from Italy and then assembled in "Rayong" between 2000 - 2002.

No service manual came with the car and the previous owner also never had one.

Sometimes the light bulb warning light came on and when the rear left light was not working.

General Comments:

I love the Selespeed and it handles much better than my other car - Honda Civic 2.0 (2004) at higher speeds.

The 17" Alfa mags that came with it looks great.

The performance on this car and the engine sound that comes out of it cnnot be compared and can be addictive at high rpms.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd May, 2007

2002 Alfa Romeo 156 Sportwagon 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Such potential let down by poor manufacture and service


Faulty electrics. The sidelight warning kept coming on when the sidelight was still operational.

Air con is the most ineffective air con I've ever used.

Clutch judder since new which the dealership refuse to acknowledge because they haven't managed to replicate it yet.

Bonnet catch fails and the car has had to be recalled.

I appear to have a bent suspension, but haven't been in an accident so I must have done this knocking a kerb whilst parking.

3 year warranty comes with the car, but the dealerships will not support this if you are at all late on your service (even by just a month).

Poor complaints procedure. Is there a complaints team to handle complaints about the complaints team?

Authorized dealerships quoted me a service price on the telephone, upped the price when I arrived for the service and then added VAT. I walked out in disgust.

General Comments:

Great handling. the car sits into the corners and never feels like it will leave the road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th June, 2005

14th Jul 2005, 09:23

On going complaint re faulty bonnet catch. Received recall notice after bonnet lifted while doing 40 mph. Claimed on insurance. Lost no claims bonus and had to part with £150 excess. Have complained to Alfa Romeo, as consider they are at fault, and our losses should be reimbursed. Still no further forward 8 months down the line. Appalling customer service and complaints procedure. Calls not returned, letters unanswered for weeks. Am disappointed and frustrated.

2002 Alfa Romeo 156 from Australia and New Zealand


A huge disappointment


Control Motor Failure message appears often.

Engine has been replaced after 1 year.

CD System has been replaced.

Brake pedal has been replaced.

Noise coming from the dash board.

Noise coming from the gearbox.

General Comments:

I brought this car in 2002. It was the car that I dreamed about. I love Italian car, s. This car caught my attention right away.

However my dream is turned into a nightmare, were everything has gone wrong.

I am so upset over all the problems I am having with my 2 year old car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th December, 2004

5th Jan 2005, 00:52

Agreed with you. Sold my E36 once I've own Alfa.

Presently own two Alfa -146Ti and 156TS.Start seeing problem after two years on 156TS and has spend at least USD1,500 in repairing (Selespeed motor & actuator) minus another USD1,000 in maintenance or servicing & tyre.

146Ti is a better car however the suspension design is not as good as 156TS which is too firm however has no problem at all after driving for the passed 5 years.

Both cars can easily hit 210km/hr without any modification.

It has speed, beauty and Italian charisma which is in need in todays automobile market, but need to improve on the robustness of the build.

17th Jun 2005, 05:08

I bought a 2001 156 1.8 twinspark about 18 months ago. All I can say about the car is that it has brought the joy of driving back, It has power, style, panache. You don't own an Alfa Romeo, you have a love affair with one.

14th Sep 2009, 06:33

I have owned a 2002 156 JTS for 3+ years now. Yes it drives brilliantly, yes it looks nice, but it is without doubt the most unreliable car I have owned, backed by the rip off dealers who fix them.

I have found myself looking at the 159 with some stupid ideas of buying one... but I will never allow myself to buy an Alfa again. Such a disappointment, so many headaches - it hurts just thinking about it. Do yourself a favour, if you read this before you buy one - take note and save yourself before it's too late :(

26th Nov 2009, 05:44

Were all in the same boat here. Yes it's a nice car and fun to drive, but reliability is just a downer, I am getting my Selespeed actuator repaired. I hope it gets fixed. I spent so much money and time on this car.. rather than driving it LOL.

11th Jan 2011, 18:49

I have experienced all the problems with the Selespeed. My recommendation is just get a new Selespeed, do not ever buy second hand, as it will only last several months, and you are back to square one. Get a new one, and wow it is a wonderful car! I don't care how much I spent, I will keep it, and buy the 159 later on. It is addictive.