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.

2002 Alfa Romeo 156 GTA 3.2 V6 from UK and Ireland


Great looking car, but not quite good enough for the money


Built in mobile phone didn't work from new.

Jacking point cover was broken from new.

Radio security card tray was broken from new.

3 keys stopped working in 2 years.

General Comments:

The GTA is a great car to be in, it looks great from the outside and the cabin is nicely finished, well laid out and better built that I was expecting.

The engine is terrific, power right the way through the revs and it sounds great, only problem is that it can't manage to put 250PS through the front wheels, does a good job with all the electronic gizmos, but most of the time you can't use the power.

Likewise with the handling, it is good, but not up to the rivals.

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

Review Date: 17th November, 2004

17th Feb 2008, 03:40

I'm sorry, I just have to correct that statement.. it's my duty as a 156 GTA owner to inform you that you can indeed use the power. Drive in one with a friend, or go to the dealers and drive one. Don't be too hasty to knock the GTA until you have driven it.

You'll see just how red your blood is, your veins will swell up to your skin under the intensity of your pulsing/palpitating heart, you'll find yourself smiling for no apparent reason, the noise of the V6 engine will ring in your head for a long long time, may even induce sleeptalking (only this time you won't get into trouble for calling out another womans name in your sleep),innocent bystanders will admire you not for who you are, but for what you drive.

Sorry, driving a GTA is a constant rush. That is the only medication I take. 250mg of GTA.. everyday

15th Mar 2008, 18:39

250 bhp through the front wheels has never been achieved totally successfully, and the Alfa is no exception.

It is not as bad as made out though, and certainly not unusable.