2003 Alfa Romeo 156 TS 1.8 TS from Greece


Clock in the dashboard would not work.

Nothing else (although very early to show any signs of unreliability)

General Comments:

A beauty by itself. Superb car inside and out. Be original... not a follower.

Any second thoughts of buying an Audi A4 or Ford Mondeo or BMW 318 instead, will quickly go away after test-driving it.

This is a ¨girlfriend car¨ not a ¨wife car¨...a very pretty girlfriend too. You can easily forgive any minor problems after a good night out...

Best car from a historical name.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd February, 2004

2003 Alfa Romeo 156 selespeed 2.0 twin spark from Singapore


A high performance bargain


Nothing so far.

General Comments:

Alfa 156 represents Italian style and design. It takes the concept of a sporting saloon and gives it a thoroughly modern interpretation, elegant and comfortable, dynamic and reliable, capable of offering top-quality driving with exceptional control. My car also has top quality interior, sports leather, lavish equipment and a powerful engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th January, 2004

2003 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TS 2.0 from El Salvador


Great looking... Great performer


Nothing so far.

General Comments:

Great car, love the way it handles even though a bit stiff for city driving in country highways is a delight.

Love the red lighting on the dashboard at night and the way the whole interior is totally coordinated.

The Bose stereo system is very good and upgrades are not necessary.

Build quality has greatly improved over my previous Alfa, a 33S16V, which I loved until the day I trade it for this one.

The car is fairly new so there are no glitches yet, but for what can be predicted, will have no problems with it for the next few years. At last, an Alfa that can play with BMW head to head and beat it in certain areas.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th December, 2003

2003 Alfa Romeo 156 JTS Veloce Selespeed 2.0 from UK and Ireland


A sleek, stylish pleasure to drive


Nothing yet, but it's early days (!!)

General Comments:

You read a lot of complaints about the Selespeed, but I think they've improved it a lot.

It still takes some getting used to and I think you are better off shifting manually rather than relying on the "city" mode, which seems to stay in first too long for smooth starts (which must be why some report lurchiness at low speeds). More fundamentally, City mode doesn't let you fully take advantage of the performance on downshifting, engine braking etc., which would be a shame to miss out on. It's fantastic!

Once you get used to shifting, it is very smooth. Do not drive it like a full automatic, which it is not. Whether in automatic or manual shift mode you need to ease off the throttle on the upshift to get a nice smooth change, so you might as well pay attention to the revs and shift manually to time the change/throttle properly to avoid lurches and other surprises. Don't stay too long in first unless you are gunning it.

Selespeed gives you really quick automatic double-clutch on downshifts at speed, which sounds incredible and pushes you nicely back into the seat.

It's not a sports car, but it's got lots of headroom at motorway speeds.

Something I'm still sorting out is how they've programmed the selespeed to automatically downshift as you slow down, meaning that if you are coming into a fast turn and try to downshift yourself you may unexpectedly drop two gears. Not nice.

Steering is a very nice weight and although the suspension is a bit stiff I don't think it's as bad as people complain. It is a very confident car in fast corners.

I've only had it over 500 miles so far, but for what it's worth nothing's gone wrong, even with the electronics (which I assumed would have a glitch or two by now). I think they've done a lot to improve build quality.

Storage space is the only obvious problem so far (but I knew this from the test drive). The glove box can't even house the owners manual, and the various storage compartments really can't take anything more than a deck of cards. The boot is not very large either. But you know all this.

I think you get a lot of value: much cheaper than what you pay for a 3 series to get the same performance, same for Audi TT, Audi A4, Mercedes SLK etc. (assuming the reliability holds for me, of course!!)

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

Review Date: 30th November, 2003

6th Jan 2004, 05:16

I have owned my 156 JTS Selespeed for twelve months now and really hammered it. I have found the car excellent in all departments especially the Selespeed. I drive in City mode all the time and override with manual shifting as I want. I have had no trouble.

I've had some problems especially Lambda sensor problems, but they are being sorted out and the Australian distributor is as helpful as any customer could ask.

Australian conditions are the harshest in the world bar none. The roads are hard on suspension, chassis and any other build issues. Only the toughest survive. The 156 has been trim taut and terrific.

Airconditoning is superb and it needs to be with average summer temperatures where I am in the high 30s all the time and occasionally the 40s Celsius that is.

I also have a Spider as my fun car!