2004 Alfa Romeo 156 Reviews

2004 Alfa Romeo 156 M-Jet 2.4 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 2.4 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.8 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance40000 miles
Previous carAlfa Romeo 156

Summary:

Love it!

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

Ride and quality are superb compared to Alfas of old. Definitely better on the facelift over the older 156 too.

Dealer service pretty much spot on.

Amazing performance, especially after having it remapped up to 235bhp by Celtic Tuning www.celtictuning.co.uk

Looking forward to a 159 2.4 20v M-Jet 200bhp, so hopefully can get more power out of it...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st February, 2006

16th Feb 2006, 13:51

That is one serious power hike. Must be amazing to drive - I personally thought the standard car was pretty impressive.

What are the torque figures now?

2004 Alfa Romeo 156 JTD Lusso Multijet 2.4 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Model year2004
Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.4 turbo diesel Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance8500 miles
Previous carSkoda Octavia

Summary:

Drive one and you will be converted

Faults:

Remote boot release intermittent - replaced under warranty.

General Comments:

There seems to be 2 categories of Alfa owners, those that are very happy and those that have had a really bad time with dealers and vehicle unreliability.

I have to admit that after reading the various reviews scattered around the place that I was in two minds whether to go for an Alfa or opt for something else. Having test driven various Swedish & German machinery I took out a 156 for a spin. Twenty minutes later and very impressed a deal was struck and I was the proud owner of a black 156 JTD Lusso Multijet.

Working in automotive Quality Assurance means I know a thing or two about build quality - the Alfa does not disappoint its not quite up to the build quality of the premium marques, but is more than acceptable and as good as if not better better than most in this price range.

Driving the car is a dream, the engine is outstanding with an awesome blend of power, torque and economy. In practice this means that there is always enough power on hand for any occasion with fuel consumption in the forties.

Performance wise its not a sprinter, acceleration is adequate, along the lines of a Golf GTI, but its true forte is in the 60 - 120 MPH range where it is more than a match for most vehicles on the road. Comfort and handling are more adequate for my driving style, I reach my limit before the car does.

As far as dealer service goes I am more than happy with the PLC where I bought my Alfa. Service is efficient friendly and speedy, but expensive, but then if you want to run a car like an Alfa it is a small price to pay.

Would I buy another one? so far yes, it remains to be seen over the next two years how it measures up. My previous car was one of the first post VW Octavias. We all know how VW turned that Marque around. I suspect Fiat will do the same with Alfa Romeo.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th January, 2005

22nd Jan 2005, 02:25

I think you are totally right on built quality of recent Alfas. It seems that even they are not up to scratch, they are way better than reputation suggests. On the other hand, the lack of constant quality of parts is a real let down- I mean I had my 147's anti roll bar replaced under warranty to cure the infamous silent- block noises only to find out (after a week) that the new and supposedly reinforced bar was also defective...

2004 Alfa Romeo 156 JTS Veloce 2.0 16v petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.0 16v petrol Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired350 miles
Most recent distance29500 miles
Previous carPeugeot 406

Summary:

Gorgeous, but too flaky and unreliable.

Faults:

Air conditioning failed at 4,000 miles.

Broke down completely at just over 6,000 miles. Faulty air mass meter diagnosed. 4 week wait for the part!

Rear suspension banging and knocking from 10,000 miles. After the third attempt, the dealer has quietened it massively, but it's still there over sharp bumps.

Erratic idle developed around the same time. This took four attempts to fix and the magic cure was simply to clean out a stepper motor. No parts needed.

Heater temperature adjustment dial stopped working.

Gear linkage has needed adjusting twice.

Clutch judder just rearing its ugly head.

General Comments:

Drop dead gorgeous and fantastic to drive. Makes a frankly trouser-stirring noise, goes like stink and provides its driver with a sense of occasion that 3-series and A4 buyers simply wouldn't understand. Unfortunately, it is still too unreliable and flaky to be a serious prospect as an everyday car and the dealer and spares backup is truly appalling.

The car is worth much less than the outstanding finance on it, and I refuse to continue to shell out for another 2 years on a terminally unreliable and freefall depreciating car, so I will be returning it to the finance company as soon as the payments are half over later this year and walking away.

If this were a second car I would probably live with the problems, but encouraged by a friend with an utterly reliable 156, I let my heart rule my head and bought this pristine ex-demo model. I can honestly say I've regretted it from the moment the problems kicked off.

As another reviewer has said on this site, I didn't expect Germanic reliability, but neither did I expect 12 dealer visits in the first year (several for the same thing!), and a total of 11 weeks off the road waiting for parts! I also expected a bit more than 4,000 miles before things started crapping out. I know not all 156's are like this, but it's somehow more worrying that they vary so severely. At least if they were all dogs, people who bought them would be prepared.

Despite all this, I don't dislike the car. As I said, for a second car cum weekend toy type thing, it's superb, but you can't rely on it to do anything else. Very disappointing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th January, 2005

6th Jan 2005, 15:31

After all these problems, am supposing youre looking back for the good old pug. Not all brands are like PUGs.

26th Feb 2005, 20:15

A PUG!! you must be joking, I traded my 156 for a Lexus IS300, very reliable.

4th Mar 2005, 14:49

Sorry you had a bad experience - but I am on my second 156. The first one I had for 3 years - it did not hiccup once and cost me next to nothing to run - used a specialist Alfa mechanic. I am now running an new 156 which is even more georgeous and even better to drive. And more importantly I don't look like everyone else in a BMW/ Audi and not a photocopy of a German car which is the Lexus. Lexus is perfectly fine, but has no soul and no character.

Average review marks: 8.5 / 10, based on 4 reviews