2005 Alfa Romeo 156 Reviews

2005 Alfa Romeo 156 TI 1.9 JTDm from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.9 JTDm Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired1 miles
Most recent distance9300 miles
Previous carMercedes-Benz A-Class

Summary:

A great car to own and, especially, to drive

Faults:

The speedometer had to be replaced at 9,000 miles, as although it worked fine, it was delivering the wrong information to the on-board computer.

General Comments:

A reliable, enjoyable, agile car that always leaves a smile on my face. I've owned it for 15 months and it is always a pleasure to take it for a spin. The engine is superb, delivering torque and power in an seemingly effortless manner, and achieving 46 mpg on regular motorway journeys.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd January, 2007

2005 Alfa Romeo 156 Multijet 150 BHP TI 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.9 turbo diesel Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired1 miles
Most recent distance5500 miles
Previous carMercedes-Benz A-Class

Summary:

A fantastic sport saloon with great handling matched to a superb engine

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

In terms of the driving position my only complaint is that the accelerator and brake pedals are a bit to close. The legroom for the rear passengers is adequate, but not generous. The design is absolutely gorgeous, and you feel completely in control when driving it. The engine is wonderful, with loads of torque and extremely smooth. You can only tell it's a diesel when the engine is idling at low revs. That is combined with very good fuel efficiency, that always gives me more than 46 mpg.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th June, 2006

2005 Alfa Romeo 156 Veloce JTD M-Jet 2.4 20v turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.4 20v turbo diesel Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.4 / 10
Distance when acquired350 miles
Most recent distance8400 miles
Previous carFord Mondeo

Summary:

Heart and soul with perfect useability

Faults:

Heater blower fan died after a week. Sorted with no hassle under warranty.

General Comments:

Managed to pick up this car pre-registered from an Alfa dealer for over UKP 7,000 off list. It had been used as a demonstrator, and so came with a healthy sprinkling off the options list.

This is a very pretty car. It's finished in Gabbiano Blue which is a metallic grey/blue similar to the Moonstone used by Ford on the older Cosworth models. My car also has full leather, the Comfort Pack with heated front seats and lumbar adjust on the drivers seat, the Winter Pack with rain and mist sensors, Xenon headlights, and headlight wash wipe. Other extras include a fabulous upgrade Bose hi-fi system, an electric sunroof, and parking sensors on top of an already generous standard spec. I was able to pick up this car, with a new list price of just over UKP 24,000, for just UKP 16,700.

I will admit that taking on an Alfa was a tough decision. Having spoken to Alfa owners I tended to hear stories of either total delight or total despair. Very few were indifferent. After deciding to go ahead, I was very worried when the heater blower packed up in the first week, but the car was instantly sorted by the dealer under warranty. Since then, the car literally hasn't put a foot wrong.

To drive, it's fabulous. Although some still consider the idea of a diesel Alfa to be sacrilege, the 2.4 JTD M-Jet is exactly what you would expect Alfa's take on diesel power to be. In other words, quick. It pulls like a train from 1,500 RPM right through to its 5,000 RPM limit with no flat spots or hesitation, and makes a wonderful noise as it does so. Another review likens it to an Audi Quattro, and that's exactly how I would describe it too. A lovely gruff warble with no hint of diesel rattle, overlaid with turbo and induction noise. Punch in any gear is instantaneous and relentless. Economy is even respectable, the car returning 38-40 mpg with relatively hard use.

The handling is also very good, although there is more understeer at the limit than I was expecting which is presumably due to the big diesel engine hanging over the front wheels. The ride is on the firm side too, and can be a little crashy over the typical dilapidated British road surface. It's nothing I can't live with though. Overall it feels taut and sporting, with very "direct" and quick steering offering plenty of feel. Weighting is a little light, but no worse than my old Mondeo, and far better than anything from VW/Audi.

I have also been impressed with the build quality and attention to detail that the car offers. The interior is very attractive design with hooded dials that remind me of classic Italian sports cars like the Lamborghini Miura. I also like the additional central dials which angle towards the driver, and the stylish controls for the heating and air conditioning. The leather trim is also very pleasing, with a certain texture and smell that only the Italians seem capable of producing. The embossed Alfa logos on the seat backs are a nice detail, as are the stainless "Alfa Romeo" kickplates. Build quality and fit and finish are flawless.

I am delighted with this car quite honestly, and although I have no plans to change it just yet, I have got my eye on the gorgeous new 159 which now boasts a 200 bhp version of this engine. However, such is the depreciation of the 156, I plan to get some use and enjoyment out of it first.

People who buy 3 series BMW's, Mercedes C-Class or Audi A4's simply would never understand the appeal of an Alfa, and to me that adds to the appeal of ownership. Any clod can go out and buy a conservative German car that every magazine test tells you is fabulous, but for those who crave something a bit different, and a bit more exciting, that appeals about as much as having your teeth extracted with a pair of molegrips. As I sit in my Italian leather seats, look at that evocative badge on the wheel boss, hear that engine sing its heart out, and feel the steering weight changing with road surface conditions, I realise I at last "get" Alfas. I have no interest in bland, cloned boxes (German or otherwise) any more, and I am converted.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th December, 2005

7th Dec 2005, 16:05

Nice to read a quality review on the 156. I have driven the 20v multijet and it has to be one of the very best diesel engines around. I drive a 156 gta and love this to bits too. so that's two very happy people with a 156. great.

9th Dec 2005, 19:08

It is great to hear someone tell the TRUTH about Alfas. Also the Fiat/Alfa diesel engines are probably the best available. I feel sorry for people who drive bland, boring cars (german, japanese etc. I myself have an Italian car. They are fantastic.

2005 Alfa Romeo 156 Crosswagon Q4 1.9 JTD Multijet 150 HP from Poland

Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.9 JTD Multijet 150 HP Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired0 kilometres
Most recent distance3500 kilometres
Previous carAlfa Romeo 156

Summary:

Racing chassis under off-road skin

Faults:

Speedometer needle jams at 90 km/h.

Wipers are loud.

The dashboard is noisy.

General Comments:

Crosswagon is a recent 4x4 version of 156 with bigger wheels and body raised by 6.5 cm.

After 3 years with great Alfa 156 2.0 JTS I've decided to address some minor weaknesses of the car and thus purchased a Crosswagon.

The diesel engine is more economical, it is also not loud and strong. However 2.0 JTS is much better performer.

Raised suspension still gives an excellent handling, in some conditons even better than 2wd model.

It is not an off-road vehicle. Ground clearance is mere 15 cm and under-body is not protected, only covered with plastic plate.

The 4wd system is state of art and provides plenty of grip.

In Poland, on bumpy country roads it is a great car.

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

Review Date: 30th June, 2005

23rd Dec 2007, 05:43

Two years later I still like this car. Reliability issues apply only to front suspension elements (both upper wishbones and stabilizer bar had to be replaced) but all the rest including interior is as before.

31st Mar 2013, 07:42

Hello, I am thinking of buying used AR 156 Q4 with 115000 km on clock, the same model as reviewed, and it would we fantastic if you could give some more info on the car after all these years.

Best regards, Marko.

2005 Alfa Romeo 156 TS 2.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture2005
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.6 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance15000 miles
Previous carAlfa Romeo Alfasud Sprint / Sprint

Summary:

Flawed beauty

Faults:

Long running nightmare with immobilzer that would not disengage.

General Comments:

Whenever I drive another car, I appreciate the handling of the Alfa. I want to love the car, but the unreliability combined with terrible (and expensive)dealer service means that I will now replace it with a VW.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th April, 2005

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 5 reviews