2003 Alfa Romeo 156 JTS Veloce Selespeed from UK and Ireland - Comments

24th Jan 2004, 18:28

I'm sorry, but I really don't think your semi-auto Alfa is in the same league as the cars you have mentioned. However maybe it is more comfortable and exec than a "few" of them. Maybe it is a match for your Almera GTI's, Megane Coupe 16v, and Astra MK3 GSI's. I don't think so though because these manual monsters (same c.c) would leave it in the stands (almost).

3rd Feb 2004, 11:50

Leave what in the stands? A 2.0 litre Alfa will blow any (non-turbo) 4 cylinder BMW / Audi / Mercedes of similar engine size into the weeds.

12th Feb 2004, 05:38

Having read various comments on this excellent forum I'm a bit concerned now about the performance of my 2000 X reg 156 2.0 TS Manual.

I have had the car Alfa Dealer serviced at 43k miles however I find that performance wise it leaves me feeling frustrated. I find that when pulling away at roundabouts etc. other standard cars always seem to leap away from me and I only get "thrust" once the revs reach 3500k then off we go!

I find this annoying seeing as it is not a turbo and that unless I'm prepared to site there building revs like some demented boy racer or wannabe Jensen Button, the car just doesn't out perform cars that it should do. I had an older 1.4 Astra estate beat me off the mark yesterday and felt like hiding in the boot!...aaaarh!

I used to own 2.0 GLX Mondeo which was a good all round performer and prior to that a Saab 9000 Turbo... now that's what I call fast!! (turbo lag accepted)

Any further comments would be appreciated.

Cheers.

Tony.

27th Feb 2004, 15:37

You say you have a manual 156, so I'm surprised you are pulling off slowly. A feature of the Selespeed gearbox is that it sometimes wants to stay in 2nd when pulling off from a rolling start at times you would rather be in 1st, which naturally makes it lag until 3500 rpm, but I would have thought if you are starting in 1st you would experience that.

28th Feb 2004, 14:41

An Astra 1.4?

Tony, There must be something wrong with your 156 and I hope you can get it sorted out so you can enjoy your 156 the way it was intended.

I'm not saying the 156 is a sports car, and, lets face it, no matter how good a car the 156 is (and I think it's a great car, even with flaws taken into account), there are plenty of cars on the road which will outsprint a 2L Alfa, but these are generally going to have more than 2L under the bonnet (and before you jump all over that comment, yes, the Lotus Elise, Audi TT and a number of others are under 2L and will handily outsprint an Alfa 156- I agree). Maybe your anti-slip regulation is off? Maybe the engine needs to be checked out? If I put the petal to the floor, no 1.4L engine is going to catch me.

29th Mar 2004, 07:17

Unless it's in a bike of course, when a third of that will do it.

21st Apr 2004, 09:19

Interesting comments! May I add my two penneth to confirm that my 2.0 JTS 156 Alfa will indeed blow away the majority of hot hatches (147 3.2 excluded of course!). Indeed it holds it's own against my mates VW 2.8 4-motion Golf. A fantastic package and engine for the price, and no boring Germanic styling either!

10th Nov 2004, 08:57

I too have a 156 Selespeed and find it enormous fun. No it is Not an out and out sports car, but it is more fun than a Merc C class, Audi A4 or BMW 3 series. (S4,M3 and 330I excluded of course.) It always leaves me smiling and once you learn to drive the selespeed properly is as relaxed, refined or sporty as you want it to be.

I have owned several 156's now and have found them to be very reliable, excepting a few minor niggles such as squeaking chairs and/or dashboards. (Just make sure you check the oil regularly!!!) I have always been wary of the Selespeeds reputation, but my 04 car promised an all new Selespeeed box and to date it has perfromed flawlessly. Fuel economy running costs and purchase price all knock the other prestige brands into a cocked hat. The only real down sides that I can see are the horrendous depreciation (Buy second hand or shop around for a good import deal.) And the truly diabolical Alfa dealers. I no longer go to Alfa for ANYTHING to do with servicing, preferring to take my car to my local garage and forget about the warranty.

26th Nov 2004, 19:34

An enlightening forum.

My 156 is a Guigiaro-designed JTS. It's almost alarming to remember that under the consumate makeover, the 156 is essentially the same as was launched in 1997 (!)

Yet by Australian pricing, I believe it remains the best value for money mid-sized European sedan. With the approach of the 156 replacement, it should be remembered that this was a make or break car for Alfa and it's reasonable to expect the all-wheel-drive 157 to be a significant development.

Personally, I can hardly wait.

28th Dec 2004, 06:47

I believe that the owners who think that their 156s are underpowered are new to Alfas. The twin spark engines thrives on being revved and do not typically give you that light-footed or should I say "japanese-car" feeling. mid range punch is unbeatable for a car of similar engine capacity...!I have owned a 318 2.0 and it does not come even close to my 156.

28th Nov 2005, 17:00

Re the comments about no power at low revs - I have had 2 Alfa's (147 and now a second hand 156 (as well!) ) plus numerous Fiats - when you drive it, just remember that you have to drive like an Italian - no macho Italian male would ever attempt to drive away from a traffic light at less than 4000 revs!

The engines are superb so long as you give them some "welly" to work with :)

6th Jun 2006, 00:05

It sure is an interesting read. I myself am very new to the 156 selespeed and am still hunting a nice one down. I have always been led to believe Alfa's have had a checked past - it sounds like they may have sorted this out.

30th Aug 2007, 06:16

I've got a W-reg 156 selespeed; when I'm motorway driving, sometimes the digital gear display starts flashing - what does this mean??

17th Feb 2009, 11:28

I have owned a 156 Selespeed for 18 months now and love it. I spent about 3 months looking for the right one in black and post 2002, which is harder than you think, and touch wood have not had a problem. It's a great drive and I have not been overtaken or burnt at lights in a long long time.

For those with poor takeoff - it has to be a problem, I have more trouble holding back the wheel spin than poor acceleration.

10th May 2009, 04:59

Still looking for the right one for myself!

27th Nov 2009, 00:44

I hope my one will get reliable after spending a fortune on Selespeed and sensors. It's been going into the mechanic for the past 8 months...

24th Sep 2010, 21:11

I am considering buying a 2006 Alfa 156 JTS Selespeed. Are the 2006 Selespeeds more dependable than in the past? What are the service costs like? Feedback would be most welcome.

27th Sep 2010, 05:23

Well, I've had a 156 Selespeed (2001 model) and while I've had some other problems the actual Selespeed system itself has behaved itself and pretty much preformed faultlessly. *crosses fingers for luck*.

On the other hand, I've heard some Selespeed horror stories. The system itself is quite good, I enjoy it a lot. I'd imagine that a 2006 model will be better off than an earlier one.

Also you have the extra 10 HP from the JTS. *grin*

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