Fleet-friendly Alfa 159 leaves too much to be desired on quality and refinement to rival the best in class
  • First Drive

    Alfa Romeo 159 2.0 JTDm

    Fleet-friendly Alfa 159 leaves too much to be desired on quality and refinement to rival the best in class
  • First Drive

    Alfa 159 Sportwagon 1750

    If you’re after a slightly left-field choice, it has real appeal

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75

15 April 2011

If anyone's even briefly considered buying an Alfa Romeo 159 the last car they're going to actually buy is a bloody Ford Mondeo! They're the opposite ends of desirability! You buy a Ford Mondeo because you have to or need to not want to; I'd never compare one with an Alfa...

15 April 2011

Well, sounds like a completely different car from the 1750 turbo recently tested in Autocar which got a pretty glowing review..... Can the engine really have made such a difference to the rest of the car?? Just the usual Autocar inconsistency between journalists I suppose. I wonder how the 159 beat the 3-Series(and every other rival) in every dynamic test in the German run master-test with journalists from all over Europe driving thousands of miles on European roads and on track with professional drivers... strange isn't it? Or why CAR couldn't seperate it from the 3-Series so had to include both cars in their yearly top 10.. I've driven a 2.4jtd for a few thousand miles and find reviews like this pretty bemusing to be honest. The steering/handling are superb. The 159 is a great car, not just a pretty face.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5zzwuiJLD0

16 April 2011

[quote montgomery]The 159 is a great car, not just a pretty face[/quote]

I owned a 1.9 jtd 16v sedan for 2 years and I still own a 2008 2.4 jtd TI estate but I think "great" it's a bit too much. Nowadays I often drive my dad's 2010 Bmw 330d estate and the Alfa struggles in the comparison: seating position is the first thing you notice, you never feel confortable: in long trips it's a big fault. The Alfa steering is more direct but feels "epmty" at the centre. The Alfa feels heavier when you push harder, tyre noise is unpleasant at every speed and fuel economy is worse. Said so, I tried the 2.0 170 hp and I rather keep the 2.4 210hp, the 2.0 maybe more frugal but lacks charter and shove.

Said so, the 159 looks still beatiful, the brakes are strong and very progressive, better than BMW ones (the TI got upgraded brakes though), the engine is still good even if it can't beat 330d savage thrust and on the handling side the 159 is one of the more safe cars I ever driven, even if you try to provoke unpleasant reactions the car responds in very predictable ways. If you switch off esp/vdc the BMW may reserve you some bad surprise on a icy road, not the 159. So I'm not surprised by master test results you were talking about.

Sadly this car had been abandoned by Alfa, especially in here in Italy where at the beginnings it sold well. A weight reduction programme and a restyling was planned but never took place.

I still love the 159, in fact I didn't sold it even if I got a Golf VI 1.6 tdi as company car last year. I put the 159 on sale but the money they offered me was very little so I decided to keep it, it is in perfect shape!

19 April 2011

Wow big surprise another poor review from Autocar because it is a Alfa Romeo and not a Ford, Range Rover or a BMW. Firstly I would not be one to call a car that has just become 5 years old to be 'rather elderly'. I also think that the 159 has one of the best quality and best designed interiors on sale in any car today and it is a diesel saloon. I do not understand how the material quality was a 'little shoddy' too considering the amount of praise you guys give the terrible interior of the Mondeo. Cheap shiny plastics everywhere. Also again how many times do I have to say it but really honestly Autocar, how many people really care that their diesel saloon is 'no sports car'?? Mr Saunders are you really trying to say that you would rather drive a Mondeo TDCI than this Alfa? C'mon guys start reviewing the cars in the real world.

19 April 2011

this car is so beautiful. it would be perfect if it were a blend of 156 and 159, and SMALLER! Hope the redesign for the Giulia doesn't ruin it though... (Don't really trust Marchione's taste in cars of he allowed these atrocities to be named Lancias...)

19 April 2011

The 159 has not been totally abandoned by Alfa and is a far better car than it was at launch.

Here's hoping the Giulia is the step forward that is needed.

However, I can't see Autocar liking it, it has the wrong badge..

19 April 2011

[quote CarDesign] Hope the redesign for the Giulia doesn't ruin it though... (Don't really trust Marchione's taste in cars of he allowed these atrocities to be named Lancias...)[/quote]

What I'm afraid of is that the Giulia is aiming USA, and it must concur their taste. When they try to design globally accepted cars,there are lots of compromises, and usually they get stuck with something amorphous.

19 April 2011

After the Bulbous nosed MiTo and the poorly detailed Guilietta (grotesque tail light LED`s) the 159 will probaly be the last beautiful, restrained Alfa until car designers decide handsome is back in fashion.

Sure its dating a bit but its ageing with dignity and class, no cologen infused facelift needed for the one.

19 April 2011

[quote jonfortwo]poorly detailed Guilietta (grotesque tail light LED`s)[/quote] isn't it funny how everyone's different - it is the detailing and especially the rear lights that i like about the giulietta!

19 April 2011

[quote jonfortwo]

After the Bulbous nosed MiTo and the poorly detailed Guilietta (grotesque tail light LED`s) the 159 will probaly be the last beautiful, restrained Alfa until car designers decide handsome is back in fashion.

Sure its dating a bit but its ageing with dignity and class, no cologen infused facelift needed for the one.

[/quote]

+1, I agree, although the Giulietta is growing on me. It has to have at least 17" wheels though or the rear arches just look huge.

If the leasing rates for the 159 had been reasonable or if Alfa's had been on any of my company car lists I'd have had a 159 like a shot.

I don't know of it is flawed or not and I don't care, it's too beautiful to worry about minor details.

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