How to get one in your garage:
An expert’s view, Julian Milne, Alfa Aid: “The Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon is a great car to look at, to drive and to own but it has its problems. The front subframe corrodes badly. On the 2.4 diesel, it’s caused by the underbody insulation trapping water and, on other models, simply by poor rust protection. The 2.2 petrol has timing chain issues and the 3.2 V6 is thirsty. All the diesels need a thrashing once a week to keep their emissions systems in shape. If you can find one, the 1.75 TBi petrol is the 159 to buy. Full service history is good but you want to make sure any advisories were attended to, as well.”
ENGINE - On the 2.2 JTS, an engine warning light could signify cam chain issues. On petrol engines, the same light may mean inlet manifold flap issues. It can jam, restricting the performance to, at best, 50mph. Diesel engines suffer exhaust gas recirculation valve issues, including sticking open and delaying power until around 3000rpm. On 1.9 diesels, water pump bearings can seize, taking the cambelt with them.Alsoon the 1.9 JTDM, check for oil smoke, and beware of turbo and oil pump problems. On the 2.4 diesel, a cambelt change at 60,000 miles is good to see.
TRANSMISSION - Listen for noise in the upper gears caused by worn bearings in the gearbox end case. If you hear clunking on a diesel as you let the clutch out, it’s probably the dual mass flywheel.
SUSPENSION - Check for heavy and uneven front tyre wear on all models. It’s generally a geometry issue, felt by the car tramlining. It may also be caused by wear in the upper top wishbones. Listen for the component rattling and expect the bushes to need replacing.
BODY - Check for front subframe corrosion and for general floorpan corrosion.
INTERIOR - Check the rear windows operate. Failure is often caused by lack of use and they may only be seized.
Also worth knowing:
Is the suspension squeaky? Sometimes it’s just wear and tear in the upper top wishbones but aftermarket polyurethane bushes, which are popular with enthusiast drivers because they sharpen up the handling, may also be to blame. Having them fitted properly in the first place and then making sure they’re regularly lubricated is often the solution.