1 Aug 1999
Alfa's “new” 166 was a long-time coming, delayed for a number of years as the Italians deliberated over aspects of its styling and interior presentation.
The exterior predates that of the the 156, even though the model arrived over a year later in Europe.
As a high-performance luxury sedan, it’s main appeal is its fulsome Italian character, aided by a strong and sonorous 166kW/275Nm 3.0-litre quad-cam V6, married to a clever sequential-shift four-speed auto gearbox.
The lines are svelte but not 156-pretty, while the cabin leans more toward a sporting feel than most of the competition.
The 166 is charming but feels nose heavy to drive. Rear seat space is disappointingly tight.
An interior makeover arrived in May 2001, along with a much higher level of luxury.
This took the 166 through to its minor mid-2004 facelift, which couldn’t come soon enough for the slow-selling Italian.