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Car reviews - Alfa Romeo - 159 - 2.4 JTDM Sportwagon


Alfa's compact wagon now offers an auto, and a gutsy diesel in the 159 JTDM Sportwagon

24 Aug 2007

AFTER years of having to put up with the patchy Selespeed sequential transmission, buyers can finally choose a proper, fully automatic gearbox with their BMW 3 Series-rivalling Alfa Romeo. And don’t the specifications of the 159 Sportwagon 2.4 JTDM model look enticing – a six-speed auto with Tiptronic-style shifter 400Nm of pure and unadulterated torque 8.2L/100km fuel economy and the satisfaction of driving something that isn’t a cliché or default luxury-car choice... And all ensconced in a gorgeously designed touring wagon. Could we be talking about the European car of the year here?
Model release date: 1 March 2007 to 1 June 2012

Previous model

Alfa 156 JTS Sportwagon

Released: Jan 2003
Ended: Feb 2007
Family Tree: 159

Prettier wagons pretty much don’t exist, and the Alfa Romeo 156 Sportwagon has plenty of other attractions besides to lure you in. Like a gutsy 121lW/206Nm 2.0-litre twin-cam engine, a beaut five-speed manual gearbox, a cosy but stylish five-seater interior and some semblance of hatchback practicality. Did we say hatchback? Well, of course, when the Sportwagon’s pitiful load space is exceeded by the equally stunning 156 sedan’s, then that’s all you get here. And forget about going for the Selespeed sequential gearbox. We have been made aware of many reports of this transmission’s failures and jolty, jerky gearshifts, so stick with the manual instead.

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