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Car reviews - Alfa Romeo - 159 - sedan range

Overview

Alfa Romeo's 156 medium sedan makes way for a thoroughly accomplished 159 successor

2 Jun 2006

AFTER seven years in Australia, Alfa’s 156 bows out of the market and makes way for the all-new 159. Because it succeeds a car that played a big role in re-establishing Alfa Romeo in Australia, the larger, heavier new car has a task ahead of it. Fortunately, with its thoroughly competitive pricing, bigger interior and new engines that don’t compromise the Alfa ideal, it appears the 159 could just do the job. The five-cylinder JTD turbo-diesel is powerful and economical the 2.2-litre JTS petrol surprisingly smooth and responsive. Only some skittishness in rough-road handling spoils an otherwise very positive experience.

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Model release date: 1 June 2006 to 1 June 2012

Previous model

Alfa Romeo 156

Released: February 1999
Ended: May 2006
Family Tree: 159

The Alfa Romeo 156 was championed in its early days as a benchmark-setter in the search for light, responsive and balanced front-drive handling. It also delivered a pretty decent turn of performance with its DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engines and a slightly-less-than-hoped-for 2.5-litre V6, but the Selespeed sequential manual transmission didn’t win many friends. And the 156’s handling became less impressive over the years as the competition lifted its game. It launched here in 2.0-litre Twin Spark and 2.5-litre V6 sedan guises in early 1999 and was joined by the Sportwagon version in August 2000, before the 184kW GTA version arrived in August 2002 - the same time a facelifted 156 lobbed with revised 2.0-litre JTS power.

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