Alfa Romeo 159
1 Jun 2006
AFTER seven years in Australia, Alfa’s 156 bowed out of the market to make way for the all-new 159.
Fortunately, with its thoroughly competitive pricing, bigger interior and new engines that don’t compromise the Alfa ideal, the 159 is the Italian company’s most competitive model in decades.
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.
The 159 is an all-new car, from the platform to the suspension to the bigger and heavier (200kg or so) body, which stretches out significantly in all directions.
Three models are available, defined by three new engines a DOHC four-cylinder 2.2-litre JTS VVT producing 136kW and 230Nm, a Holden-derived 3.2-litre 191kW/322Nm JTS VVT V6, and a 2.4-litre five-cylinder 147kW/400Nm JTD turbo-diesel complete with particle filter.
Even more noteworthy is the arrival of full-time all-wheel drive in an Alfa.
The three-differential Q4 permanent all-wheel drive system is standard in the 3.2-litre JTS V6 version and slightly favours the rear wheels with a straight-line 57 per cent rear, 43 per cent front torque split.
A self-locking Torsen centre differential apportions torque in less straightforward conditions according to traction needs.
For the moment, the drivelines include standard six-speed manual transmissions on all three models. Six-speed autos for the JTD and 3.2 JTS models are arriving during 2007.
The 159’s front suspension is a development of the MacPherson strut system used on the 156, while at the back is a new multi-link setup providing more wheel travel, (claimed) better handling and more isolation from road noise via – among other things – carefully tuned and located high-tech bushing.
Braking is by four-wheel discs, ventilated at the front only on 2.2 JTS, but using four ventilated discs with Brembo front calipers on 2.4 JTD and 3.2 JTS.
Standard equipment includes seven airbags (including a driver’s knee bag), anti-whiplash front seats (all playing a part in the 159’s five-star Euro NCAP safety rating), rear park-distance control, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a 120-Watt, eight-speaker, 10-CD sound system.
Dual-zone climate-control, leather trim on seats and steering wheel, trip computer, heated and folding external rear-view mirrors, cruise control and a new electronic key with a cute starter button are also part of the basic 159 deal.
The beginning of 2011 saw Alfa's 147kW, 1750cc turbo engine replace the 2.2 JTS under the 159's bonnet, providing greater power and efficiency.
15th of May 2009
Alfa Romeo 2009 159 Ti 2.4 JTDm sedan
Can a leopard change its spots? The Alfa Romeo 159 Ti at least has changed some ...
24th of August 2007
Alfa Romeo 2007 159 2.4 JTDM Sportwagon
Alfa's compact wagon now offers an auto, and a gutsy diesel in the 159 JTDM Sportwagon
When it was new
21st of December 2010
Alfa ups 159 performance and economy
New 1750 TBi engine makes Alfa Romeo’s 159 quicker and more frugal
16th of January 2009
Alfa diesel upgraded
Exterior stays the same, but Alfa Romeo 159 gets interior and diesel engine changes
21st of July 2008
Alfa’s Ti flavoured 159
Back again, the Ti edition jumps on the 159 diesel and wagon bandwagon
22nd of April 2008
Alfa 159 goes driveaway
Alfa Romeo saves buyers up to $6000 via driveaway prices for its 159 this month
24th of August 2007
Ti me 159 down, sport
Alfa releases a sleeker, lower 159 in Ti trim, offering $10,000 of claimed extras
5th of March 2007
Alfa Romeo goes auto at Melbourne
Alfa Romeo's 159, Brera and Spider are now available with a fully automatic trans
31st of January 2007
Show debut for Alfa Romeo 159 Q-Tronic
Alfa enhances stylish 159 line-up with adaptive automatic
1st of August 2006
Alfa Sportwagon joins 159 sedan
Alfa delivers its redesigned Sportwagon Down Under just a month after the 159 sedan
Alfa Romeo models