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Used Alfa Romeo 159 review: 2006-2012

EXPERT RATING
7
Mention Alfa Romeo in conversation and you're sure to get a mixed response. The Italian brand has plenty of admirers willing to wax lyrical about its sensuous styling and fabulous handling, but there are probably as many who would happily condemn it for poor build quality and dodgy reliability. There's no question

Mention Alfa Romeo in conversation and you're sure to get a mixed response. The Italian brand has plenty of admirers willing to wax lyrical about its sensuous styling and fabulous handling, but there are probably as many who would happily condemn it for poor build quality and dodgy reliability.

There's no question that the brand has had its issues over the years and has left many owners disappointed, but it's also fair to say that there's something very appealing about it.
It's beyond argument that Alfas look beautiful with their sleek lines, sexy curves and distinctive grille.

 Responsive handling and willing engines makes an Alfa such a joy to drive.

Slip behind the wheel and it's impossible not to be impressed by the responsive handling and willing engines that makes an Alfa such a joy to drive.

Alfa's problems have long been build quality, reliability and back up. They were sloppily built, regularly broke down and when they did there was no one to pick up the pieces. But with improved distribution and the factory backing of Fiat there's every reason to think the ownership experience shouldn't be as frustrating as it once was.

New

The 159 was a mid-sized model sold in sedan and wagon variants with a choice of petrol and diesel engines, manual, automatic and self-shifting manual gearboxes, and the option of an all-wheel drive V6 model.

Inside, the front seats were comfortable and supportive and there was ample head, leg and elbowroom. The rear wasn't quite as generous and it could feel a bit of a squeeze for those out back.

There was a range of diesel and petrol engines on offer. The diesels consisted of a 1.9-litre four and a five-cylinder 2.4-litre, both turbocharged, while the petrol engines were a 2.2-litre four and a 3.2-litre V6.

Depending on the model the transmission choices were a 6-speed manual, 6-speed auto and a 6-speed Selespeed self-shifting manual.

All models with four-cylinder or diesel engines were front-wheel drive, but those with the lusty V6 boasted all-wheel drive. A 1.7-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine became the entry engine in 2011.

Now

Given the chequered history of the brand it's worth being cautious when buying an Alfa and have a mechanic who is familiar with them check your chosen car for you. That won't guarantee that you won't have any issues, but it should reduce the chances.

You should always ask for a service record to reassure yourself that the car you're about to buy has been looked after by someone who cares about it. If you have the opportunity to talk to the mechanic who has been doing the work grab it.

The feedback we've had from owners is reassuring with virtually all of them heaping praise on their cars, and few reporting any problems with them.

There are things to watch out for though. The electrics regularly crop up in criticism of the 159, so take the time to check that everything is working, the windows, door locks, air, radio etc. Give everything a workout.

Thoroughly check the interior for broken plastic trim parts, they do break and fall apart.

If you're buying a diesel you should be aware that they can have problems with regeneration of the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). They don't always do it automatically, as they should, and it can mean a trip to the dealer to have it done.

The petrol engines have timing chains, but the diesel engines have cam belts, which should be changed every 100,000 km or four years, so take note of the need to have it changed and make sure it's done. A broken belt can mean expensive internal engine damage.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2012 $8,360 $19,470
2011 $6,820 $15,840
2010 $6,270 $14,630
2009 $6,050 $14,630
2008 $4,950 $13,750
2007 $4,950 $12,540
2006 $4,180 $9,680

View all Alfa Romeo 159 pricing and specifications

Pricing Guides

$5,444
Based on 5 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$3,950
Highest Price
$7,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
2.2 JTS 2.2L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $3,950 – 7,990 2006 Alfa Romeo 159 2006 2.2 JTS Pricing and Specs
2.4 JTD 2.4L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $4,840 – 7,040 2006 Alfa Romeo 159 2006 2.4 JTD Pricing and Specs
3.2 V6 3.2L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $6,600 – 9,240 2006 Alfa Romeo 159 2006 3.2 V6 Pricing and Specs
Sportwagon 2.2 JTS 2.2L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $4,510 – 6,600 2006 Alfa Romeo 159 2006 Sportwagon 2.2 JTS Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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Pricing Guide

$3,950

Lowest price, based on 6 car listings in the last 6 months

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