The Alfa 159 is an attractive car with a large, comfortable cabin and plenty of equipment, all at prices that undercut the usual German suspects
The 159 isn’t brilliant to drive compared with, say, a BMW 3 Series and resale values are weak. Alfa Romeo also struggles with reliability and customer service.
On the road
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
There are just three engines to choose from in the 159, with the only petrol option giving the high performance some will think the car's sharp looks demand. However, we’d recommend one of the 2.0-litre diesels, which make more sense financially. These units give either 134bhp or 168bhp, and the latter feels impressively brisk.
Ride & Handling
The 159 deals reasonably well with most surfaces, but you hear the suspension clunking over bumps. Body movement isn’t tightly controlled, either, so the 159 isn’t rewarding on a twisty country road. There’s impressive grip, but while the steering is accurate, it would benefit from sharper initial responses.
Refinement is okay, even though the 159 isn’t as hushed as a BMW 3 Series or a Mercedes C-Class. Road and wind noise are kept to a reasonable level, but the diesel engines can be rather boomy, and you'll feel the vibrations in the cabin.