The 2.0 JTS engine is an absolute peach with plenty of power and torque. Given the depreciations suffered on Alfas from new the car is probably best acquired a year old.
Overall, the car is extremely comfortable and is very well equiped. I have owned a 156 for several years and have found it to be fairly reliable. Personally I feel there is a market bias (road testers included) towards German cars which to me is difficult to justify given how some of these cars actually drive
If you want a performance car, but are keen to watch the MPG, then there is only one choice - the Alfa 156 2.4 JTD 175bhp (54 reg) (yup that means diesel) Veloce.
Yes its an oil burner, yes it's a bit noisy when the engine is cold but, when you put your foot down, this car turns into a bit of a tiger.
Rev past 3500 rpm and it sounds gorgeous - it sounds more like a V8 than a diesel.
The Veloce is the sporty model, with lower suspension (watch out on really bumpy roads or speed humps, as the occasional scraping noise is not uncommon!), spoke style alloy wheels, and side skirts make this the most stunning car ever made.
There are still some annoying little problems with the interior, damaged gear knob etc, but overall, why buy German (as I have always in the past) buy a true driver's car!
This car is a significant improvement over the original Twin Spark 156.
The new JTS direct-injection engine offers far more low-end torque than the earlier twin-spark engine and the lean-burn technology provides much better fuel consumption around town.
The suspension has benefitted from subtle tuning to bring it up to date and the safety equipment has been upgraded with side and curtain airbags as standard, in addition to three 3-point seat belts in the rear.
A new sound system with steering wheel controls, trip computer, emergency brake assist and traction control all bring equipment levels to latest standards.
Overall, it's a significant step forward and a lovely drive, with more refinement than earlier models.
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