Used Alfa Romeo 156 1997 - 2006 review

Category: Executive car

Section: Our recommendations

1997 - 2006 review
Alfa Romeo 156 (97 - 06)
  • Alfa Romeo 156 (97 - 06)
  • Alfa Romeo 156 (97 - 06)
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Our recommendations

Which used Alfa Romeo 156 saloon should I buy?

There's no bad choice, but the hot 3.2 V6 GTA isn't as sharp as you might think. Sure, it's quick, but it hasn't got the chassis to go with it, and it's pricey to run.

Our favourite is the 148bhp 1.9 JTD diesel. If you think a diesel engine just wouldn't be right in an Alfa, try one. It's strong, responsive, smooth revving, sounds sporty and suits the car well. It's economical, too, and the 115bhp version or the 175bhp 2.4 JTD turbodiesel make good alternatives.

Of the petrol engines, the 1.6 shows real spirit and isn't slow, but the 1.8 and 2.0 have more go for little extra cost. The sublime-sounding 2.5 V6 is silky-smooth.

Basic TS cars are well equipped (air conditioning, electric front windows, CD player), but we'd go for Turismo (alloy wheels, leather steering wheel) if we couldn't stretch to top-of-the-range Lusso (leather trim, cruise control).

Good, cheap 156s, either at dealers or in the classifieds, are easy to find.

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