Used Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon 2006 - 2012 review

Category: Estate car

The Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon is decent enough, and you'll stand out from the crowd, but rivals do the same job far better.

Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon (06 - 12)
  • Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon (06 - 12)
  • Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon (06 - 12)
Used Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon 2006 - 2012 review
Star rating

What's the used Alfa Romeo 159 estate like?

Despite being reasonably accomplished in most areas, the Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon is outclassed by its main rivals, the BMW 3 Series Touring, Audi A4 Avant and Mercedes C-Class Estate. All are better to drive, quieter and more reliable. However, the Alfa's suave styling does set it apart from the crowd.

Interior space is good, and certainly better than the 156 it replaced. Two adults can fit in the back, while front passengers aren't left wanting, either. The boot is a good size and shape, although there's a high load lip and the opening is quite tight.


The Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon is decent enough, and you'll stand out from the crowd, but rivals do the same job far better.

  • Italian design flair
  • Decent interior space
  • Smooth engines
  • Not as good to drive as it should be
  • Boot is tricky to load
  • Some reliability problems

The 159 Sportwagon drives like the saloon model, with good grip through bends and a decent ride. However, body roll isn't well contained, and it can feel unwieldy on twisty roads. The worst bumps also produce unwanted cabin noise. The steering is accurate, but not the most responsive.

Ownership cost

What used Alfa Romeo 159 estate will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Alfa Romeo 159 estate?

Servicing costs are high, and it's certainly worth looking for Alfa Romeo specialist independent garages for maintaining older cars. Alfa doesn't have the best reputation for reliability, so consider taking out an extended or independent warranty.

The 1.9-litre diesel manages 47mpg, while the 2.4-litre does 41.5mpg, or 39mpg in four-wheel-drive form. The 1.9-litre petrol can eke out 32.5mpg, but the 1.8-litre beats that with 36.7mpg. The 2.2-litre does 30.1mpg and the 3.2 V6 24.6mpg.

The 1.9-litre diesel has the lowest CO2 emission, so will cost the least to tax, while the 1.9-litre, 2.2-litre and 3.2-litre petrols all emit over 200g/km, so are noticeably more expensive. The 1.8-litre petrol and 2.4-litre diesel both pump out around 180g/km.

Insurance costs are roughly the same as rivals.

Our recommendations

Which used Alfa Romeo 159 estate should I buy?

Finding a 159 Sportwagon with a petrol engine isn't that easy, but that's not such a bad thing. The diesels are a better bet, with superior economy, and healthier resale values. However, if you don't do many miles and the car is at the right price, a petrol model may prove the cheaper option.

The 160bhp 1.9-litre petrol engine is the most sensible buy, followed by the 185bhp 2.2-litre, and lastly the 256bhp 3.2 V6. However, in late '07, the 1.9-litre unit was replaced with a 138bhp 1.8 with better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.

Moving on to the diesels, the 1.9-litre 148bhp is the most common, and the best, while there's also a 200bhp 2.4.

Four-wheel-drive is an option on the V6 petrol and larger diesel, but it doesn't substantially enhance the car's dynamics. Automatic gearboxes are available on all models other than the 1.9 and 2.2-litre petrol engines.

Every model is well equipped, with the base Turismo fitted with alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, electronic stability control and four electric windows. Lusso spec gets leather trim and parking sensors.

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