The Alfa Romeo 159 was first manufactured in 2005 and replaced the 156. The 159 proved to be a very popular choice in Europe and feedback on it was so good that it came third in its category in the 2006 European car of the year awards. Although it wasn’t as popular as its predecessor (the 156), it still churned out 240,000 cars between 2005 and 2011.
Equipped the Alfa Romeo’s traditional V-shaped grill the 159 was more spacious, slightly heavier and longer than the 156. It is said that this extra bulk and length was to make the car more attractive to potential USA customers, who haven’t had Alfa Romeos available to the since 1995, but the 159 never crossed the Atlantic. With the 159 Alfa Romeo managed to keep their wonderfully attractive cars looking good. This car is extremely curvaceous and has a wonderful interior to match its sexy exterior. This car looks good from every angle. Inside you will find all of the dials aimed towards the driver and you will see that Alfa brought the curves from outside in.
When it comes to handling this car is an improvement on the 156, its suspension which was made up of the high double wishbone of the 156 mixed with a multilink rear configuration was designed to give a smoother more stable ride with brilliant steering response.
As with regards to safety the 159 scored well in its NCAP receiving 5 stars for adult occupancy and 4 stars for child occupancy.
Although the 159 was built very well there are a few known problems with this model, most of these problems are small however. 159 owners have been known to complain about rattles and if said drivers couldn’t identify where the rattle was coming from in their car it most likely came from the upper front wishbone. The 159 can also be quiet heavy on its’ front tyres. This is a tracking issue which can be fixed quiet easily. Other reported issues include the engine management light coming on in some models; this has been known to be a signal that there is a problem with the camshaft drive chain.
Another issue is that is not overly fuel efficient, even its diesel models tend to be heavy on fuel. One more complaint which I have heard quiet often is that the 159 can have clutch engagement problems. If you are considering buying one the first thing I would check on these models is the clutch, put your foot on it and if you notice any stops or anything out of the ordinary on the way down or back up ask to get the problem rectified before you make any purchase.
One more thing to keep an eye out for, and this was a problem which was reported very early into the emergence of the 159, is the bonnet release handle. Apparently they weren’t made from the most durable material in the world and they tended to break very easily.
Alfa Romeo has a mixed reputation, many hacks will tell you that they spent too much time on looking good and were therefore lacking in quality. Yes the Alfa does have its problems, but so too does every second hand car you buy. If you are considering making an Alfa purchase or any other car purchase I advise you bring somebody who knows about mechanics to give it a once over, you never know, the one you buy could be a gem!