After a very long time in a BMW M5 (E34) I find;
The body work on our 2001 156 is very good indeed, no rust at all.
Ok the comparison of our BMW M5 and the Alfa 156 (£1750 stop gap filler) is unfair towards the Alfa.
I was a bit afraid that we would badly miss the power of the M5.
But our 2.4 10V Diesel with Angel chip tuning is wicked.
In town, it feels almost faster than the M5 because of the (mad rush of) torque at low rpmís.
In comparison, the M5 appears dead below 4000 rpm even with 3.8 Ltr.
You may find the ride on a Veloce with (Factory) lowered suspension a bit choppy.
I do, but the very direct steering makes almost up for that.
The fuel consumption is brilliant in particular if you consider the power that comes with the 2.4 JTD.
We have full leather, with appears to wear well and the equipment level on our car is nice too.
All controls feel solid and nothing has fallen off so far (our car is on 136.000 miles now).
What let the car down (in my honest opinion) is;
Many Alfa Romeo dealers have little or no clue if something goes wrong.
They just chuck parts at it and hope for the best.
The engine control system shows component faults that are perhaps related to the actual fault, but should be interpreted with a pinch of salt.
I had 3 ECU fault code read outs from 3 Alfa Main dealers.
None of which turned out to be correctly diagnosed.
Two weeks to diagnose the fault, ten minutes to fix.
Where Alfa Romeo as a car manufacturer fails is;
If you need a cam belt set for a Vauxhall CDi (same 4 Cyl Fiat diesel engines like in the 1.9 156 and 147).
There Kit contains everything you could ever need,
the Belt, both tensioners and every nut and bold you are going to touch.
With original Alfa parts, you have to order every item individually at much inflated prices.
Run of the mill parts like Brake discs, Pads, Shocks are reasonable prised.
After all, a 156 is a glorified Fiat Tipo with knobs on.
Had a chat to a fellow 2.4 JTD owner the other day just outside Halfords.
He got himself some engine oil, and was complaining that his Alfa started to use oil at an alarming rate.
I wonder if the mileage of his car had something to do with it?
The speedo showed 430.000 Miles and counting.