Honest John's opinion of Alfa 156 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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156 2.0TS Veloce

Honest John's opinion of Alfa 156

Apologies if this has been posted before, but there is some good, honest stuff. I haven't posted it all, so here's the URL:


"What's good

Fabulous styling. Brilliant engines. 1.8 and 2.0 litre Twin-Sparks are great. 190 bhp 24v 2.5 V6 is a real hooligan. All have 'Quick-Rack' steering. Pure, unadulterated handling well up to the job with Sports packs; less good without."

I think we can all agree with that (shame they dropped the 2.5 V6), but...

"What's Bad

Police Alert' spoilers optional on Sport 2 and Sport 3 spec will attract plod. Sub-20 mpg fuel consumption of V6 if you boot it. Trim quality not up to BMW standards. 5-speed gearchange on 1.8 and 2.0 can feel a bit floppy. Turn-in not as sharp as Peugeot 306 GTi-6 or even 406 2.0 litre Coupe. Usual Alfa build-quality problems with electrics. Fuel enrichment device may stick, leading to poor starting."

Anyone had problems with this? I don't remember any posts.

"Dealers are a very mixed bag."

Bwahahahahahaha!!! Classic!!!

"Resale values fell heavily in early 2000 even before price cuts. V6 and JDT can eat front tyres on the inside edge (need realiging with less toe-out). Paint problems with solid lacquered black. Worrying number of 2.0 litre engine failures due to oil starvation when engines were full of oil points a finger at oil pump failure. Timing belts and tensioners need changing way before scheduled 72k miles. See TSB to change them at 36k."

Anyone know what TSB is?

"What to Watch Out For
Worn front tyres on V6. Front suspension alignment, in particular toe-out is critical. Accident damage. Kerbed alloys. Make sure aircon works properly. Feel the discs through the wheels for scoring or shouldering. Problems with 156 Selaspeed gearbox actuator and long wait for replacement parts. 'Tappety' sounding engine sign that car has been run with low or dirty oil and variable valve timing has been damaged. Make sure engine has specified oil pressure. Clonks from rear suspension mean that bolts through he aluminium suspension components have not been tightened periodically causing wear and replacement bushes take a long time to arrive. Make sure a/c blows cold as can leak refrigerant. Stoned glass headlight lenses cost 175 each to replace.
June 1999: Safety recall No 4054: Modify rear hinge mounting on all four side doors to prevent hinges splitting from doors. 2000: 156, built Nov '97-Oct '98: Brake pipe connector may crack and leak. September 2002: TSB issued to change timing belts and tensioners at 36,000 miles rather than 72,000 miles. 2-8-2002: Due to engine movement fuel delivery pipe from pump to inector reail may become strained and leak. Two extra support clips to be fitted. 73 cars affected (JTD's?); 1-10-2002: Metal brake pipe between master cylinder and ABS unit may chafe on a cable bracket. Check pipes and renew if damaged. 256 cars affected."
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TSB = Technical Service Bulletin. A nice way of saying "We, Alfa UK, have written to the dealers to warn that if they get one of the following VINs in for work, they had better fix this or it may go bang/fall apart/not start/vanish into an alternate reality."

No Dosh, moderator at http://www.honestjohn.co.uk and, more importantly, Alfa driver!
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It's even got a review of the 157 !

What's Good
Styled by Giugiaro and as fresh and stunning looking as 156 was when it was launched. Based on GM Epsilon platform, same as Vectra and SAAB 9-3. Due in Europe May 2004. Will have four wheel drive option. Engines from 1.6 TS four to 3.2V6. New GM 3.0 V6 diesel.

What's Bad
An Alfa on a Vectra platform? Sacrilege. But remember, the 156 was based on the Tipo platform and SAAB has made quite a good job of the new 9-3.

What to Watch Out For
Too soon to say.

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