Test drove a 159 yesterday as part of the Alfa UK “preview” tour round the dealers prior to the launch on 25th, a 1.9JTD Turismo with 150bhp.
Looked great in the flesh, classic Alfa but modern and aggressive, but would definitely need the 18 inch wheels to look its best. Nice interior, good quality materials etc. but didn’t strike me as quite as stylish as the 156 interior; the centre console seemed a bit bulky and clumsy, and the doors and dashboard did not seem to be as integrated and sweep around you like in a 156. No big deal, and there was a lot more room. Instruments were very stylish, and it had a nice short throw gearbox.
20 minutes isn’t exactly an in depth drive, but it did feel much more solid and stable than the 156, firm but comfortable ride and tidy handling too (as far as I could tell). the 1.9 diesel was very impressive, quiet and smooth, and did not feel slow even in what is a bigger body.
Comes in Turismo and Lusso specifications, no Veloce option this time around.
Turismo has (I think) 16 inch alloys, dual zone climate, cloth interior. Lusso adds leather, parking sensors and 17 inch wheels. Think the difference was under £1k, but I’m not sure as I was only interested in the higher spec. Dealer wouldn’t give me a copy of the price list but from what I remember:
1.9 JTD Turismo £19.5k ish
2.2 JTS Lusso £22,350
2.4 JTD Lusso £24,250
3.2 JTS Lusso £28,150
18 inch wheels were £450 option.
Don’t quote me, I have a memory like a goldfish…
Auto version is due around September, no Selespeed option and not even a paddleshift option on the slushbox, which seems a shame. Ideally I would get a V6 auto (getting old, and do 25k motorway miles a year) but a £6k premium over the 2.2 seems huge.
From what I can see from a quick check this morning, the prices do undercut equivalent 3 series models (ie Lusso for SE but throw in leather too), which seems ok value. Dealer had heard rumours but could not confirm the 60k free servicing deal, which would make a huge difference if they do throw it in.
Overall, thought it was a very nice car, will almost certainly get one next, I but did not feel any burning desire to change my 156 for it at the moment.