Swap 156 for 159, worthwhile move? - Page 3 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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159 SW 2.4 Ti Q4

I had a 2000 - 156 2.4 (10v-136 bhp) SW with Sport pack owned it for about 4 yrs before finally selling it with 250km's on the clock. I replaced it with a 2008 -159 Ti 2.4 Q4 SW (210bhp) with only 70K km's on the clock.

Of course these are two completely different beasts and the 159 cost me 7x what I sold the 156 so the comparison has to be put in context.

In alot of ways the 156 was more fun to drive but alot of this I think is down to the speed's involved.
You could push the 156 harder and rev it a bit more because your not going so quickly.

Yes the steering was definately more responsive in the 156 than the 159.
Room for the rear passengers is the same....Limited.
The frount is probably a little bigger in the 159 in the passenger compartment but not as big a difference as the external dimensions would suggest. The 159 is alot bigger car than the 156 and most of the size seems to be taken up with crumple zones and air bags so I'm sure it is alot safer car if you do have a shunt.

The Boot of the 159 is definatelly bigger although my personal criticism is that the accountants at Fiat did away with the intergrated dog guard / load mesh/ load cover...Which IMO was a really great feature on the 156.

As other people have said the 159 is more like a GT car than the 156...it gobbles up motorway miles but still manages to put a huge smile on your face in the process and on the twisty stuff. The grip of the Q4 Ti is epic.

Regarding servicing...I used to do everything on the 156, I haven't actually started on the 159 yet but have bought a full set of filters etc to do it next time. What I can say is the price of the filters alone is alot more than those on the 156 for the same brand from the same supplier.

Regarding problems:
Within 3K km of buying my 159 the EGR valve blocked and the DPF was destroyed as a result leaving me with a 3000Euro bill as I have no local indi to by pass re map. Fortunatelly it was partly under insurance warrenty and the BMW dealer I bought it from paid part of the bill so I accually ended up paying 1/3rd.

The suspension is as flaky on the 159 as was on the 156....but the tyres especially 19" ones are about 3x the price of the 16" on the 156. I've used a full set in 25k Km so booked the 159 into Autolusso for the powerflex conversion, on the basis that the saving on tyres will pay for the upgrade in a year assuming it doesn't scrub another set in a year!

With all that said would I go back to a 156 ?

The truth is the 159 Ti 2.4 Q4 is a fantastic bit of kit, it puts a smile on my face every time I drive it. and because its an Alfa you forgive its weaknesses.

If you do go down the 159 route, get the EGR Blocked, DPF deleted and Suspension bushes done then IMO I think you will have a reliable car that you will love more than your 156..

Last edited by Rosbif Sport; 19-11-14 at 20:20.
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This is something that I am considering just now. We are on our second diesel 156 sportwagon. The first one was a facelift 2.4 20v which was our daily driver. Current one is a 1.9 16v which is very much the "second car".
I have had a 159 'wagon on hire in Portugal (10 days) and it was okay but a bit slow (1.9 diesel) and not much bigger inside. They look even better though and feel a lot more solid.

The two 156's are quite different. The 2.4 was immense (especially mid range) even though it was only rated at 175 bhp. It was also very nose heavy even with Koni sport springs and shockers.
The 1.9 is more of a tractor and even although a tuning box probably takes it up to close to the same bhp as the 2.4 it does not have the same oomph or sound of the 5 pot. Handling however is better.

The one thing in common has been the spongy brakes. Nothing to do with pads as they do work. It is just the long pedal travel that seems to be the problem.

As our main car it would have to be a 159 but I have yet to convince myself that we need to change just yet.

"When you sit in a Focus RS or a Golf R32 itís like sitting in a commercial for Lynx aftershave. When you sit in an 147 GTA itís like sitting in a Venetianís hand-made suitcase." J.Clarkson 2003.

Current fleet: 156 Sportwagon jtd 16V (facelift) 2.4 Spider, Leon Cupra SC
Projects: Spider S4, Matra Murena 2.2
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Originally Posted by driver33p4 View Post

As our main car it would have to be a 159 but I have yet to convince myself that we need to change just yet.
We recently moved from a 156 1.9 TDI to a 159, mainly because of the substantially bigger boot in the 159. Like you say, the 159 is a step up in size, weight, build quality, solidity.

The 156 feels more nimble to drive and I found it suited the 140bhp 1.9 TDI pretty well, as you could rive it to the limit of the engine and car's performance without going too fast. The 159 with a similar engine is a somewhat underpowered so the best option for high milers is the 2.4 TDI (though economy is not amazing for an oil burner-my old man had one).

The cost to change need not be too much-I swapped a 10 year old 156 for an 8 yr old 159 (both 60k, FSH etc) for a net outlay of £2.5k and it definitely feels like money well spent (so far).

Last edited by gharding; 21-11-14 at 08:35. Reason: error
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156 , 159 , move , swap , worthwhile

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