Today I took the opportunity to make my first ever 159 test drive. The dealership gave me a (nearly) full option 1.9 JTS with park distance control, navigation, leather upholstery, 17Ē alloys to name a few.
What can I say about the 159? Alfa has put a lot of attention to detail and it shows. The aluminium center console and the center of the steering wheel are actually made of aluminium and not like you expect Ė and find on other cars as well Ė painted plastic panels. Nice touch!
Other materials are of high quality as well and everything is put together nicely on the 159 I drove. The steering wheels stalks have way too many buttons and switches so it will take some time to memorize them all.
The white lights of the dials (I drove the Distinctive version, the Progression has red illuminated dials) in combination with red displays and buttons look the business. Very
indeed. The standard speakers are okay but nothing more then that. I would recommend the Bose Sound System or after market speakers. When you opt for leather upholstery you will get the Alfa logo in the head rests
When it comes to steering, handling and stuff the 159 really feels good. I am really impressed and Alfa really has move upmarket. No rattles at all and the complete package feels very stiff (the bodywork). Ride is comfortable and the 159 doesnít hate speed bumps like a 147 does. Like we are used from Alfas, the 159 likes to corner as well. A real joy is the short gear stick, I love it!
Does that make the 159 the most desirable Alfa ever? Sadly enough I would have to say no. And there are two reasons for that. First of all the engine note. Some of you may like that the engines are a lot quieter, but I personally donít like that. When you rev you can hear the engine of course, but the famous Alfa rasp is definitely gone
Maybe the exhaust note is good but from inside the car you canít hear that. For the ones who live on the dark side and donít use petrol engines, no bad news about the 159 so far.
The other downside of the 159 is really the weight. The weight doesnít show when it comes to handling, so Alfa has done a really good job on this department. The 1.9 JTS with 160 bhp is really underpowered for this kind of car. With the 1.9 JTS you will get performance you can compare to a 156 1.6 TS and the 2.2 JTS can probably compared to the 156 2.0 TS (not JTS). And you simply expect more when you hear the engine size and bhp figures.
Overall quality has improved and I think the new prices are justified. I canít talk about reliability and stuff, but the used materials in combination of build quality is on BMW / Audi level. Remember I have only driven one 159 so I donít know if every 159 is on the same high level.
And last but not least: does she put me a smile on my face?
And the answer is: yes, she does!
And the meaning of that answer is (for those who donít know me) that in my eyes this is another real Alfa Romeo.