Finally! I drove the 159 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 25 Old 23-12-05 Thread Starter
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Finally! I drove the 159

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.
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

Quote:
Originally Posted by selespeed
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.
Well thats the bottom line

There have been many Alfas over the years all with differant characteristics. Lets face it a 75 or 155 is very differant from a 156 or GT, but they've all had the Alfa spirit in some way.

The 159 is a large step forward from previous models and it may take some time for this car to become as loved as its predecessors, but if it 'feels right' then it should be great for the marque.

Forza Alfa
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

Hope to see new 159 soon, 1st ones arrived here couple of days ago, got prices aswell

Alfa 159 1.9 JTS 160 hv 34 990 e
Alfa 159 2.2 JTS 185 hv 37 490 e
Alfa 159 2.4 JTDM 200 hv 39 990 e

2.4 seems to be priced very near to 2.2, pity that weight need some more power to those engines. Is V6 model on sale other countries already?
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

Saw one on the road near me a couple o days back in silver and had to do a double take. Looked lovely it did.

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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

Thanks Hans,great review.I can't wait to test drive one myself.
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

i may have to take a trip to local dealership to have a good look round 1....maybees a test drive.....
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

Mmm...me too. Not seen one yet.

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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

Nice review Hans... cheers for that

Can I ask, since you do mention it, does the steering wheel (ie that round disc thing in the middle) look okay irl
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

I should finish my review on the 159 1.9JTD 150bhp soon...in couple of words I really do like the 159.

Here is a photo of the one I drove and I will be driving from time to time:
http://kgb.alfaromeo-bg.com/159-BG/P1010002.JPG
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

the 159 has a similar JTS engine to the 156. So hows it possible it doesn't have that alfa sound? could it be the muffling or damping? from your review, it seems essential qualities of an alfa is gone. It may feel more expensive and luxurious, but I don't think that's the reason why people buy an alfa in the first place. I wouldn't bet against the 159 targetting the masses rather than enthusiasts. At least, that seems to be the direction Alfa is heading.
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

Quote:
Originally Posted by trento
the 159 has a similar JTS engine to the 156. So hows it possible it doesn't have that alfa sound? could it be the muffling or damping? from your review, it seems essential qualities of an alfa is gone. It may feel more expensive and luxurious, but I don't think that's the reason why people buy an alfa in the first place. I wouldn't bet against the 159 targetting the masses rather than enthusiasts. At least, that seems to be the direction Alfa is heading.
Somehow I do not see the 159 as being the car for the "masses" or for the real enthusiast. It is still a niche car.
In Europe, the 159 is a fairly large car targeting those that need a roomy sedan with some fun.
So Quiet is more of a requirement under normal driving than noise.

NB Noise level from the Engine is largely controlled by Inlet tract/exhaust system design and Sound "proofing" measures. A semi-luxury car, such as 159, tends to be quiet.
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

Quote:
Originally Posted by trento
the 159 has a similar JTS engine to the 156. So hows it possible it doesn't have that alfa sound?
Well ....



... the engines aren't similar at all. The JTS engine in the 156 is based on the Fiat engine and the JTS engine is based on a GM engine (the same engine with different cylinder head is fitted in the Vauxhall Vectra 2.2 for instance). The cylinder head is also completely new designed.

And this is what the new engine looks like: Click me (for those of you with a real Alfa heart, be warned that opening this link can hurt your feelings or even make you vomit. I accept no responsibility for any consequences)
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

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Originally Posted by selespeed
Well ....



... the engines aren't similar at all. The JTS engine in the 156 is based on the Fiat engine and the JTS engine is based on a GM engine (the same engine with different cylinder head is fitted in the Vauxhall Vectra 2.2 for instance). The cylinder head is also completely new designed.

And this is what the new engine looks like: Click me (for those of you with a real Alfa heart, be warned that opening this link can hurt your feelings or even make you vomit. I accept no responsibility for any consequences)
I suppose the best bit is you can see that there is an engine under the bonnet these days rather than a plastic cover
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

Quote:
Originally Posted by kurzon
Can I ask, since you do mention it, does the steering wheel (ie that round disc thing in the middle) look okay irl
The steering wheels stays ugly, but you don't really notice that when driving.
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(Post Link) post #15 of 25 Old 07-01-06 Thread Starter
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

Today I testdrove the 159 1.9 JTDm 16v and I must say the review is about the same as the 1.9 JTS. But...

.. unlike the 1.9 JTS, the JTDm 16v is not underpowered. The torque the diesel produces is enough to make the heavy 159 a quick car. The 159 I drove today was also well put together. So the build quality looks okay (which is really a lot better then the 156)

The way to go is a diesel or at least the 2.2 JTS imho
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

As far as steering wheelsare concerned I have seen pics of optional wheels in black leather or wood, proboably Momo.
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

I've driven the 159 JTDm 16V for a few hours today, and all I can say is: Hans, I agree with you 100% on all points mentioned!
there's nothing more that i can add, and I will be at the dealer tomorrow to inquire why my GT with 150 BHP feels more sluggish than a 159, which is not only heavier, but also only has 136 BHP (officially )

to all you disbelievers: although the 159 is probably not the most sexy Alfa Romeo (but still gorgeous ), this is a true Alfa. and the grin is there!!
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wimster
.... the grin is there!!
Look at this picture and see that man's face

http://bobo.alfaromeo-bg.com/Alfa_Ro...5936250000.jpg
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

Quote:
Originally Posted by selespeed

And this is what the new engine looks like: Click me (for those of you with a real Alfa heart, be warned that opening this link can hurt your feelings or even make you vomit. I accept no responsibility for any consequences)

"As described by the leader of the technical development centre at Alfa Romeo , Paolo Massai,the block itself can be regarded as an "insensitive and inanimate piece of metal" with the features that determine the true soul of the engine have been fully enginieered from the ground up.

He talks about the V6 by the way.

http://www.italiaspeed.com/2005/moto...a_v6/0303.html

Last edited by PeterWolf; 06-01-08 at 23:12.
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

Quote:
Originally Posted by selespeed
And this is what the new engine looks like: Click me (for those of you with a real Alfa heart, be warned that opening this link can hurt your feelings or even make you vomit. I accept no responsibility for any consequences)
That doesn't quite look the alfa engines we're used to... but you can't have it all I quess...

I drove the 2.2 version last weekend and it performed very well IMHO.
funny that they don't have a 1.9 petrol versions for test drive here at all

Will go and drive the 2.4 JTD next wednesday
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

There is one other annoying detail I noticed again last Friday when I sat in the Brera and 159 at the Motorshow in Brussels: I always liked the size and shape of the mirrors of our beloved 147, 156 and GTs.

However, Giugiaro forgot to design the mirrors of the 159 and made masterpieces for the Brera. Both mirrors have one aspect that is really utterly annoying. And that is the size of the mirrors. They are so large that you feel like you are sitting in a truck
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

The mirrors on the 156 are useless for manouvering/parking and barely adequate when using motorways and dual carriageways. Sure, a bigger mirror may not look as nice, but ask yourself what they are there for.
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

Quote:
Originally Posted by No Dosh
The mirrors on the 156 are useless for manouvering/parking and barely adequate when using motorways and dual carriageways. Sure, a bigger mirror may not look as nice, but ask yourself what they are there for.
I can see more then enough with the 'old' yet beautifully shaped mirrors. I never overlooked anything in all those years and I am constanly aware what is driving behind (or next to me).

For me form is more important then function.
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

I love the look of this car as well as the better build, but in increasing the weight and using GM based engines that look and sound average I fear this Alfa may have very little "Soul" in the the way previous Alfa's have. It will probably drive more like an Audi than the Alfa's we all know and love.
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Re: Finally! I drove the 159

It launches on the 18th Feb in the UK, I'm already booked up for a test drive in the 2.4jtd model, can't wait!
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