Re: 156 lusso or veloce
Since you're looking at a 2005 156 I would not hesitate in recommending the Veloce version. Why? Because:
1) The car sits much better on the road, the springs are a little lower than the Lusso and the subtle sideskirts give a purposeful look.
2) The overall suspension settings are a little more compliant than the earlier phase Veloce cars. Certainly on the facelift models the front lower wishbones were revised to give a more compliant ride.
3) On general A-roads and on the twisty bits the ride of the late series Veloces is very good. The car is firmly planted on the road and there is good feedback from the steering.
4) ok on broken and undulating surfaces this compliance is somewhat compromised, but it is supposed to be a sporty saloon!
Drive both examples of a late series 156 and you will quickly make up your own mind. Also, on the late 2005 series cars, do consider the 1.9JTDm engine, this has the uprated 150bhp engine and goes extremely well. Through 3rd/4th/5th gears you will destroy the JTS version, and many other cars, with ease. Better still, if you come across the rare JTDm Sport version, definitely give this a go! And if it's any help, I get over 50mpg with my 156 Sport on a long run!!