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I might get kicked around here, but when I look at our 159 SW and at someone elses (or our old) 156 SW, I tend to think "damn, that looks sporty and slick"... about the 156.

It´s something with it being lower (roof) and slimmer that gives it unusual dimensions that is tres cool. Out f the corner of the eye it almost have some Breraness. The 159 has a more common over-sizedness and "correct" proportions that is present also on ze dark side.

Of course there is no question about build quality etc, but if I´d have a second car to my future (?) Brera, I think it´d be a 156 SW.
 

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I tested a 156SW a few years ago after hankering after one for about a year. I just didn't like the driving experience and ended up buying the saloon instead. My 159SW now, that's a different matter, such a supremely versatile and capable car. Sorry, no competition in my mind except, maybe, in the looks dept. The 159 isn't as pretty but it has far more presence.
 

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I think the 156 SW is still the best looking Sportwagon on the road bar none, that is why mine is 9 years old and it is still my daily driver putting over 20,000 miles a year on it, it still gets commented on where ever I go!

If only I could sell my Defender and find a good 156 GTA SW! :thumbs:
 

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We had a face lift 156SW but the 159 SW looks much more macho, especially in the staggeringly gorgeous Ti form:wow:
 
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I stick firmly to the opinion that Alfa should have made the 159 a direct size for size replacment for the 156, but of course with the much better quality that is evident in 159.

Why? simply because 156 was an affordable size in all sorts of ways that the 159 is not. By going up a market position it took the costs of fuel, tyres, insurance and all the rest up a gear or two as well, and out of range of a very large proportion of the UK buying public.

The 156 sold well. All people wanted was the same car but better made/better handling/riding. The 159 has not sold very well, (although it deserved to IMHO) by being 164/166 sized, which has never been that big a market, and bumps into too many 'dark side' competitors as well.

I also agree that the 156 Sportwagon is a classic shape that is difficult to better. I prefer the 159 saloon to the SW version...just. This is nit picking as all versions of 156/159 are definitely good looking cars.

I am trying to talk myself into being able to afford to run a 159 1.9 diesel when the 156 goes, but its not stacking up all that well in the bean counter dept. I need to go smaller than 156 if anything.

AlfaLincs
 

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I stick firmly to the opinion that Alfa should have made the 159 a direct size for size replacment for the 156, but of course with the much better quality that is evident in 159.

Why? simply because 156 was an affordable size in all sorts of ways that the 159 is not. By going up a market position it took the costs of fuel, tyres, insurance and all the rest up a gear or two as well, and out of range of a very large proportion of the UK buying public.

The 156 sold well. All people wanted was the same car but better made/better handling/riding. The 159 has not sold very well, (although it deserved to IMHO) by being 164/166 sized, which has never been that big a market, and bumps into too many 'dark side' competitors as well.
Couldn't agree more :thumbs:

I really wish that the 159 was 156-sized, especially with the new TBi engine. Obviously with all the benefits of the 159's superior suspension and quality. That really would be my ideal car, a compact saloon should actually be compact after all, shouldn't it!
 

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That would pitch it against a Golf or Focus saloon though!

The 159 is the same as the A4 etc. That's bigger than it was in 1997 too.

Times move on....
 

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the A4 may be bigger but a colleague who has an Audi RS4 has had a current model A4 for the second week now as the dealer is waiting for warranty bits for his car and he cannot believe the drop in quality of execution. They are really cashing in on what people expect for Audi money.You'd think it was a business...
 
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That would pitch it against a Golf or Focus saloon though!

The 159 is the same as the A4 etc. That's bigger than it was in 1997 too.

Times move on....
Not quite sure what you are saying. Whatever you build is going to be pitched against something, and the sales success of the 156 proved its size appealed widely. The only suggestion that cars keep having to get bigger is in marketing execs heads, not the buying public, who get very sensitive to buying cars above a certain size in large numbers. I believe 156 is the 'right' size for an Alfa. Big enough to... just.. fit a family in, small enough to be nimble and not too expensive to run. It appeals to youngsters after their first Alfa, and oldies running one in retirement.

Time moves on, and unfortunately went past the 159 too quickly. Its sales have disappointed. I don't quite know why, but I think size is part of its problem as otherwise the car is quite accomplished, and probably the 'best' Alfa saloon they have ever made in overall terms of quality/ style/feel/ride/handling etc.

I think the Ti should have been there at launch frankly. The base saloon range did not have quite enough to attack the 'young thrusting exec' marketplace. It was just a wee bit mainstream perhaps for the money asked. Its just a feeling i have, nothing set in stone.

AlfaLincs
 

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I tested a 156SW a few years ago after hankering after one for about a year. I just didn't like the driving experience and ended up buying the saloon instead. My 159SW now, that's a different matter, such a supremely versatile and capable car. Sorry, no competition in my mind except, maybe, in the looks dept. The 159 isn't as pretty but it has far more presence.
Interesting viewpoint. At one point we owned both a 156 V6 SW and an E46 328i touring, and whilst the Alfa had the better sounding engine, and every other respect the BMW was the better car. However, although I've not driven one, I'm still keeping my eye on secondhand 159 SW prices :)
 
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AlfaLincs makes some good points - especially the fact that the Ti took too long to come along. 156 is a very neat 'compact saloon' - I like the look of the 159, but it is lost in its size category - part of the 156 appeal is its 'in between' size. One major flaw with the 159 (and Brera) are the terrible, unsupportive and oversized seats plus a generally disappointing interior - Ti seats look better though. For me, the same colours look best - 156/159 saloon = red, 156/159 sw = black.
 

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the 159sw is easily the best looking estate ever made.

i keep speccing them on the car configerator, 3.2 ti in white with black roof bars with natural leather and darkened alloys. then a trip to autodelta for a spot of supercharging:cool::D
 

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the 159sw is easily the best looking estate ever made.

i keep speccing them on the car configerator, 3.2 ti in white with black roof bars with natural leather and darkened alloys. then a trip to autodelta for a spot of supercharging:cool::D
Better than the 156 GTA SW?????
 

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I don't like this trend of cars getting bigger and bigger. Have you seen the new Mondeo's? they're huge!!

The 159 is stunning but it's about as big as I'd want to go.

I feel the 156 suits me perfectly size wise.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Many "car market analysts" keep saying that one big problem for SAAB is that their new flagship 9-5 is... too big. It´s one step bigger than the 159 (which equals the 9-3). They say that people want smaller cars, more economic and ecologic. I´d guess that the Gulietta will be a perfect sized car, about 156 size: Smaller than a 159, bigger than a MiTo. Sad that doesn´t look more special.
 

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I don't like this trend of cars getting bigger and bigger. Have you seen the new Mondeo's? they're huge!!

The 159 is stunning but it's about as big as I'd want to go.

I feel the 156 suits me perfectly size wise.
prime example is the golf, look how big thats got:eek:

and to give an example of how big the 159 is, it dwarfs the 166, imagine how big a 169 would have to be:wow:
 

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Sorry, the 159 was designed for the market sector it is in, which Alfa have to be in, and the size is right for that sector.

I think the 159 doesn't sell because of the 156's failings - too many people bought what promised to be a new dawn for alfa, except the promise didn't deliver in terms of build quality or reliability. The 159 more or less addressed these concerns, but people weren't going to take the risk of being bitten again. Add to that the fact that at the time of the launch there was a major restructuring of the dealership network and there was, and still is, a dearth of good dealerships. It all adds up to a sales disaster and that's more or less what happened.

I should qualify my comments about the 156SW by adding that I may well replace my 159, which is for sale due to the recession, by a 156.
 
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