Alfa Romeo 159 -

Used Car Review

THOSE like me, who want an older sporting car that stands out from the crowd of Audis and BMWs, should take a look at the stylish and svelte Alfa Romeo 159.

Inside and out it looks every inch the complete sporting saloon in a way that others simply cannot match and it seems to have beaten the reliability issues of earlier models.

Those beautiful lines, designed as only a master can, put it in a realm of its own when compared to almost anything on the medium saloon market. The others simply cannot match that panache or presence.

As long as you make sure that you have full service history, so you know it has been properly cared for, one of these is unlikely to let you down.

It drives beautifully in every way and it's also very comfortable over long journeys or short, with excellent seats - most with electric adjustment - and a compliant, supple ride.

There's marvellous grip and road-holding through the corners - in true Alfa style - and the pin sharp steering brings superb feedback. These help to make it a complete joy to drive - even when cruising gently through town at 30 miles an hour.

Towards the end of production in 2011 engines were 1.75 TBi 200bhp petrol, 1.9 Eco diesel with 120bhp and 2.0-litre diesel with 136 or 170bhp.

A number of other engines were available earlier including 2.2 and barnstorming 3.2-litre petrols, and a 1.9 diesel with 150bhp that is still worth buying.

The 2.0 JTDM diesel is the best buy, offering quiet cruising along with very good performance when pressed and strong pulling power from low down.

The 136bhp version covers the 0 to 60 mile an hour sprint in 9.6 seconds and is good for 55 miles per gallon, while the 170bhp version gets to 60mph in 8.5 seconds and will still average a best of 50mpg.

The 1.75-litre TBi petrol is great to drive with the most scintilating soundtrack and excellent performance from almost any speed. It will sprint to 60mph in 7.5 seconds and is rated at 34mpg

Most models have a smooth six-speed gearbox, but a six-speed automatic was also available on some and all V6 models come with four wheel drive, which was also available on some higher powered diesels.

There were numerous changes in specification and additional trim levels over the years, but even the entry Tourismo has alloys, dual-zone climate control, stability and traction control, alarm, cruise and audio remote control. Lusso adds leather, parking sensors and more.

Cabin space is good enough for two adults to be comfortable in the back, front space is excellent as is seat adjustment and the boot is also a good size.

Pay about £2,500 for an '11 11-reg 2.0 JTDM 136bhp diesel Tourismo, or £5,450 for a '12 12-reg 1.75 TBi Lusso.

An estate was also available with similar performance figures, but it will cost a little more.

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