Alfa Romeo 159 Ti review (2006 onwards) – MSN Cars UK

24 Oct 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Alfa Romeo 159 Ti review (2006 onwards) – MSN Cars UK
Alfa Romeo 159

Alfa Romeo 159

Ti review (2006 onwards)

Alfa Romeo

A flashy Italian alternative to the German lockdown of the compact executive market, that’s what.

While nobody can dispute the appeal of the default offerings from Audi, Mercedes and BMW all are as conservative as they are accomplished. And nothing breaks up the monotony of the company car park like a flash of red. Enter the Alfa Romeo 159, here in flashy Tourismo Internazionale guise.

Alfa Romeo

If the monotony of silver or black Teutonic conservatism is crushing your will to live then you should definitely pay a visit to your (hopefully) much improved Alfa Romeo dealership. And with the 159 they’ve got a product to be proud of.

In standard form the 159 is a real looker. But in Ti spec it looks absolutely fabulous, the big wheels filling the arches and the stance full of sporting intent. Still feeling smug Mr 320d driver?

What does it do well?

Alfa Romeo

The low-slung cabin is quite dark and claustrophobic but it feels very well screwed together. Shock number one!

It’s all very high quality too, the leather contrasting nicely with the gen-u-ine metal trim. No silver painted plastic here.

Shock number two comes with the driving position – it’s spot on! The firm seats, rank of dials angled at the driver and dinky steering wheel all heighten the feeling of being in a proper driver’s car.

It goes well too, the five-cylinder diesel a bit gruff at low revs but opening its lungs to reveal a pleasing off-beat burble. Sharp steering and a firm chassis tick all the boxes too.

What doesn’t it do well?

Alfa Romeo

That the 159 offers a genuine alternative to the German brands is a reason to be cheerful. But before they start feeling too pleased with themselves the Italians still have some lessons to learn.

Alfa Romeo 159

The 159 Ti feels like it should be very precise and nimble. And while the ride is suitably sporting (read, hard) there’s a mushiness about it strangely at odds with its driver focused pretensions. It’s not helped by the steering, which is fast and weighty but numb with it.

The engine is muscular enough too but it bogs down off boost, a situation not helped by the clunky gearshift. In short it’s fast and comfy but doesn’t live up to the promise of the sporty looks.

What’s it like to live with?

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So you won’t be seeking out twisty B-roads for a sneaky Sunday blast. But it makes up for it by being both stunning to look at and offering a genuinely exciting alternative to the sober norm.

While the 159 is 105mm longer in the wheelbase than the 156 the low roofline and small windows means it feels tad claustrophobic.

How green is it?

Alfa Romeo

It’s a diesel right, so it must be frugal? Um, not really. Alfa Romeo claims 41.5mpg on the combined cycle but on an extended drive on A-roads and motorways didn’t see us better the mid 30s.

And that was as good as it got.

Alfa Romeo 159
Alfa Romeo 159
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