Car Reviews: Alfa Romeo 156 2.4 JTD Veloce – The AA

28 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Car Reviews: Alfa Romeo 156 2.4 JTD Veloce – The AA
Alfa Romeo 156

Car safety


Stunning backed up by a cabin design influenced by the cockpits of racy A comfortable driving position owes little to Alfa’s the past Despite being drive, the 156 is an entertaining car to drive at an pace Performance and refinement of 2.4 JTD is outstanding; a fine replacement for the now petrol V6


The car’s cabin and shortage of rear is a legacy of its compact dimensions an entertaining drive, the 156’s ride will not be to everyone’s Turning circle could be making manoeuvring in tight harder work than it be Quality of the centre console detract from an otherwise fascia

Always a favourite enthusiasts, Alfa Romeo’s executive 156 has, since its gradually become more in its appeal as the marque slowly off its poor reliability tag. A 2003 facelift has done for the car’s image, while the of revised diesel engines has put the on an equal footing with European rivals.

After at the hands of critics in the 1980s and 1990s for producing what generally perceived to be entertaining but and fragile sporting saloons and Alfa redeemed itself and its battered reputation – it launched the 156 in 1997.

Overnight the critics fell and confidence in the brand rose to new as the Italian car maker managed to the proverbial rabbit of the hat with a car the complete opposite of its ultra-conservative rivals. That it drove as as it looked and offered enthusiasts a alternative to BMW’s all-conquering 3 was a bonus.

It wasn’t all plain for Alfa Romeo though, as the hadn’t quite grasped the points of build quality and Although many of the early were of the minor electrical engine and transmission maladies not unheard of – especially caused by the firm’s F1-style gearbox.

Time has proven to be a healer for the company though, and the are much better now. fitting, then, that corner-turning approach was punctuated by the of a facelifted car boasting a new nose, quality improvements and more diesel motors. With the charismatic 2.5-litre petrol V6 now from the line-up, flagship this side of the firm’s GTA variant have gone to the five-cylinder, 2.4-litre JTD diesel.

In the world it’s more friendly and kinder on the wallet the 3.2 V6, yet delivers a performance that its diesel origins.

That the 156’s chassis quite keep up with the 2.4 up the car’s personality: flawed but enjoyable. The same is true the 156, as the car’s compact makes carrying a full something of a squeeze. And yet, the design is typical Alfa and of enthusiastic details.

For some Alfa is something of a ‘nearly while for others it’s a alternative to BMWs, Mercedes’ and

Our verdict on the Alfa Romeo 156 2.4 JTD

A dramatically styled car from a famous for its grandiose gestures, the 156 is a rare head turner in a where conservatism rules. aren’t everything though, and the 156 quite deliver a driving to match that of the class BMW’s 3 Series. It’s a run thing, and the upside is a selection of petrol engines and outstanding motors, a sportscar-influenced interior and attention-grabbing nose.


To Alfa’s 156 is a difficult car to pin down; its strategy stretches from territory to the dizzy heights of and the compact executive market. you can get an entry level 156, with all the style and kerbside of something more expensive for the of an average family saloon no doubt tempt buyers from rep specials. Pick a and fuel costs will be low, with the added of no trade off in terms of performance.

If there is a downside to Alfa it’s that residual don’t come near to of cars from Germany. For the higher specification levels, distinctive styling and, in cases, better engines, are enough reasons to help any financial losses.

Space and

If there’s one area where the 156 its age, it’s in the space With the likes of latest models such as Ford’s and Vauxhall’s Vectra noticeably the 156 struggles to offer similar of practicality.

For many this pose a problem as the 156 was never to be a family car, but for the company car it may prove problematic when clients. Elsewhere you get the usual of useful cubbyholes, although the pockets are on the shallow side. The is also a modest size in line with the 156’s nature – but its usefulness is by the ability to split or fold the seats.

Controls and display

Car security

Car safety

Despite the emphasis on performance, the 156’s and active safety measures are at equal to those of its class Twin front, side and airbags are standard across the along with ABS, brakeforce distribution (EBD), brake assist for when a stop is required and Alfa’s system, Vehicle Dynamic (VDC). More powerful headlamps can specified as an option.

Those of a cost conscious should be aware that a three-point belt, along a centre seat headrest, standard on the base-spec 156. It is a option, though.


Alfa Romeo 156

While the 3 Series can still lay to the top position, the 156 is a surprisingly sharp With drive going to the front wheels – not the as is traditional – the Alfa is, most other car’s, compromised. However, piloting a 156 is fun.

The enthusiastic driver revel in the car’s taut plus responsive and quick Push too hard, though, and then that the car show’s its age despite the facelift. By way of compensation, the line-up is perfectly judged. The motors provide ample and a pleasing racecar soundtrack in the of the 3.2 V6.

But it’s the diesels – the 2.4 JTD – that deliver the combination of performance and economy.

Family car appeal

First car

Quality and image

Detractors who Alfas with rust and trim will be shocked by the build quality of the 156. not quite able to match the of BMW’s 3 Series or Audi’s A4, Alfa’s interior is sufficiently trimmed to banish previous If anything does spoil the it’s the car’s silver console, which, on close could be better finished.

question marks also over reliability and the quality of from the dealer network. that, Alfa Romeo is keen to stress that issues are being constantly


Unable to offer the generous levels of space as a run-of-the-mill Vectra, the 156’s is definitely on the ‘snug’ side. there’s a trade-off between the pert kerbside stance and the of space it can offer to occupants, and it in the amount of rear legroom, width and the modest amount of allowed for access to the rear Front seat occupants are looked after, although if not terribly limber you might getting out of the seats when set at lowest setting.

Stereo and ICE (In car

Standard equipment is a radio a single CD player. Located the ventilation controls, the unit’s can be read easily from front seat. The controls are on the side – especially the – but you can opt for the most common to be replicated on the steering wheel.

Upgrades include a CD changer in the car’s boot, and a ‘premium upgrade boasting improved quality. A basic sat-nav is also on the upgrade list, a full-blown telematics solution Connect a more costly

While it can’t match 3 Series, the 156 is still great fun to

Colours and trim

Just as look their best in Alfas of all shapes and sizes never fail to catch the eye selected in such a bright Don’t worry if red isn’t favourite, as the 156 can look equally in the ubiquitous silver or in an attractive of metallic blue. Inside, the standard cloth upholstery is enough, but if funds allow worth spending the extra on as it adds another layer of to the cabin’s ambience.

If you’re particularly retro in outlook, you can specify a wood-trimmed steering and a two-tone fascia trimmed in light and dark colours.

Alfa Romeo 156
Alfa Romeo 156
Alfa Romeo 156
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