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ALFA ROMEO 156 Estate 2000‑2005
22 owner reviews for ALFA ROMEO 156 Estate 2000‑2005
Lovely, practical stylish car
ALFA ROMEO 156 2.4 JTD Veloce 5dr (Review date: 6th August '14)
Ran this car for 5 years to 130,000 miles. For most of that time it was reliable, trouble free then age seemed to creep up on it and a whole host of electrical sensors started playing up.
The drive is wonderful. There is plenty of power, response through the suspension and steering and there are not enough adjectives to describe how satisfying it is to drive. I replaced it with a 159 which just does not capture the same feel.
The looks are wonderful; slightly simpler than later Alfas and almost everyone comments on how good it looks.
The interior is beautifully crafted and the everything wears very well.
Running costs are below average; always around 40 mpg which isn't bad for a big old engine, but servicing costs were always a little steep.
Best Car I've had (and I've had a few...)
ALFA ROMEO 156 2.5 V6 24V Veloce 5dr [LT] (Review date: 1st February '12)
I bought my 2001 2.0 sport wagon two years ago, with a little under 60k on the clock. It was one owner and had been well looked after. I was buying it to replace a high mileage 156 1.6 saloon as we had a recent addition to the family and needed a small estate car.
I had loved my little 1.6 156, so moving up to the 2.0 sport wagon was a joy. The same great, sharp handling, but with so much more power. Petrol consumption is a little on the high side, especially if you drive 'enthusiastically' but it returns 35mpg on motorway runs, which is ok. Even at 10+ years old, the car looks stylish and sleek, especially in SW form, and definitely stands out from the euro boxes of the same era from BMW, Audi etc. I use my car for work, and have to transport equipment with me, and with the back seats down, it swallows pretty much everything I need it to. It isn't huge, and the rear sill is quite high and prone to scuffs, but not disastrously so.
The interior is mostly very well built (apart from the fuse box cover), and the leather seats are very comfortable. It could do with lumbar support and cup holders, but apart from that I wouldn't change it.
It has been very reliable (at least as much as my previous Audi, BMW and Fords), and has only broken down once when the distributor failed. I have had it serviced and maintained by a couple of independent alfa specialists, who do great work at very reasonable cost.
I am probably going to switch to a diesel very soon as my monthly mileage has rocketed, but will be looking for another 156 SW in 1.9JTD form to replace this one.
Alfa 156 Sportwagon 2.4 JTD
ALFA ROMEO 156 2.4 JTD Veloce 5dr (Review date: 26th January '12)
This is the 4th Alfa I've owned - the first was a 166, then 2 petrol powered 156 saloons. Though I liked them all, I was hankering for the Sportwagon, as it looks sooo good. It took a while to decide to buy a diesel one, as I've never been much of a fan of stinky smokers (the motor variety), but having seen the progress made recently when it comes to performance, I thought I'd take a chance.
Oh wow, wish I'd done it years sooner - this car is fantastic!
It has enough torque to tear down a house, it accelerates almost as well as the V6 petrol version and yet gives me an average of 46 MPG (that's about 10 miles per litre for the younger readers).
It sticks like glue round the corners (mine has the stiffer, lower Veloces suspension) and I run out of talent long before the car runs out of grip.
Mine has the leather interior, which is in excellent condition despite the car being 11 yrs old. It is sumptuous and comfortable and more suitable for my needs than the cloth seats.
My only criticism of this Italian stallion is that it suffers (as do all 156s) from squeaky suspension. I have replaced the rear springs/ shocks, but the fronts will need doing this year. I'm lucky, the electrics on this one are fine, but I've had problems with window motors and demister controls on the previous 156s.
The estate is not the biggest load area in the world, but plenty of room for suitcases when we all go on holiday.
In conclusion, my next car should be a 156 Sportwagon 2006 2.4 JTD - or else I'll lose the fun of driving
My Alfa 156 JTD M-Jet is growing on me
ALFA ROMEO 156 1.9 JTD 16v Multijet Veloce 5dr (Review date: 23rd January '12)
My Alfa 156 JTD M-Jet is growing on me, and my little bag of bits has stopped getting bigger too!
On balance this car is pretty average. But it does look very attractive especially with Veloce wheels and dark grey paint (when it is polished and cleaned of course).
I wouldn't have another one though.
When I first got it the amount of little bits that fell of was alarming. I keep them in a bag.
A little cramped inside and really not a big load carrier.
I get good MPG (35 - 50), and the car does go fairly well. There is a fair amount of turbo lag when trying a fast getaway, though. Even after several months of use I still get caught by it sometimes.
Ride is OK but can crash at times on bumpy surfaces, and speed pillow / humps are an issue with more than 1 person in the car.
I had to spend a lot of money fixing the air-con after the pump failed too. This had to be done as mine has electronic controls and it wasn't possible to run the heater system (to cool the car) without proper working air-con.
ALFA ROMEO 156 1.9 JTD Turismo 5dr (Review date: 17th January '12)
It's an Alfa - what more needs to be said?
Mine is a base model, no bells or whistles, so not so many 'Italian electrics' to go wrong.
Bought it 2.1/2 years ago with 35k on the clock.
Had to replace turbo inter cooler hose and main engine air intake hose.
Radiator and Alternator went AWOL at about 65k
No more or less reliable than the many cars I've owned in the past.
Drives like an Alfa should, returns 45mpg average.
Used daily for commuting, shopping, holidays, and (mostly) as a dog taxi.
I've always fancied one, this came up, but I thought it might be impractical for 3 dogs in the back.
I took a test drive just to confirm that it would be impractical for the dogs - then bought it anyway.
Alfa sportwagon is a compact, reliable car with excellent economy
ALFA ROMEO 156 1.9 JTD 16v Multijet  Veloce 5dr (Review date: 13th October '11)
This is my second Alfa 156 sportwagon, its absolutely superb in every way, I travel extensively in France and Spain on the autoroutes where it comes into its own. Its comfortable, very responsive and exellent for long journeys. The economy is wonderful I can travel 700 miles on a tank of diesel. The sportwagon is just like driving a sports car. I bought this car from new and its been faultless. I have had BMW's and theres no contest.
Life Support Machine, Alfa Romeo 156 Sportwagon
ALFA ROMEO 156 1.9 JTD Turismo 5dr (Review date: 2nd July '11)
The Alfa 156 Sportwagon is a practical variant of the popular saloon car. As an out and out estate it's not going to win any prizes, it's more like a big hatchback.
As a drivers car, you can't fault the 156, understeer is a long forgotten trait, especially on the later models with ESP (Alfa call it VDC) which is also a huge bonus in the winter. The road holding is staggering, wet or dry...
The JTD is a powerful yet efficient choice, returning the kind of mpg that the official figures suggest. Also used by other manufacturers, this is a reliable powertrain with cheap service parts widely available. Even the entry level 115bhp model gives perky performance that will embarrass much more expensive cars.
Jeremy Clarkson & Co would have you believe that constants breakdowns will spoil your ownership experience - this is not the case with the newer breed of Alfas. My 156 has been perfectly reliable, with very few faults over 55k miles, certainly no different to any other car I've owned. If anything does go wrong, there is an army of enthusiasts with the know how to fix quickly and cheaply.
If you want a stylish yet practical car that stands out from the crowd of Fords, VWs and Vauxhalls, the Alfa Romeo is a worthy contender.
2002 Alfa Romeo Sportwagon 1.8
ALFA ROMEO 156 1.8 TS Turismo 5dr (Review date: 18th June '11)
Someone told me the 156 would be a big improvement on the 155, but over the last three years I have wondered..........still hopeless front suspension - why can't they copy FIAT (oh! same firm) as our old Bravo diesel has no suspension knocks and bangs - and there's still the 'collapsing' keys (have 3, but all have problems) so won't mention sagging rear suspension, and the need to change cambelts and lots of other parts every 36,000 miles........forgot the expensive rattling variator. If BMC/BL could produce an engine - the "0 series" OHC 2-litre - which in two MG Maestros ran over 100,000 miles each without cambelt change (or any problems with suspensions) why can't Alfa. Halving cambelt change intervals moved costs on to owners. With more attention to long known problems the 156 could have been a real winner for Alfa. Would I buy another Alfa? Unlikely, as later models do not have the gorgeous looks (the good point) of the original 156 so little attraction there: same quip applies as was given to the original V16 BRM!
ALFA ROMEO 156 2.4 JTD Lusso 5dr (Review date: 30th April '11)
Mid-life crisis? not sure, but 3 years ago I really wanted an Alfa 156 sportwagon with the 5 cylinder 2.4 JTD engine. I found a 2003 in blue with grey leather and have run it for 55,000 miles.
It has been brilliant for motorway miles, returning 44+mpg - around 650miles per tank of diesel. We only struggled for space on family holidays with 2 growing kids, a boxer dog and all that luggage...
Only technical problems have been the composite flywheel and, at first, some niggling front suspension clunks. Maintenance costs have been service, discs, pads and tyres.
Performance? - well it's an Alfa and even a diesel Alfa is fun.