Product Type: Alfa Romeo cars
Newest Review: ... of no claims bonus then I reckon it's worth the extra outlay. The heavy depreciation of Alfa Romeo's means that there are loads of g... more
Fantastic car, wouldn't change it for the world!
Alfa Romeo 156 1.8 Twin Spark
Member Name: Dan_Thorn
Alfa Romeo 156 1.8 Twin Spark
Advantages: Great looks, great to drive, enjoyable to own
Disadvantages: Needs to be well maintained, not the best build quality
I bought my 156 1.8TS about 18 months ago now and I've loved every second of owning it.
My car is dark metallic red with a black leather interior and the glorious teledial alloys and when it gleams in the sun after being freshly washed, it looks fantastic.
The driving experience (the main reason I bought it) is brilliant too. The engine develops plenty of power but most of it is above 3000rpm, so you have to keep stirring the gears to get the best from it. If you're a keen driver however this wont be a problem (plus the engine sounds fantastic for a 1.8) and below 3000rpm it certainly isn't gutless. Handling is brilliant, theres an abundance of grip and the steering is direct and precise.
Even though mine comes with sports suspension, it's still a comfortable ride. You feel the bumps but the suspension is well damped so you're not bouncing around all over the place. The only slight issue I have with refinement is that in 5th gear at 70 miles an hour there is a bit too much engine and wind noise, but as I usually listen to music on long motorway journeys this isn't too much of a problem for me.
The saying that all Alfa's are unreliable is a myth. Mine has run pretty much trouble free since the day I bought it, the only issues being minor things which are easily fixable with a hammer and a screwdriver.
Build quality is a minor issue - the panels dont fit properly everywhere and you have to give the doors a proper shove for them to close properly, and I once took it through a car wash which wiped all the colour off the badges. The fusebox lid to the right of the steering wheel also kept dropping off, but I fixed this by drilling a hole in the dash and inserting a screw. Other than that though, the various knobs, buttons and levers all feel as solid as anything you'd find in a German car.
Running costs are surprisingly low for a car of this type - I average 30mpg in town driving, and 45mpg on motorways. Filling the tank up is a bit of a sting, but I'll usually get 350-400 miles of driving out of a tank of petrol, which is a monthly amount for me. Servicing is cheap as long as you keep your car well looked after, but the engine does drink a lot of oil (there's even a warning sticker inside that tells you so) and you'll have to regularly top up. Cambelts should also be changed every 36,000 miles, so check the service history. Insurance is high, but if you're a careful driver with plenty of no claims bonus then I reckon it's worth the extra outlay.
The heavy depreciation of Alfa Romeo's means that there are loads of great 156's out there for around £2000, making it a bargain to buy and a great choice if you're looking for something a little different.
Summary: A great alternative to those who don't want a BMW or and Audi but still want a decent badge
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