Best car I've ever had!!!
I bought my 2001 156 Monza Twin-Spark 2.0 litre manual, three years ago with 180,000 k for $2500!! I must say that I have never enjoyed driving as much as I do the 156. It is a car that actually encourages you to test it, especially when going around corners and curves. I also find that I am really enjoying my relationship with the car, and it reveals more about what it can do as time passes - just gets better and better. Being a Monza, it is lower but with a stiff suspension - this causes some rattling in the cabin plastic materials - but n...ot excessively. Since it is almost 20 years old, many of the plastic components, such as fuel pump, air flow meter, window controls and coolant reservoir were stuffed, plus a few pieces of suspension were bent - but after replacing them (for about $3000), I find that I have a very enjoyable, quite powerful, and reliable, Alfa. Also, being a Monza it actually has no body roll with cornering and handling being absolutely delightful, especially when fitted with good quality Pirelli's. You realise that the leather seats form part of the suspension. The gearbox (manual) is a superb part of the package, and is designed for high-speed rural touring - even though the gearstick is quite long. It uses almost no oil, and, as far as I can tell, still has the original clutch. It is now approaching 216,000 k., and I have never had an electrical problem, although the air/con. is stuffed, and windscreen washers are hopeless is a totally reliable car. It uses 98 octane fuel and the engine likes to be revved high (around 7000 rpm) - I get 600 k from a tankful around town, and 800 k in the country. This is a car that is a pleasure to drive!
Purchased in November 2016 for A$2,500.00.
This car broke my heart and my bank balance.
I have been a repeat purchaser of Red Alfas and currently own a 159. I bought the 2002 V6 4 years old from a Brisbane dealership and had ongoing problems from day one. The gear stick was broken in 3 pieces and I only discovered this when changing gears at 110km/hr on a highway. The engine caught fire 3 times in the 4 years I owned it and eventually led to it being a write off and wrecked at merely 138000kms. The drivers door often wouldn't close and I would have to hold it closed with my left hand and try to stay in one gear to get to work. It...was repeatedly at the mechanic with multiple warning lights behind the dash going off until finally the dash fuse shorted out due to overload of all the warning lights. The car cost me over $5000 per year in repairs and $16000 in the last 6 months until it spontaneously caught fire while driving it. It was a beautiful car to look at and drive. The leather and sports interior were beautiful. It was a relief when it was written off as it was over. I can laugh about it now and it has provided plenty of entertaining dinner time stories but it was an absolute headache to own.
I bought this with my heart, and I regret that.
The car looks fantastic inside and out, it drives great and the v6 engine sounds amazing.
But this car has cost me so much money, I bought it for 3k, spent 2.5k on repairs and 2 years later its worthless as theres another 2k worth of repairs ahead of me to make it road worthy.
Australians don't buy European cars, (especially alfas) parts are very expensive and they are not designed for Australia's conditions.
Don't Believe The Alfa Gloom Merchants.
I bought my 156 Twin Spark Manual nearly two years ago with around 86,000kms on the clock and at the age of 73. Since 1969 I have had 16 Alfa Romeos pass through my hands, a couple were new and some were truly bags of bones. But I have never broken down. During the seventies Alfa was my car of choice; I was on the road in Britain driving around 35,000miles a year in cars I had to pay for and service myself; one quickly learns where the all-round safety and handling lies - if you keep them serviced. I have driven around NSW in a motley collecti...on of cars since I arrived here in 1981 and as I approached what I considered would be my last car I thought, "Damn it, I'm having an Alfa. And manual too". I was astonishingly lucky to find this one. A Monza with up-rated suspension, leather and a sunroof. The first two owners had been mature ladies who sold the car on after they realise that the beauty was off-set by City gear changing. I eventually obtained it from a banker with no boy-racer overtones. At 134,000kms the car is still on its original clutch, a fair indication of a lightness of touch from all its owners. Notorious as an oil burner my car bucks the trend by not using a single drop between 6,000km services. This interval is advised as dirty oil will badly affect the variable cam timing. There have been zero mechanical problems. Electrical? Well its an Italian car, so broken window regulator, erratic instruments until a replacement ABS unit was fitted, and yes, bulbs blowing a little too frequently for an arthritic hand to easily replace. I run the 156 on 98 octane fuel and it helps, the economy is always unvarying though perhaps a bit costly measured against newer models. Alfas are an acquired taste. If you are thinking of something in my pensioner's price range then the 156 Twin Spark is a "proper" Alfa. Avoid the JTS, more problematic and definitely avoid a Selespeed; fabulous when it works - I stress "when". This car would be a good way to decide whether you like pin sharp handling, sporty engine and wonderful gearbox - or if seat-of-pants driving is not for you. Be advised the timing belt MUST be replaced every 60,000kms. Pushing four figures, get quotes from different Alfa specialists (not main dealers) and find one you can trust. They are a tight-nit bunch and usually offer good advice. Now excuse me, I am off for a drive in a car that makes me feel twenty years younger.
Nothing But Problems.
Edit 2: You can't make this stuff up. Today (15th May, 2017) I was driving to work and my car turned off while I was waiting at the lights on a busy road in Melbourne CBD. I thought nothing of it and tried to restart the car. It was trying to turn over but couldn't quite make it. So I pushed it out of the way and thought maybe the fuel gauge was faulty and that I had run out of petrol so I walked to the nearest petrol station and bought a jerrycan and fuel. I returned to the car and put fuel in and tried to start the car. Now the fault "Failure...No Connection" appears on the car display. From what I can find on Alfa Romeo forums this means there is a problem with the battery or the fuses. I checked the fuses and the battery terminals and nothing appears broken or burned but the fact is the car won't start. I had to leave the car on the footpath and get to work and will now have to get it towed home or get an auto electrician to have a look. If I save just one person from buying an Alfa Romeo then this will be worth the constant updating of this review. Edit: I had the 120,000 km service completed last month (April, 2017) and the mechanic has advised me there is $8500 worth of work that needs to occur otherwise the car will only last around 12 more months. First off the coolant pump is leaking to the point where I have to refill the coolant every day or two depending on how much I drive and how hot the day is. This is a $1045 job straight off the bat. The rest are various leaks and minor problems, and the suspension needs a lot of work. The car somehow passed it's roadworthy inspection mid last year, and I have spoiled it ever since, and yet it is falling apart regardless. Everyone told me not to buy an Alfa but I liked the look of it so much I assumed they were just being ridiculous. Now I know they were spot on. I will never buy Italian again. First entry: I bought my 2004 Alfa Romeo 156 3 months ago in August 2016, with 110,000 km on it, and have had nothing but problems. The first problem was that the alternator suffered a catastrophic failure and couldn't be refurbished by a mechanic or auto electrician. After that was replaced, my rear right brake lights and indicator stopped working. I couldn't find the problem so I had to call an auto electrician again who found that the wiring to the light housing had arced out because Alfa Romeo us cheap plastic plugs instead of wiring the lights straight to the engine. This is something that had to be rewired as the housing was broken so I couldn't just swap it out (the auto electrician said half of his call outs are for Alfa Romeos and that I should be worried about my alternator going soon. I told him it already did!) Now the same thing has happened to the left side lights! For a car that hasn't been driven much (110,000 km over 12 years) it is having the problems that a much older and/or much more used car would have. I am waiting for another car that I like to be available near me so I can ditch this car and I will be staying away from Alfa Romeo for the rest of my life. I was warned by friends that Alfas have a reputation for being unreliable and I should have listened. And the last fault is that the air conditioner has a mind of it's own. I can set it to how I want it and watch it change the setting without me touching the controls. Most likely another wiring issue which will no doubt bite me in the wallet eventually.
Alfa 156 2.0 jts
Hi I have had my alfa 156 for three months I love the car and sporty sound when you take of I had no problems with the car had 101000km on it when I got it didn't come with service history when I got it they are good on fuel and have plenty of power I have heard a lot of bad things about Selespeed if you are buying 156 2.0.selespeed buy the later model 2004 onwards you won't have problem with the selespeed but I have never had a problem with mine you have to Maintain them get the timing belts done every 60000km look after don't run them low on ...oil and use the proper oil racing oil from alfa service centers don't take the car to just any Mechanics have it serviced at a proper alfa service Centres like alfa men would I buy a Alfa again yes I take it to the guys at Alfa men in Bray brook in Melbourne these guys know there cars and are professional and great service great guys if you are looking to buy a Alfa you can have it check out before you buy it with Alfa men in Melbourne vic the car has done 115000 km no problems just had timing belts done all good you have to look after them done a 120000 km still going good no issues all good hope this help some one ok now at 126000 km small problem has happened one of the coil packs not to bad $140 to replace common fault still very happy with car hope I am still some help to people out there I always take the car to Matt at Alfa men great guy he will look after you bourght a 159 2.2 JTS with 112000 km on the clock see how it go's its 6 speed selespeed nice car to drive and looks great keep you's informed see how this one go's the 2006 159 jts 2.2 has gone well no problems with it just needed to replace the radiator I never get sick of driving it have to be maintained and serviced on time it has done 147000 km just had the clutch replaced great car to drive this one is not a ti I am glad I didn't buy a ti they sit to low and ware out tyres at 20000 km brakes are expensive to replace I would not buy the ti hope this information helps cheers
Alpha 156 v6 2.5 24v is fantastic!
I have had mine for 8 years and it hasnt missed a beat. I agree that the turning circle is huge and the air con is, well pathetic really - the vents are too high and far away to be of any real effectiveness.
that aside it has great power, looks, sound and drives smooth - agree 10/10 for all - I like the sport drive option ( the sound is amazing) but the city drive provides great power too. Mine's a 2000 so 15 years old and still looks fantastic - when I bought it 112,000 ks - now hitting 194,000 and still going strong
I have an auto with the...
4th Alfa and Equal best so far!!!
I have just purchased my 4th Alfa. A 2004 156 2.5 V6 6spd. Wow. Comfort 10/10. Drivability 10/10. Sound 10/10. Feelgood factor. Above and beyond anything I expected. This says a lot because my other is a 1974 Spider Veloce. A real feel good car. It is hard to believe that a car this good could be so affordable, reasonably cheap to run for the size a power of the heart, and such exceptionally good looks. Of course, you have to be certain that the servicing is done by people who know, and preferably share the same feeling, for this very special marque. Sometimes this can be pricey as well. But really, why would you want anything else.
156 selespeed with no problems!
I thought I'd be the first to actually give the selespeed a good review. I've had mine for 2 years, bought it very cheap with no service history. The only thing I had to replace was the back box. Drives great and looks great. Sometimes the front windows don't work and that is my only criticism.
DO NOT BUY A SELESPEED YOU WILL REGRET IT!!
I brought and alfa romeo 2004 156 JTS Selespeed.. almost 4 years ago.. BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER!! i brought it at 95,000km and i took it to the alfa mechanic 3 months later as the timing belt went, then found out the camshafts are fully worn out, then the cat converter went.. it stopped reversing, then finally fixed that and the fuel pump broke, and now the transmission or gears are effed! when you drive or go to drive it, it wont go into gear and when it does after about 200 meters it will throw itself back into neutral, i had to reverse it home l...ast night.. as it wouldn't go into gear.. the black leather interior plus 43 degrees Celsius heat (how hot it is where i live) makes for one hot blistering temp inside the car.. serviced every 4000-5000 km while regularly checking oil and topping up if needed. so now i have to find a way to get to work, the 2hr drive to study and get my two kids to school every morning whilst trying to find a way to drive the 1.5hr trip to the city for a food shop every fortnight DO NOT BUY A SELESPEED!! UNLESS YOU HAVE 2 OTHER ONES TO HARVEST FOR PARTS OR PLENTY OF MONEY!! I am giving one star due to the external appearance, very beautiful looking car but BE WARNED LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING!!
Solid car with loads of charisma
I bought my Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 Twin Spark manual 8 years ago as a second hand buy that had 95,000km.
The car is a beauty , black momo leather seats and optioned white dials.
The car has been very reliable over the 8 years. Beautiful tractable engine. The car has a very solid and quality feel.
Change the Oil every 5,000km (like you should on all cars) and it will treat you to a long life of enjoyment.
Timeless Looks, Reliability, Engine, Leather interior
Expensive car to own
Dont buy am Alfa unless you have $3000 sitting as emergency money. Well i got the selespeed model which never ran correct, failed to reverse, headgasket blew at 120k , clutch at 130k, Airbag errors you name it. And the cost to service?? well timing belt will set you back $900 every 3 years, brakes $800, forget it just forget it.
"It is a pleasure to drive but a nightmare to keep going"
Seats are nice, style, looks
everything mechanically and electrics
Alfa Romeo Monza V6
Purchased from near new (48000ks), this car has performed well with just typical maintenance requirements in the 4 years of my ownership. The only non maintenance parts I have replaced are the sway bar stabiliser links as these were worn upon purchase. I disliked the Alfa links and installed Miele heavy duty types which should last much much longer.
The only gripe I have is that it is a tad fuel thirsty being just a 2.5 V6, compared with others sized cars/engines. Also the Air Con is weak in the earlier models. However the V6 is smooth and sounds great. Comfy too.
V6! Comfortable and effortless to drive. Great sounding exhaust. Minimal road noise/well insulated cabin.
Weak Air Con. Bad stabiliser links. Devalued realtivly fast.
More than you pay for
2.5 V6 6 speed manual, full leather, top options. Just a fun car, very quick, very stiff on the road, our other is a V6 3.5 2006 Maxima sponge, they can go alright, but too soft suspension worries the ride when driven hard! But this Alfa is the 100% opposite, it has so much more fun in it than one of these new Holdens or Fords or that Nissan (which has the z350 engine) and the noise... Oh well you will have to get one to appreciate it.
Probably still the best looking 4dr V6 manual around, 12yrs old and still a head turner
A bit thirsty at first, because trust me, every wants to race a well presented 156, they just look that way
156 V6 monza reliable
Seldom does a car come along and make you so happy to be driving than this car. I've had the 156 for a couple of years and there is no way I'm selling it. I've drive the t-spark and the the selespeed and it's chalk and cheese. The engine gives a throaty burst when you look at the throttle!
Manual gearbox, V6 engine, fuel consumption, only Alfa drivers get how good it is
Turning circle is big, light globes burn out more often
Alfa V6 is my pick
My partner and I have owned a few Alfas, and while I've experienced ups and downs the Alfa Romeo 156 V6 has giving me nothing but perfection. It does everything well. Comfortable and smooth to drive. It feels safe and precise. I've clocked up 178000kms in this car and owned it since 88000. Good reliablity and I would rate it higher than my sisters BMW 320i or 2005 mazda 6 which I use as a work car.
Italian design and great engine
Turning circle is larger than the norm
156 Monza marvel
Just clocked 200000ks in my Alfa 156 V6 Monza. Figure it deserves a 5* review as I search online for a timing kit, and more treats for it. I've had the car since new - really can't complain as it hasn't missed a beat. Still tight as the day I got it - the suspension bushings being the only factor I care comment due to replacement 3x in its life as my daily commuter.
The engine sound and smoothness
suspension arm bushes are a bit of a bother to replace
Not sure if I would have paid the $50,000 plus asking price when it was new, but as an almost mint condition, very low mileage second hand manual, it's an absolute, rolled gold bargain.
Looks great, handles beautifully, good power when you need it, very comfortable leather seats. Great dash layout.
There is a little 'creakiness' from some of the interior fittings, but I can put up with that for all the good things about the 156.
Rating a 156, V6 with the 6 speed manual i used to own. Miss that car, sniff. It was a cracker. The engine was always a delight when revved. The car used to get better mileage then our other 4cyl car! It had a creak/groan that would appear for a second or two every few months. We never found what it was. If you are in Australia, just buy parts in from the UK/Germany as they are cheap that way.
The car was great and highly recommended in the V6, manual combo!
Engine sound. The experience. Quality. Good fuel economy from the V6 - 2.5 Model. 6 Speed manual is a joy. Glides/Idles along on freeways too.
The V6 and 6 speed manual combo is bullet proof. Other versions have weaknesses.
The Alfa 156 was seen by many as the first Alfa capable of competing with the BMW 3-series as small executive saloon class in terms of build quality. While a great leap in reliability and build on the models before it, it still has list of issues that prospective buyers need to be aware of. The first 2.0 liter Twinspark models suffered from a poor quality cambelt tensioner that would collapse with catastrophic and expensive consequences at low milage. Later parts are very robust but cambelt, balancer belt and associated idlers and tensioners ne...ed replacement every 60,000 km or 3 years - reduced from the previous 100,000/5 year. Not an inexpensive proposition. The front lower balljoints are integral with the lower suspension arms, thus worn ball joints requires replacement of the arms. Again not cheap to do. Other common faults are dash rattles, blower fan resistor failures, front suspension squeaks and cabin leaking on early models. Some cars are equipped the Selespeed gear change mechanism, which uses a computer controlled hydraulic servo unit to operate the clutch and change gears in the manual gearbox when instructed by the driver via the Tiptronic controls a la F1 Ferrari. There is no clutch pedal, the computer engages the clutch for the driver when the accelerator is applied with the car stationary. Clever stuff until is dies and leaves you in the middle of an intersection unable to engage any gears... Very expensive to replace. However the 156 will deliver you incredibly accurate steering and wonderful feedback with little or no torque steer. Excellent traction. Sufficient power and excellent balance in the Twinspark and almost 200 bhp out of the great sounding -but thirsty when pushed- 2.5 litre V6. There are diesel options and the very powerful GTA. Like all Alfa's the 156 is a real driver's car. Great sporting character with Italian style. They are reliable vehicles if maintenance is religiously attended to, but because of the somewhat overblown Alfa reputation for unreliability, these cars are ridiculously cheap. A good enthusiasts car. As Jeremy Clarkson says "It does what is says on the wrapper" i.e. a sporty car in the Italian tradition As Jeremy Clarkson says 'it'll breakdown within 5 minutes of leaving the showroom' i.e. like a sporty car in the Italian tradition
Questions & Answers
Where is the main fuse that runs/shuts down all the four door windows in the alpha 2002 V6 -I understand that there are window door fuses for front x2 and window door fuses for x2 rear both x 30A but they have been checked and replaced even though there is nothing wrong with them-So I assume there must be a main overall fuse? Has someone fallen on this problem and can give me answer ASAP? Multi graze -Many thank Michael
ProductReview.com.au has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence our content moderation policies in any way, though ProductReview.com.au may earn commissions for products/services purchased via affiliate links.