The thought of buying a used Alfa Romeo 159 saloon makes my head spin like socks in a tumble dryer.
The thought of buying a used Alfa Romeo 159 saloon makes my head spin like socks in a tumble dryer. On one hand, the 159 is a stunningly attractive and capable vehicle, but I can't help wondering whether it will frequently leave me stuck on the hard shoulder. After all, Italian cars are not renowned for their impressive build quality.That said, the 2006 Alfa 159 feels more robust than previous Alfa offerings - but it is still very much a typical Italian car. This is because vehicle manufacturers, perhaps because of the culture in the country they originate, have an ideology. Italian marques, for example, are generally hot on passion, style, and personality - but less focused on practicality and reliability. By contrast, the Japanese build vehicles capable of outlasting time itself, but many of these cars are perceived as dreary granny-mobiles. Therefore, realistically, the 159 may need to be repaired more frequently than some of its rivals. On the plus side Alfa 159 owners benefit in other areas such as sporty handling, prestige, and the satisfaction of owning something stylish. Recognising these pros and cons before signing the purchase order is the key to happy Alfa ownership. Good, now that is sorted let's consider what else the 159 has to offer. The most noticeable enticement is the 3.2-litre V6 engine. This 260bhp unit propels the 159 to 60mph in 6.9 seconds, and on to a maximum 155mph. Pretty impressive for a relativity affordable saloon. The downside to this turn of speed is that the 3.2-litre engine only averages 25mpg, so you will soon be on first name terms with the petrol station manager. A better choice for cost concious motorists is the 2.0-litre 150bhp diesel. This model hits 60mph in 8.9 seconds, and returns a cost effective combined average of 49mpg. So, how much will you have to withdraw from the piggy bank to purchase this compact executive saloon? Motoring.co.uk's used car database reveals the used Alfa Romeo 159 is listed with 'buy safe' sellers from roughly £13,000. Not bad for a prestigious saloon with more kerb appeal than Buckingham Palace.