New Alfa Romeo 159 Review
With their tag line "mediocrity is a sin", Alfa Romeo launched the stunning new 159. Designed in collaboration with Maserati by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the new 159 could never be accused of being mediocre, built on Alfa Romeo's all new premium platform as a replacement to the 156, the 159 is the Italian company's attempt to muscle in on the BMW 3 Series market.
There's absolutely no doubt the 159 looks the part, similar to the 156 in many respects at the back, but walk round to the front and it's a whole new kettle of fish. The sweeping lines of the bonnet lead down from the front screen in a V shape to the trademark Alfa Romeo deep wedge shaped grille and with the front headlights set in a bank of three, the middle being the indicators and the horizontal slats on the grille you get the impression that the Alfa Romeo 159 is not very happy when its standing still. In fact in many ways it has the look of a great white shark, sleek, beautiful, but with the ability to turn into a road eater at any moment.
First we'll deal with the petrol engines, the 159 has a choice of three and all of them benefit from direct injection technology and variable valve timing on both inlet and exhaust camshafts . Beginning with the 1.9 JTS, this 1.9 litre engine develops 160 bhp, giving a top speed of 132 mph. Next is the 2.2 litre JTS with 185 bhp and a top speed of 138 mph. Finally in the petrol range is the 3.2 litre V6 JTS, boasting an impressive 260 bhp this engine propels the 159 to an impressive 149 mph and goes from 0 - 62 mph in only seven seconds, all petrol engines transmit their power through a six speed manual transmission.
Two diesel units are available in the 159 and again use six-speed manual gearbox's to transmit their power to the tarmac. The 1.9 litre JTDm is a common rail diesel engine developing 150 bhp and returning a top speed of 130 mph. The other diesel unit is the 2.4 JTDm, again this is a common rail diesel engine, but the extra capacity of 600 cc's boost the horsepower up to 200, increasing the top speed to 142 mph.
The 159 has two levels of trim and we begin with the Turismo. The 1.9 JTS. 2.2 JTS and the 1.9 JTDm 16v all have Vehicle dynamic control (VDC) with hill holder (ABS, ASR, EBD and brake assistant), fire prevention system, driver and front passenger, front side, window and driver knee airbags, Alfa code immobiliser and alarm system, electronic key with remote central locking and boot release, "follow me home" headlights, soft touch metallic finish centre console and trim inserts, electronic start / stop button, electrically adjustable, folding and heated wing mirrors, electrically operated front and rear windows with one touch function and an anti intrusion sensor, dual zone climate control with split temperature and distribution function, on board instrumentation, multifunction display with trip computer, radio CD player with eight speakers, leather steering wheel with radio / phone mounted controls, leather gear knob, front fog lights, cruise control, front armrest with temperature controlled storage compartment, Alfatex cloth upholstery, front seats with manual adjustment for height, rake and lumbar support, mechanical tilt for driver and passenger seats and 16" wire spoke design alloy wheels with 215/55 R16 tyres fitted as standard.
The 159 2.4 JTDm and 3.2 JTS V6 Q4 Turismo models have the same specification as the other Turismo models but also have 17" wire spoke design alloy wheels with 225/50 R17 tyres, Alfa Romeo designation aluminium brake callipers and twin exhaust tail pipes in addition or replacement to the equipment on the smaller engined models.
The 159 Lusso models all have an aluminium centre console and trim inserts, leather upholstery, the visibility pack - rain, dusk and condensation sensors plus an electrochromic rear view mirror with deactivation button, rear parking sensor with audible obstacle alert, 17" wire spoke design alloy wheels with 225/50 R17 tyres and stainless steel kick plates all in addition or replacement to the specification of their Turismo counterparts.
Like the looks of the Alfa Romeo 159, why not check out, the BMW 3 Series, the Audi A4, the Jaguar X Type, the Mercedes C Class, the VW Passat, the Citroen C4, the VW Jetta, the Peugeot 407, the Toyota Avensis, the Renault Laguna, the Volvo S40, the Volvo S60 or the new Ford Mondeo.
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