Both passive and active safety features are comprehensively represented in the new Alfa 159. In addition to up to eight airbags, (seven of which are standard equipment), seatbelt pretensioners, and a fully integrated Fire Prevention System, the new car comes with a comprehensive range of state-of-the-art electronic braking, traction control and stability systems fitted as standard. ABS anti-lock braking is combined with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution over all four wheels, and a sophisticated Vehicle Dynamic Control unit enhances cornering stability. VDC is further augmented by Anti-Schlupf Regelung (ASR) to limit wheelspin during acceleration.
Motor Schleppmoment Regelung (MSR) modulates braking torque when changing down through the gears, and a unique Hill Holder function facilitates smooth hill starts.
The sporting lines and compact dimensions of the new Alfa 159 belie a surprisingly spacious, flexible interior. The new car has a wheelbase 105mm longer than its predecessor, significantly improving both front and rear passenger legroom. Moreover, despite being less tall than the 156, the new Alfa Romeo offers improved front and rear door access and an increase in interior headroom, particularly in the rear.
As with all Alfa Romeo models, driver orientated ergonomics, superior passenger comfort and lavish standard equipment levels are fundamental to the interior design of the new Italian sports saloon. The Alfa 159 boasts an extremely generous standard equipment specification offering, even on entry-level vehicles, many features only available as expensive options on rival models, including seven airbags, automatic Dual Zone climate control, cruise control, ‘Follow Me Home’ headlamps, heated, folding electric door mirrors, a multi-function display and trip computer, fog lights, 16" or 17" spoked alloy wheels, and an RDS 8-speaker stereo radio with CD player.
Optional equipment includes Tri Zone climate control, xenon headlamps, satellite navigation (either independent or incorporated within bCONNECT), electrically adjustable front seats, a Bose sound system, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity and 18" alloy wheels.
The innovative bCONNECT on-line telematics system connects the driver to an extensive range of services via a live phone link to an English speaking operator, as well as including an impressive satellite navigation system. bCONNECT incorporates voice commands with a 6.5" colour display screen, and is complemented by a Dual Band GSM phone with WAP Internet access, satellite navigation and a CD sound system that will play MP3 music files.
Available in two trim levels - Turismo and Lusso - the new Alfa 159 boasts an extremely generous standard specification, many features only being available as expensive options on rival models.
The two specification levels include the following:
- Front and rear electric windows
- Dual Zone climate control
- Remote central locking with alarm and immobiliser
- Electric heated and folding door mirrors
- 7 airbags, including driver’s knee bag
- Electronic key and start button
- Stereo radio/CD with steering wheel audio controls
- Leather steering wheel and gearknob
- Fog lights
- Cruise control
- ABS with EBD and HBA
- 16" or 17" alloy wheels
In addition to the Turismo specification, Lusso adds:
- Leather interior trim
- Visibility pack (rain and dusk sensors)
- Rear parking sensors
- 17" alloy wheels
Prices range from £19,995 OTR for the 1.9 JTS Turismo to £28,195 OTR for the 3.2 JTS V6 Q4 Lusso.Published 15 February 2006