Behind the rake and reach adjustable steering wheel is a hooded binnacle housing subdued grey dials that are difficult to read, for the speedometer and rev counter and a multifunctional display.
Behind the rake and reach adjustable steering wheel is a hooded binnacle housing subdued grey dials that are difficult to read, for the speedometer and rev counter and a multifunctional display. Perhaps I’m being picky but I would have preferred the dials to be the other way around with the speedometer on the right hand side because that is where my eyes were automatically drawn to. There’s a touch of chic in the way the instruments are labelled in Italian - ‘Giri’ is so much nicer than ‘rpm’.
The front seats are very comfortable and electrically adjustable. Choosing the Tourismo trim level buys Alfatex upholstery, which is an easy-clean suede effect fabric. If you go for the Lusso trim, then you get leather in a choice of colours including blue or red. In the name of good taste neither the blue or red interiors are available with Alfa Red exterior paintwork.
In the rear of the cabin, the equally comfortable seats have a 60:40 split and fold function increasing the luggage area from 445- to 850-litres, measured to the retractable cover line. However, the seats do not fold entirely flat, which could be a problem for some.
On the good side, the boot has a deep lip, which means the shopping doesn’t go AWOL and as an extra restraining measure, a cargo net is available as an option. The rear seats also feature a ski-flap that goes through to the centre armrest or seat back.
As well as the two trim levels, there is a choice of five engines. The petrol units are a 1.9 JTS (Tourismo only), a 2.2 JTS and a hefty V6, 3.2 JTS Q4 (Lusso only). JTS stands for Jet Thrust Stoichiometric, which is the type of combustion system and the Q4 refers to the permanent four-wheel-drive system. The two diesel options are a 1.9JTDM and a 2.4JTDM. For many people the words ‘diesel’ and ‘Alfa’ shouldn’t be in the same sentence but in reality, it works well.
The test car housed the 2.2 JTS and was dressed in Lusso trim costing £23,495. This particular engine produces 185bhp at 6,500rpm along with 230Nm of torque at 4,500rpm. In conjunction with the very nice 6-speed manual transmission, it takes 9.0 seconds to reach 62mph from standstill and the top speed is 137mph.
Alfa Romeo 159 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon 2.2 JTS Lusso|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||9 Seconds|
|Top Speed||137 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||38.7 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 Years / 60000 Miles|
|Price (when tested on the 14/09/06)||£23,495|