I mentioned demeanour earlier and the Sportwagon’s shape and stance means that it has a fairly low centre of gravity and that translates as stability on fast bends and winding roads.
The fuel consumption is posted as; 21.4mpg for the urban cycle, 38.7mpg for the extra-urban and the combined works out as 29.7mpg with 224g/km CO2 coming out of the twin tailpipes.
I mentioned demeanour earlier and the Sportwagon’s shape and stance means that it has a fairly low centre of gravity and that translates as stability on fast bends and winding roads. It behaves well and I particularly liked the nicely weighted, positive steering. The car is relatively smooth on uneven surfaces although the suspension is quite firm and the wide tyres do tend to follow the undulations in the road surface.
On the motorway, the car is happy to cruise all day long and overtakes are easily achieved in 6th gear. It’s a case of settle back and enjoy the smooth, comfortable miles and the admiring glances.
In terms of safety, the 159 has achieved a 5-star safety rating in the Euro NCAP tests along with four stars for child occupant protection.
Passive safety includes seven airbags as standard with a passenger knee airbag as an optional extra. There is also anti-whiplash headrests and anti-submarining for the front seats. Active safety comes in the form of electronic braking, traction control and stability systems along with ABS with EBD and Hydraulic Brake Assistance (HBA). The 159 also has a Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system to enhance cornering stability and ASR to limit wheelspin and MSR, which controls braking torque during sharp gear downchanges.
As I said earlier, the 159 Sportwagon is a ‘looker'. It’s an estate car that you would buy more for its appearance and not out of load-lugging, necessity. However, I think I would go for the larger 3.2JTS engine for more performance and the added benefit of Alfa’s Q4, permanent four-wheel-drive system.14 September 2006
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|