Alfa Romeo 159 1.9 JTDM Diesel Review: The Italian contender

Alfa Romeo 159 1.9 JTDM Diesel Review: The Italian contender

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
12 Sep 2008

We previously drove the 147 Ti and we were impressed with its eager driving characteristics. For the 159, this eagerness is also present in its DNA but is more refined and graceful. If we compare both cars to dogs, the 147Ti is like a frisky little terrier, yelping and pouncing all over you while the 159 is more of a St. Bernard that’s gentle, friendly but not afraid to show its strength when provoked.

With high double wishbones up front and multilink suspension in the rear, and shod with 225/50 R-17 Pirelli PZero Rosso tyres, the 159 scrambles around corners like an obedient dog, going where you command the steering to go, regardless of the entry speed you throw at it. Body roll is also minimal, thanks to the taut suspension settings which gives the 159 the ability to maintain its gracefulness around the tightness of corners.

However, should things go wrong and you need to scrub off speed rapidly, the 159’s 305mm front ventilated and 278mm rear solid disc brakes will haul it to a stop. We like the feel of the brakes - progressive and easily modulated. But it could definitely do with a tad more bite.

For those of you considering the BMW 3 Series for your next car, do take a long hard look at the 159 here (just ignore the stickers). Sure, being an Alfa, there still are still some quality issues. But with an almost perfect looks, great driving position, charismatic driving dynamics and 8 airbags to boot, the 159 is a serious contender to the BMW 3 series in terms of value, driving characteristics and looks.

With a retail price of just S$127,800 for the 1.9 JTDM, you can surely understand why we’re playing the devil’s advocate here…

Credits: Story by Jarvis Seo, pictures by Azfar Hashim

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