Going out with a bang

By admin
19 October 2011

Alfa Romeo’s 159 is coming to an end – but the company has saved the best for last by expanding this BMW 3 Series-rivalling range with two new engines and a stunning optional specification pack.

The old 2.4 turbodiesel unit is dropped in favour of five new units, ranging from the entry-level 1750 TBI Progression (which uses a 147 kW detuned version of the Giulietta’s turbocharged engine) to the flagship four-wheel drive 3.2 QTronic Distinctive.

The latter is powered by a throaty – and thirsty – 3,2 litre V6 which sees purists smiling and environmentalists wincing.

Also on offer is Alfa’s Turismo Internazionale (TI) pack, which consists of lowered suspension, 18-inch black alloy wheels and red brake callipers, while inside heated seats, red stitching, aluminium pedals and Alcantara leather complete the Alfa’s athletic makeover.

So which one to buy? The 1750 with the TI pack is our choice. The figures reveal the smaller engine doesn’t give away that much to the big six in the sprint stakes. And even if it does, your bank manager will thank you every time you pull in at the pumps.

Also, at reef altitudes the naturally aspirated 3.2 struggles whereas a turbocharged unit isn’t as impeded by thinner air.

But think carefully before buying. Alfa has already stopped selling the 159 in some countries and its successor, the Giulia, has been announced. Wait for that or consider a BMW, Audi A4, Honda Accord or Volvo S60.

Who said buying a car is an easy decision?

PRICE: 

1750 TBI Progression R340 000

1750 TI R370 000

3.2 Distinctive R398 500

3.2 TI R428 500

3.2 Q4 QTronic Distinctive R430 000

PERFORMANCE: 0-100 in 7-7,7 seconds; top speed 235-250 km/h; fuel consumption 7,8-11,4 litres (all figures are model-dependent)

VERDICT: Still pretty and passionate but grey hair starting to show

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