THE Alfa Romeo 159 doesn’t blend in with the crowd and it drives beautifully so if you want to stand out, this could be the one for you.
It is not as accomplished as the BMW 3-Series or the Audi A4, but it is better looking than either of them.
There’s great grip and road holding through the corners and the pin sharp steering feels marvellous on the limit.
Engines are 160bhp 1.9-litre, 185bhp 2.2-litre and 256bhp 3.2-litre V6 petrol and the 1.9 offers decent performance and is the best buy.
Diesels are a 150bhp 1.9-litre – the most common of all – and a 2.4-litre five cylinder producing an excellent 200bhp.
The big V6 and the top diesel were available with four wheel drive, but there is not much of a gain in handling and a penalty in emissions and economy.
There is still a question over Alfa reliability, but it is far better than at one time, and as long as you get full service history, you should be OK.
Every model is well equipped. The base Turismo has alloys, dual-zone climate, stability control and four electric windows. Lusso adds leather and parking sensors.
Cabin space is good enough for two adults to be comfortable in the back and front space is excellent. The boot is also a good size.
Alfa Romeo 159 1.9D
Price: Pay about £6,730 for an ’08 08-reg Tourismo, or £11,800 for a ’10 10-reg Lusso
Mechanical: 150bhp, 1,910cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 132mph
0-62mph: 8.8 seconds
Combined mpg: 49
Insurance group: 21
CO2 emissions: 150g/km
Main rival: Mazda 6