Review: Alfa Romeo 156 (1998 – 2005)


Stunning looks. Fabulous engines. V6 lots of fun. Seem to have become a really good, underpriced used car buy.

Some mechanical and trim problems. Front tyre inner shoulder wear from too much toe out.

Recently Added To This Review

24 July 2016

Several reports from really happy owners who have bought 156s and 156 Sportwagons for between £400 and £1,000 and got thmselves enjoyable and reliable great looking motors. Read more

11 September 2003

Sharper, very successful facelift on sale in UK September 2003 made a beautiful car stunning. 192bhp 2.5V6 dropped. 175bhp, 284lb ft torque common rail 2.4JTD added; does 0-60 in 7.5 secs, 140mph and... Read more

20 March 2003

115bhp 1.9 JTD diesel from mid March 2003 does 0-60 in 10.0 seconds, emits 155g/km CO2 and offers 48.7mpg. Prices of 1.9JTD from £15,590. Read more

Alfa Romeo 156 (1998 – 2005): At A Glance

What does a Alfa Romeo 156 (1998 – 2005) cost?

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Insurance write-off dilemma

Our car was recently scraped in a car park - just cosmetic damage. The other party admitted fault. Our insurance, via a claims management company, said it'll cost £1700 to fix, and want to write it off as a cat C, giving us a cheque for £1470 less £88 to buy it back. I think that's a fair valuation (Alfa 156 SW, 1.9mjet, 2004, 160k). We intend to fix the car and keep, so not worried about resale valuation, but I am concerned about the implications of a cat C for future insurance premiums. My local (decent) bodyshop quoted £400+vat to fix. I told my insurance this - they wouldn't accept, told me to take the cheque, repair it and pocket the difference! I can only assume they are making a significant margin at the third party's expense. My only option to avoid cat C (according to the motor legal protection team) is to approach the third party's insurer myself and ask them to cover the cost of repairs, plus a hire car for 3 days. What would you do? I could profit from this, but it grates me that someone's getting ripped off. And should I worry about cat C for insurance purposes?
Yes, 'Cat C' will increase the insurance. Typical scenario of the insurer wanting to avoid a costly repair and also costly credit-hire of a replacement car for the duration of the repair. Worth trying the 3rd party's insurer. If they're honest, they'll go for your repair as long as you accept that as full and final settlement with no comebacks if the work isn't up to scratch.
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