Alfa Romeo has launched the 2011 Alfa Romeo 159 1750 TBi in Australia, offering a new entry-level vehicle that is improved in practically every way.

Replacing the 2.2-litre JTS engine, the 1.75-litre TBi is lighter and more compact than its predecessor.

Power is up to 147kW (from 136kW) while torque increases an enormous 90Nm over the old model’s 230Nm. At 320Nm, the 1750 TBi’s torque is just 2Nm shy of the top-of-the-range 3.2-litre V6, and is available from as low as 1400rpm.

As a result, the 159’s 0-100km/h acceleration time is dramatically improved – slashed by more than a second from 8.9secs to 7.7secs.

Despite the performance gains, the new engine also offers superior fuel economy and reduced emissions. Combined cycle fuel consumption is down from 9.4 litres/100km to 8.1 litres/100km. CO2 emissions drop from 221g/km to 189g/km.

Alfa Romeo says the engine efficiency gains are courtesy of direct injection, a turbocharger, two continuously variable valve timing units and a “scavenging control system”.

Alfa says the scavenging technology constantly monitors and optimises engine operating parameters like the fuel dosage, position of the variable valve timing units, ignition advance and ignition timing.

Like the superseded 2.2 JTS, the new engine is be pared with a six-speed manual transmission and is available in two model variants: the standard 159 1750 TBi and the sports-focused 159 Ti 1750 TBi.

The entry-level model features electronic stability control, seven airbags, ABS with brake assist, hill-hold, rear parking sensors, cruise control, automatic headlights and wipers, fog lights, dual-zone climate control, handcrafted Italian leather, Blue&me telematics system and voice-activate Bluetooth.

The Ti model scores 20mm lower suspension, which leads to sharper turn-in response and reduced body roll, 19in alloy wheels with 235/40 R19 low profile tyres and bright red Brembo brakes.

Outside, the Ti gets a revised body kit and aluminium door mirrors, while in the cabin the leather sports seats are heated and stitched in red. The black and red theme is continued throughout the interior, and the dashboard is trimmed with darkened burnished aluminium.

The updated 2011 Alfa Romeo 159 is in showrooms now, with the 159 1750 TBi starting at $49,990 (down $1000 over the old model) and the 159 Ti 1750 TBi priced from $54,480 (down $1510).

  • Car Fanatic

    Impressive figures from such a small engine, now they need to sort out the reliability

  • Adrian

    Hey Car Fanatic, please list all the reliability issues you refer to as I have heard nothing but good things about the 159 reliability. VW on the other hand……

    • Alex

      hahaha you make me laugh comparing Alfa’s reliability against Volkswagen’s…

  • Alexander

    Car Fanatic, I have a mate with an ’07 159, it has over 120,000km’s on the clock without any issues. My parents also have a high mileage Fiat Ritmo, totally trouble free… That’s on par with any other Euro car…

    • Hansome_AL

      Cant agree with you more Alexander, Euro cars are good for breaking apart to pieces… Except Skoda tho.. Just a bit worry with VW ownership..

  • Car Fanatic

    Reliability information comes from warranties direct. I think their database is a bit more comprehensive than two or three private owners who got decent Alfas.

    You still have a problem accepting it, call warranties Direct and tell them they are liars.

    Alfa Romeo
    • League position: 26th
    • Claims per 100 vehicles: 39.4
    • Average age (years): 4.05
    • Average mileage: 47,068
    • Average repair cost: £423
    • Average time for repair (hours): 3.87

    For the third year running, Alfa Romeo has one of the lowest average mileages and some of the youngest cars in this survey, yet it continues to sit near the bottom of the reliability table.

    There is little improvement on its showing in last year’s survey, with just 0.1% fewer claims per 100 cars. What’s more, Alfas are among the most expensive and time-consuming cars to fix when things do go wrong, with an average repair cost of £423 and an average repair time of nearly four hours.

    As far as individual models go, the 156 fares better than the 147, which only just escapes inclusion on the list of the bottom 10 cars overall.

    Verdict: ** Another disappointing result from Alfa.

    • League position: 28th
    • Claims per 100 vehicles: 41.2
    • Average age (years): 4.4
    • Average mileage: 51,707
    • Average repair cost: £395
    • Average time for repair (hours): 2.8

    This is an extremely disappointing showing from Audi, because it prides itself on the quality of its cars.

    It is also a downhill slide from last year, when Audi scraped two stars overall. This year, there are, on average, more claims per 100 cars, rising from 39.4 in 2004’s survey to 41.2.

    It is also taking longer for the problems to be fixed, with the average repair time going up from two-and-a-half hours to nearly three. Nearly half of all the problems reported relate to the axles and suspension, although Audi’s braking systems seem to give owners little cause for concern.

    However, the good news is that the current A4 occupies a respectable ninth place in the overall table of individual models.

    Verdict: * A poor performance from Audi – we hope they can build on the success of the latest A4.

    • League position: 17th
    • Claims per 100 vehicles: 34.0
    • Average age (years): 4.64
    • Average mileage: 50,786
    • Average repair cost: £266
    • Average time for repair (hours): 2.0

    BMW has slipped from 14th place in last year’s reliability survey to 17th this year.

    Owners mainly experience problems with the axle and suspension (35%), followed by the cars’ heating and ventilation systems (20%).

    The good news for BMW drivers though is that the company still has one of the quickest repair times – mechanics take an average of just two hours to fix problems – and costs have stayed down. The average repair cost is one of the lowest in this year’s survey at £266.

    Despite the generally poor overall rating, BMW has four models in the top 25, including the 3 Series Compact (’94-’01), which sits in 15th place.

    Verdict: ** A disappointing performance overall, but repair costs and times remain impressively low.

    • JGP

      Warranties Direct specialise in USED vehicle extended warranties.
      Your quote “As far as individual models go, the 156 fares better than the 147, which only just escapes inclusion on the list of the bottom 10 cars overall.” 156 is long gone and 147 is the same vehicle with a hatch body which is also discontinued.
      Your info seems also to be very outdated again from your quote, “It is also a downhill slide from last year, when Audi scraped two stars overall. This year, there are, on average, more claims per 100 cars, rising from 39.4 in 2004′s survey to 41.2.” This is 2010 nearly 2011, your figures are for used cars in 2005!
      Those outdated Alfa issues are mostly due to the Selespeed gearbox which is rubbish, the twinspark motors sometimes have thrust washer issues and less than great cambelt life and otherwise there are some minor other problems with trim and the like.

      If you are going to quote “facts” try to be up to date and give the whole picture.

      159 is very reliable and Mito also proving itself with, I am sure, the Giulietta to follow.

  • A

    Stuff reliability! I’d still rather have one of these over a boring BMW or Mercedes any day. Cheaper too.

  • Shak

    TG have it right when they say, you cant be a true petrolhead until you have owned an Alfa. Each and every Alfa has something special about it that just makes them connect with the driver.

    • micinqld

      I own a 2002 Spider convertible. Duct tape holds right wing mirror on, plastic ties on each wiper, temporary screw on roof latch, two warning lights stay on and had to hit the roof motor with a hammer to get the roof up and down until my mechanic fixed without knowing what he did!
      But I love it!
      It still looks a million dollars better than other soft tops and is a joy to drive.
      Next car will be an Alfa.


    i dont really like the interior of the 159..

    the new giuglietta interior looks stunning does anyone know if the 2011 159 interior has been upgraded?

  • Adrian

    The reliability survey you quote does not show Alfa 159. Just because Alfas of old had poor reliability doesnt mean they havent improved. Even considering your survey the Alfa is no worse then Audi and it doesnt get the same BS reliability wrap that Alfa gets….btw I dont own an Alfa I own a BMW.

  • Arnold

    The 159 is so incredibly beautiful it makes my heart sink everytime I see one on our roads.
    Best looking sedan under a 100k, and I don’t care what you tasteless critics say.
    No I’m not an Alfa owner. I drive an Audi.
    The 159 will be next car.

  • Nick K

    So is this model available with a conventional 6 speed auto or just a manual? No auto, means low sales in Australia… when will the Italians understand our market?

    As for reliability, hard to say, but most Euro cars seem to have more issues than Japanese or Korean cars, the Alfa is no exception. Still, would you rather drive a fridge on wheels designed by a committee of drones or something interesting that is made by people who love cars?

  • Elitist

    I never had any trouble with my GTA but my friend bought back his MKV GTi 4 times due to front lamp probs, and rear noise over 60 km’s which was found cant be rid of due to engineering fault when back windows down.

    Trick with Alfas, use selenia oil, always let them start up for 5 mins before you drive, they have thinner oil paths as they were more made for colder climates.

    • Philthy

      Oil is less viscous at higher temperatures… seems counterintuitive to me to have thinner oil paths to pump a more viscous (thicker) fluid (cold oil).

  • Andrew

    I have now owned two Alfa Romeo 159’s they have never missed a beat and service costs are very low. The only thing that ever has gone wrong was a nail in a tyre so I really can’t complain. :-)

  • Johnno

    The 2009 German JD power survey of customer satisfaction had Lexus in number 1 position. Equal second was Mercedes and ALFA. VAG group of cars eg VW and Audi were way down the list. Times have changed. Move one from old stereo types. Anectodal evidence from mates with ALFA’s are positive. I drive a Merc and will be getting an ALFA next.On the whole, styling is beautiful, there is a tangible sense of occasion with an ALFA. Whilst they are not the fastest, they are “effervescent” in character making outright speed second to the enjoyment of driving.

  • might buy one

    I test drove the 159 ti 1750 and the Giulietta with the same engine today and they were both stunning to drive. The 159 felt more stable than the light, but quick Giulietta. Needless to say, both are more interesting than their German counterparts.

  • Dave

    Hi guys
    as a guy who makes his living driving at high speed delivering kidneys and hearts, I can tell you the current Alfa is my preference the Berera is the 8th Alfa I have used for work and the build quality is amazing

  • bo

    just one question, when does this model due for all new?

    any idea guys? cheers

  • Striketwo

    Just bought a 159 1750 TBi Ti “today” ..ha ha tried it loved it and they have even better to come with the new TCT gearbox later in the year Alfa this space.. with Fiat behind them they have come a long way in the last two years

  • lessandro

    vaya frikis que sois!!

    • lessandro

      no se dan cuenta que estais frente a un gran auto, para mi ese o el Insignia 2.0turbo 220cv. Adiosito loosers!!

  • ash

    im 26 year old guy and just bought a 2007 alfa 159 3.2 TI 6 speed manual and all i have to say is OMG it is so much nicer to drive than my previous 2005 BMW 330CI Steptronic

  • ash

    im 26 year old guy and just bought a 2007 alfa 159 3.2 TI 6 speed manual and all i have to say is OMG it is so much nicer to drive than my previous 2005 BMW 330CI Steptronic and the exhaust note is to die for, you dont even want to turn the radio on even though its a bose lol