The Alfa Romeo 156 is classified as a compact executive car and is manufactured by Italian carmaker Alfa Romeo. Production of this vehicle started in 1997 and ended in 2007. The last model in this series that was produced as the Q4 Crosswagon at the end of 2007 and 156 was effectively discontinued in late 2005 throughout European markets. This vehicle was first introduced to the public in 1997 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, replacing the Alfa Romeo 155. These cars were put together at the Fiat Group Factory in Pomigliano d’Arco in Italy. The 156 could be be purchased in saloon estate Sportwagon bodystyles.
The interior of the 1998 model Alfa Romeo 156 expands on that of the Alfa Romeo 166 and features a deeply scalloped upper dashboard as well as a basic center console. All of the primary controls and displays in this vehicle are angled towards the driver in the sports car model, though one of its design flaws is that it can be difficult for the passenger to see the interior clock. Despite the fact that this vehicle was designed to be a family car, it does not come with any cup holders. Another complaint among consumers was that the rear seats do not over much leg room for passengers, which is something that was corrected later on in future models.
The 156 uses the same basic platform as the Alfa Romeo 155, which is derived from the Fiat Grouo’s “Tipo” platform. This vehicle has a front-wheel drive design and has a double high wishbone front suspension as well as a MacPherson strut system rear suspension which includes a telescopic vertical strut with coaxial spring and two transverse links of different lengths.
In 2002, the 156 received a significant facelift with new matte-finish surfacing as well as chrome headlights. There was a new version of the 156 as well, and it used the same dual-zone digital climate control as the 147. The interior of this vehicle was available in a number of different colors, one of which was a two-tone interior which was similar to that of the BMW models at the time. Some of the other options that were available with the 2002 156 include xenon lighting, a Bose stereo system tele-informatics, and more. The Selespeed gearbox control system received an update and buttons located on the steering wheel were replaced by paddle shifters.
This vehicle underwent yet another facelift in 2002, and it included brand new front and rear fascias which were designed by the famed Giorgetto Giugiaro. The new TI trim level became available as well and this model came with a modified suspension as well as larger wheels and leather-trimmed interior. None of the GTA models in this series received any type of update in 2003. The diesel engines that were available with these vehicles at the time did receive some fairly major updates however, including new four valve per cylinder heads as well as second stage common rail injection with 1400 bar maximum injection pressure with a maximum of five injection per cycle to lower their noise level.
The GTA version of the Romeo 156 was launched in September of 2001 as the 156 GTA and Sportwagon GTA at the Frankfurt Motor Show. This vehicle uses a 3.2 liter engine with an estimates fuel consumption of 15.6 miles per gallon or 18.1 liter/100 km and a combined mileage of 23.3 mpg or 12.1 liters per gallon. Even though this vehicle did enjoy a decent amount of success, there weren’t as many units produced and it did not do as well as its predecessors overall.