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Alfa Romeo 156 (97 - 05)

Here’s a car Irish buyers took to big time. The aim was to give them the option of something a bit different. With the market dominated by cars such as the BMW 3-Series, Volvo S40, the 156 was a breath of fresh air. The coupe styling, along with a really smart and sporty drive made it one of the best selling cars in its class at that time. The 156 also has good levels of practicality; it can take five in the cabin with decent leg/head room, and there’s a good size boot. The interior décor is one of the best around, with some excellent features to add to the sporty feel. To drive, it is one of the best Alfas you can get. The handling is good, the steering sharp and it is excellent on corners.

Look out for

•  There are claims the wishbone can wear down very early on; ask when it was last serviced

What we like

•  Comes with the fine 4-cylinder T-Spark engine

•  There are some nice trim options

•  It’s a sporty and involving  car to drive

•  Doesn’t cost a fortune to buy or to keep on the road

What we don't like

•  The gearbox can be susceptible to worn synchro rings


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