Alfa Romeo 156 2.5 V6

Giovanni Millo ‘The handling is perfect – no need for an LSD’

Alfa Romeo 156 2.5 V6.jpg

Year: 2000

Mileage: 62,000

Acquired: 2017

Why did you choose it?

I like Alfas, and coupés, but I needed a four-door with a usable boot. I love classics but wanted modern spec, and I wanted a sporty six-cylinder. All this without spending much. I always liked the styling of the 156 – few people don't – but as a former Alfetta owner it took a while to get over the FWD 'issue' and give it a try.

What’s the best bit?

The body styling is lovely and the interior timeless, with the white instruments in the deep binnacles, the wooden wheel and the lack of any now-outdated electronic display. It smells of Alfa and leather in a way which is difficult to explain!

What’s the worst bit?

The wheel has to be kept at full height for the instruments to be visible, and the turning circle can be awkward. The electronic keys are temperamental too. The automatic air con works fine but it likes careful inputs. All in all, very minor issues.

What is it like to run?

This engine is rightly famous for its character, matching refinement at low revs and race-car feel if worked harder. The whole car needs to be properly warmed up to come alive – annoying for a daily commuter but rewarding on a fun drive. Road-holding is bulletproof.

Any modifications?

I wanted a car as stock as possible. This one has a small boot lip spoiler (a factory item) and came with two historically correct sets of optional 215/45 R17 spoked wheels, plus the original 15in eight-hole alloys. The handling is just perfect as is; no need for a LSD.

Any advice to potential owners?

The Arese V6 models do not share the weaknesses of the 'Pratola Serra' 4cyl engines but have some quirks. Most V6s were ordered in a boring light grey, at least here in Italy, but you can still find beautiful colour combinations.