Used car buying guide: Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon

Seven years since he left new car price lists, a Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon 2006-2011 has always the air of a good full eyes.

There is a lounge, but with its stylish design, the Sportwagon estate is the choice. Diesel versions dominate the classifieds; not a bad thing, in view of the demand for oil burners. If you are looking for something sporty and a little off the beaten path, a diesel Sportwagon should do well.

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Available in 1.9, 2.0 and beat 2.4-litre capacity, the diesels are powerful and economical. They have their fair share of problems, including sticking of EGR valves and the weakness of the water pump bearings, which, when they seize, it can cause the cambelt to break. As a general rule, however, they are reliable, as the number of high mileage 159s for sale in the small ads is evidence of this.

The few species tend to be of the 2.2 JTS variety. Beware of timing problems caused by the cam chain stretching. There is a version 1.9 too, replaced in 2007 by the vacuum cleaner 1.8 MPi, aimed at the company car.