Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon Q4 | Spotted
Still hunting for an affordable V6-powered, manual AWD estate? Course you are…
By PH Staff / Thursday, February 17, 2022 / Loading comments
Yesterday we solemnly marked the passing of the Audi Allroad, an all-singing answer to the perennial question of what-cool-estate-car-should-I-buy? Today we consider Alfa Romeo, and the fast wagon it never actually got around to directly replacing. (Just pause for a moment here to consider how gobsmackingly brilliant a big-boot Giulia Quadrifoglio would be? Imagine that savage 2.9-litre V6 twinned with the adaptive four-wheel-drive system from the Stelvio, all tied together with some rear-end Centro Stile artwork. Oh, forget about it, paisan…)
But back to the 159. There’s a tendency to think the Giulia’s predecessor plodding since it was eventually replaced with what turned out to be a fabulously good rear-driver. Yet it was a decent steer until it became inordinately long in the tooth. And, of course, it looked the absolute business. Familiarity and plenty of tired examples have possibly taken the edge off, but when it was launched the 159 made the second-generation Ford Mondeo look like a manhole cover.
So delectable were the original proportions that it’s debatable whether or not the Sportwagon actually contributed to the model’s appearance – though it produced a tidy looking wagon regardless (if not the most practical variant to ever grace British roads). Better still, you could buy one with a 3.2-litre V6 and Alfa’s Torsen-based ‘Q4’ all-wheel-drive system. Throw in a six-speed manual gearbox and you’ve got the must-have template that most modern fast wagons are built on.
Naturally, this being Alfa, there are some caveats. For one thing, the six-pot is not the 3.2-litre descendent of Giuseppe Busso’s mega-sounding masterpiece. By 2005 the manufacturer had sent the 24-valver to the great scrapheap in the sky and replaced it with the JTS unit, an engine derived from a V6 in GM’s parts bin. Alfa scrubbed it up with variable valve timing and its own cylinder head, but the result fell inevitably short of the legend it replaced.
Moreover, while it produced a thoroughly worthy 260hp, the Sportwagon’s modest 7.2-second-to-62mph time was never destined to send pulses skyrocketing, even in back in the day. But let’s not get bogged down in the demerits; this is still a three-pedal, two-powered axle Alfa with six cylinders and a front end drafted by Giorgetto Giugiaro himself. And with room for a dog.
It’s a sign of the times that this fine-looking dealer-sourced example, with a healthy 98k on the clock, is up for considerably more than the 64k-old private seller which we spotted back in 2018. But it’s still 400 quid shy of £10k and can claim to be considerably rarer than a host of comparable cars going for quite a bit more. Plus it was never replaced, so you don’t even have to put up with everyone telling you how spellbinding the new Sportwagon is – you can just brag about owning one of the last fast estates Alfa ever made. Bonus.
SPECIFICATION | ALFA ROMEO 159 SPORTWAGON Q4 V6
Engine: 3,195cc, six-cylinder, N/A
Transmission: 6-speed manual, four-wheel drive
Power(hp): [email protected],300rpm
Torque(lb ft): [email protected]
First registered: 2007
Recorded mileage: 98,000 miles
Price new: £31,395
Yours for: £9,595
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