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The Alfa 159 surrounds the driver and passengers with technologies that guarantee the highest levels of dynamic, acoustic and climatic comfort. The result is a muted, enveloping environment, free from vibration thanks to the careful soundproofing and the outstanding torsional and flexural rigidity of the bodyshell.

The new model was created around the driving position (the ratios for the distances between the pedals, seat, steering wheel and gearbox), producing a distinctive environment that is innovative even for Alfa Romeo. Features that enhance the comfort, the harmony between spaces, and great attention to detail mean that whoever gets into the car immediately perceives a higher level of quality. In addition to which, the Alfa 159 offers exclusive equipment that increases travelling comfort.

Acoustic comfort

The sense of well-being does not vanish, but is actually enhanced when the engine is started and the car starts to move. The acoustic comfort on the Alfa 159 is significantly better than on the 156, thanks to the excellent torsional rigidity of the bodyshell, designed to prevent creaking; the soundproofing of the car has also been modified, for example the passenger compartment carpet now incorporates a thick layer of sound-absorbing foam, and the window glass of the front doors is thicker (now 5 mm).


The Alfa 159 is as spacious as a family saloon ought to be: its generous external dimensions allow the volumes to be distributed perfectly. This is evident from the overall longitudinal living space: even if a tall person (188 cm) is seated on the front seat of the Alfa 159, another person 178 cm tall can sit comfortably on the rear seat (169 cm on the 156). The roominess parameters of the new car ensure that it leads its class; the distance between the front passengers has been increased by 30 mm, and that between rear passengers by about 15 mm.

Compared to the 156, the following have been improved on the new Alfa Romeo saloon:

  • Vertical headroom front and rear: the front and rear percentile accommodation has been improved. At the front: from 97.5° to 99° (25 mm more height), at the rear from 70° to 82.5° (28 mm more height).

  • Longitudinal front legroom: the driver's perception of space and sportiness has been increased. More room to stretch his legs and to find a comfortable posture (27 mm).

  • Longitudinal rear legroom: the rear legroom is in line with the best competition.

  • Longitudinal rear foot room: more space for the rear passenger to move his feet (157 mm). Seat higher from the floor (13 mm).

  • Vertical front access: improved height of doorway in relation to trim (13.7 mm higher).

  • Vertical rear access: improved height of doorway in relation to trim (32.5 mm higher).

Storage areas and luggage compartment

There are up to 14 storage areas of various sizes on the Alfa 159 for small and large items. These convenient, practical units include a large glove compartment in the lower part of the facia in front of the passenger, storage compartment and an insulated box in the armrest between the two front seats, a storage compartment in the pull-out central rear armrest, and a ceiling-high spectacles holder. The various units provide a total of about 13 dm3 of storage space (a 70% increase compared to the Alfa 156); the luggage compartment is also more easily exploited and has a capacity of 405 litres (27 litres more than the previous model).

Facia and controls

The driver of the Alfa 159 is immediately aware of the excellent layout of the instruments, the easy handling and convenience of the controls, which are all turned towards him and grouped by function. The driver's position is built around the "cockpit", where all the various driving controls are concentrated. The controls for the climate system, radio and navigator, the gear lever and the ignition button are all on the centre console. The circular analogue speedometer and rev counter are linked by a high resolution reconfigurable digital display, and perfect illumination guarantees clear, easy reading of all the instrumentation, particularly at night. And finally, hand grip is perfect on the three-spoke steering wheel, even when negotiating difficult manoeuvres.

Ignition button

The Alfa 159 features an innovative ignition system comprising an electronic key with three buttons, an electronic key reader on the facia, a starter button next to the electronic key reader, and an electric steering wheel lock on the steering column, where it is inoffensive in a collision. To turn the control panel on and start the engine, the key must be inserted in the reader on the facia, after which, for security reasons, the button has to be pushed together with the clutch and/or brake pedal.

Front and rear seat comfort

The seats on the new saloon are larger and more comfortable than those on the 156, guaranteeing superb comfort and safety. To enhance comfort even more, and in particular to absorb vibration, an efficient spring system has been incorporated in the front seat cushion, while a modern lumbar support system in the squab supports the back better. Nor must we forget that the front seats are padded with foam that adapts to the occupant's shape.

Alfa Romeo 159
Alfa Romeo 159
Alfa Romeo 159
Alfa Romeo 159
Alfa Romeo 159

The following adjustments are possible on the front seats: height, with a vertical excursion of 5 cm, reach, squab rake by a knob that provides continuous adjustment, tilting, seat cushion horizontal inclination, and lumbar support. Electric front seats are available on request (the driver's seat has three memories to personalise the configuration), and the head restraints are also height-adjustable. The standard rear seats have a fixed squab, with the option of a 40/60 split squab that folds down onto the seat. Isofix attachments for one or two child seats are provided at the sides, and a central attachment is optional, depending on the version.

Climatic comfort

The climate inside the car is a major factor of comfort on the road, and it is also important for preventive safety, because the temperature, humidity and ventilation affect the driver's well-being and therefore his attention level. And it is the heating and ventilation system that demists the windscreen and side windows. This is why the Alfa 159 offers a choice of three climate systems: automatic dual-zone, automatic tri-zone and manual.

The dual-zone and tri-zone systems both feature automatic control of the temperature, air flow, air distribution, compressor engagement and recirculation. On the 159, both systems incorporate an "equivalent temperature" climate control strategy. A number of sensors register the indoor and outdoor temperature and evaluate the sensation of thermal well-being perceived by the passenger, i.e. the energy exchange between the human body and the passenger compartment, which is affected by the humidity, the temperature and the flow of treated air. Another sensor, positioned centrally at the base of the windscreen, measures the solar radiation in the vehicle and the angle at which the rays hit the passenger compartment. It can then inform the climate system to ensure that the sun's rays do not cause the interior temperature to climb too high. Both climate systems can provide two different temperatures and air flows simultaneously: one on the right of the passenger compartment, and another on the left. In the case of the tri-zone system, even rear seat passengers can adjust their air temperature and flow independently.

In addition to the standard sensors that measure outdoor and indoor temperatures, the Alfa 159 also offers an AQS Air Quality Sensor that verifies air quality. It means that passengers on the new model will always breathe clean air, even in town traffic, tailbacks and tunnels. This device controls the recirculation function, which is triggered automatically to block the input of outdoor air into the car in areas where the smog level is high.

The infotelematic system

On request, the Alfa 159 can be equipped with a sophisticated latest generation infotelematic system that incorporates a satellite navigator, radio, CD player, GSM dual-band hands-free telephone, voice controls and the bCONNECT infomobility services. The device has a 6.5" active matrix TFT colour screen on which the driver can easily follow the route directions he receives vocally. He can also access all the functions of the system by saying them aloud, without taking his hands off the wheel. It is the ideal telematic solution, which puts technology at the driver's service, making travelling in the car more comfortable and easier: just by pressing the green button, the driver can dialogue with an operator, a real personal assistant ready to respond to his requests in his own language, all thanks to the GPS/GSM network and the advantages of satellite communication. The various services include Medical Advice, Roadside Assistance (active 24 hours a day), and the Drive Me device which can find the address or telephone number of a private individual or company. The operator sends the information to the display by SMS, after which the driver can set the destination using a single key, or he can call a telephone number included in the message without having to key the number in.

And the Alfa 159 customer can take advantage of bCONNECT services at any time, when travelling, in his leisure time, or even at home, from a land line or enabled cell phone, thanks to Alfa Voice. This is a personal assistant that is always on hand to offer suggestions and advice regarding the easiest route to avoid traffic, to search for an address or telephone number, to book an air ticket, a hotel or a favourite restaurant, providing updates about news and sports events. Alfa Voice also provides information about weather conditions, snow cover, entertainment, films, events and concerts, fashionable bars, shopping centres, agritourism, museums, hospitals, pharmacies, cash dispensers, workshops and service stations.

BoseŽ Sound System

The BoseŽ Sound System, developed for Alfa Romeo by the American company that leads the acoustic hi-fi market, guarantees exceptional listening quality for all passengers in all travelling conditions. The hi-fi system has a power output of 570 Watts, an acoustic system with ten speakers and a subwoofer with a 6-channel digital amplifier (200 Watts) built into the luggage compartment, which reproduces the lowest frequencies.

The BoseŽ Sound System produces the emotion of a live concert. Reproduction is realistic, with crystal clear high notes and full, rich low notes, and it refuses unnatural timbres that may seem attractive at first, but tend to tire the listener in the long run. The merit goes to the new arrangement of the tweeters, on the facia with a central diffuser. The latter lets the sound envelop all the occupants, giving the sensation that it is propagated into a much vaster environment, because the audio system was designed specifically for the passenger compartment, to guarantee perfect harmony between the technical characteristics of each one.

To achieve this result, the BoseŽ engineers carefully selected the components of the stereo system, establishing the best position for the diffusers in relation to the listeners, helped by advanced design software. A built-in signal processor automatically adjusts the bass notes so that they are perfect at any volume. This device is more sophisticated than a conventional volume control, and guarantees natural, top quality sound at all times. An active equalisation circuit automatically guarantees excellent electronic balance of all frequencies, great balance and clear tones over the entire audio range. Which means being able to enjoy impeccable musical reproduction in all driving conditions. The clarity of the sound is also the effect of the active compressor circuits, thanks to which there is never any distortion, even at high volume. And it is the interaction between all these sophisticated components that produces the extraordinary sound effects that have been made famous by BoseŽ all over the world.

Rain, dusk and parking sensors and built-in anti-theft protection

The equipment on the new model includes a number of significant technological devices that enhance life on board. For example, the rain sensor, which automatically activates the windscreen wipers at the first drops of rain; the dusk sensor which turns the headlights on when the car enters a tunnel; and the front and rear sensors that make parking easier, informing the driver with acoustic and graphic warnings (on the display) about the distance between the car and any obstacle. And finally, the Alfa 159 includes a sophisticated "built-in protection system" that comprises the volumetric, anti-lift, anti-break-in, anti-theft Safe Lock device. It can mechanically disconnect the lock and the inside and outside handles of the doors, making it impossible to open them from inside, even if the window is broken.

Text & Photos: Alfa Romeo