An important improvement in passive safety now sees a total of six airbags installed in all 156 models. And a further enhancement is the introduction of a full maintenance plan on all Alfa Romeo 156 models.
The new 156 models have redesigned colour-coded bumpers, body-coloured wing mirrors and newly designed wheels with 16-inch alloy wheels as standard.
Detailed refinements to the interior incude:
Redesigned ventilation with dual zone climate control
A Bose sound system as standard equipment
A total of six airbags
Leather upholstery as standard
A newly designed console
Brushed metal trim highlights on the steering wheel and console
Cruise control as standard
Multi-function info centre with trip computer
A new rugged-texture dashboard top material
A new central armrest with integrated storage bin
Rear electric windows as standard
Isofix fastenings for child seats
The most noticeable feature of the new interior for the 156 is the larger ventilation pod mounted on the dashboard, which now includes an integrated computer display. The display is operated via a stalk on the steering column.
All 156 models now feature Dual Zone climate control as standard equipment with individually-adjustable temperature and airflow controls for each side of the cabin. The redesigned vents allow for a much improved airflow rates and precise temperature control in the cabin.
In addition to driver's- side and passenger-side front airbags, the 156 also incorporates two seat-mounted side airbags and two window bags for a total of six airbags contributing to unequalled passive safety levels.
The luxury Distinctive Pack, standard on all models in the 2002 model year range for the 156, includes leather upholstery as standard, as well as the already-mentioned features such as Cruise Control, the Bose hi-fidelity system and rear electric windows. The 2.0 Selespeed, 2.5 V6 24V and 2.5 V6 24V Sportwagon offer additional standard features that include the following:
Steering wheel with remote audio controls
Early misting sensor
On the outside the latest 156 model is distinguished by its full colour-coded bumpers which feature detailed design improvements, as well as new alloy wheels on all models.
The T-Spark five-speed manual, 2.5 V6 24V sedan and Sportwagon models are fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/55 ZR16 tyres.
The Selespeed is now fitted with five-hole 16-inch alloys and 205/55 W16 tyres.
The wing mirrors are now in body colour and the new front bumper features a reshaping of the driving light surrounds on the lower part of the spoiler.
An all-new range of eight body colours has been introduced:
The new leather upholstery available with the "Distinctive Pack" which is standard on all 2002 Model year 156 models comes in five colours that include black, red, grey, blue and tan.
Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 Twin Spark
Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 Twin Spark Selespeed
Alfa Romeo 156 2.5 V6 24V
Alfa Romeo 156 2.5 V6 24V Sportwagon
Coinciding with the 156 announcement, Alfa Romeo has introduced a comprehensive maintenance plan on all models in the 156 range.
It provides full maintenance for 60 000 km and/or over a three-year period, with regular servicing carried out at no extra cost at any approved Alfa Romeo dealership. The scheme also provides for any fault rectification on the vehicle under the normal warranty period
"This new scheme provides further peace of mind for Alfa Romeo 156 owners, " says Greg Levine, director of commercial operations for Fiat Auto South Africa.
"We are particularly excited that we have been able to introduce the maintenance plan at a minimal price premium. This scheme further enriches the ownership experience of the 156."
Fiat Auto South Africa offers owners of the Alfa 156 a 36-month/100 000 km dealer warranty, three years on paintwork and five years on anti-perforation. The new Alfa 156's will also enjoy a 36month/60 000km maintenance plan.
The new models are also covered by the 'Alfa Cares' policy in conjunction with the AA Fleetcare roadside assistance. The service, which is active 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, is available by calling the dedicated toll-free number 0800 223 727.
Services are required at 20 000 km intervals.
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