Alfa 159 gets top ratingEuro NCAP award new Alfa top rating

19 January 2006

The new Alfa Romeo 159 large family car has been awarded the maximum five stars for occupant safety from Euro NCAP, the crash-test organisation co-founded by Which?.

The 159, which will be in UK showrooms from 18 February, replaces the ageing 156, and is the car upon which Alfa is staking its reputation for improving quality.

Which? Motoring Editor Richard Headland said: 'In safety terms at least, the future looks bright for the 159. In the past, Alfa Romeo, and its sister company Fiat, have struggled to match their rivals in crash tests.

'However, the five stars awarded to the 159 and Fiat's new Croma family car indicate that these companies have now put safety high on their agenda.'

Euro NCAP tests show that the new Alfa 159 protects the driver and front passenger well. UK models have seven airbags and a seatbelt reminder. Isofix anchorages are provided for child seats - Isofix makes seats easier to install, as you don't use a seat belt. This cuts the risk of fitting seats wrongly.

We were disappointed that the 159 scored only one star out of four for protecting pedestrians in an accident. Although it almost scraped two stars in this test, the 159 lags behind the latest Honda Accord, Peugeot 407, Skoda Octavia, Toyota Prius, Volvo S40 and VW Passat when it comes to pedestrian protection.