Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The driver is made to feel special in the 159. Three deeply recessed dials (complete with Italian labelling) are angled at the driver while the steering, gearchange, and pedals all feel nicely weighted and work smoothly and precisely. Basic Turismo models feature a velour type fabric that looks and feels much like suede. The console area is decorated with a grey plastic, but this is replaced by a much more upmarket metal finish on higher-spec models.

The steering wheel and column stalks are laden with easy to use functions, but the factory fit sat nav system disappoints in terms of operation and the size and detail of its map.

The 159 is longer than the 156 it replaced, but rear passengers would be hard pushed to notice, as legroom in the back is limited. Otherwise it seems quite generous and there's no shortage of headroom meaning, overall, Alfa 159 comfort levels are strong. The slippery body shape and extra thick glass help to keep engine and wind noise down, but this only highlights the somewhat intrusive tyre noise, especially on cars with low profile tyres.

But the seats offer good support, especially on the top models with sports seats, while they're comfortable on long journeys too.