Wagon Wednesday: Alfa Romeo 156 vs. Lancia Lybra

They say that forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest. Being in need of an afternoon snack but unwilling to give into gluttony and get the Baba Booey cupcake from the newly opened Crumbs downstairs, I got me some fruit. Let’s metaphorically say that these are grapes – Italian grapes; white ones and red ones. Similar in cost, but one is a little bigger, more satisfying overall but with pits while the other is smaller but not as filling.


This 2001 Alfa Romeo 156 is powered by Fiat’s common uniJet Turbo Diesel (JTD) 1.9-liter 4-banger. This is one of the more powerful, 16-valve versions with 150hp matched up to a proper 5-speed transmission. With 110,000 miles on it probably still has a lot of life left in it but it’s still a 10-year-old Italian car, so while the engine may hold up, everything else is anyone’s guess.

That everything is actually pretty nice, this being the fully loaded 156. The car is downright sexy looking which continues inside with beautiful leather seats, wooden steering wheel, and a missing radio. Owner claims that the whole suspension has been recently replaced. The best part is that all of this driving passion can be yours for only $2891, when converted to USD.

This 2003 Lancia Lybra is powered by a 5-cylinder 2.4-liter version of the JTD engine. While it produces the same 150hp as the Alfa, it’s a safe bet that this 10-valver is torque-ier, but this torque probably comes at an expense of fuel economy and sounds. Matched to the same 5-speed manual transmission, could this Lybra possibly be faster or more fun to drive than the above “sportwagon”?

Unfortunately once this JTD gets its juices flowing and gets to full temperature, it throws a random oil light and the owner does now know the cause. He mentions a new turbo which may possibly be related to the oil light, new fuel pump, and a recent tune-up. With only 100,000 miles on its ticker, that shouldn’t be happening.


With an exception of a minor dent on the hood and one missing trim the body is in good condition and the original paint is shiny. The black and gray-ish/silver-ish interior is clad in leather and alcantra. It is all original and supposedly smells nice. All of this Italian style and functionality can be your for only $2875 when converted into USD.

So which longroof grape do you choose? The sporty but less functional one or the more original and faster but perhaps troublesome one? Yes, I got these off of Polish classifieds sites.

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