Alfa’s 147 looks good inside and out. Decent performance from all engines and the prices are reasonable.
Lacks interior space; the rear seats are cramped and the boot's tiny. Ride quality harsh and questions over reliability remain. Cheaper than premium rivals, but depreciation is horrific.
On the road
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Even the base 1.6 has a lot going for it, but the 2.0-litre is more eager. Both have traditional Alfa sparkle, but switch comfortably from town to cruising speeds. The 2.0-litre is available with an optional paddle-shift manual gearbox. For the best driveability, go for one of the 1.9-litre turbodiesels.
Ride & Handling
The 147 tries to be sporty, with fast-acting steering, but comparatively poor body control on uneven roads dulls the car’s reactions. The ride is sometimes unruly, too. Road scars can send shudders into the cabin, but things improve on main roads. The Q2 version’s limited-slip differential improves front-end grip and traction.
The big wheels and tyres of the 2.0-litre models stir up some road noise, but that aside the 147 has few refinement flaws. It’s as quiet as immediate rivals at cruising speeds and any engine noise is pleasingly sporty rather than intrusive.