Since owning my Alfa 147 I have had endless problems. My car is only 1 year old (28,000 miles) and I have had to replace the timing belt and all 16 valves, the radiator, an auxillary belt, power steering tube, CD player and the gearbox. I feel running cost are very high and my car has had total engine failure on two occasions
Bought the car as an ex-demonstrator - it was a "launch car" with all the toys. Now coming up for 4 years old.
It is an excellent drive and good fun too.
Happily will carry four of us on reasonable length of journey in comfort, but without much luggage.
However, a couple of long term niggles - rattling drivers window, and leaking rear wash wipe - irritate. I have had the suspension bushes replaced three times now - and it is not my driving!
It is the dealer servicing that spoils the whole ownership of the Alfa. There attitude and service is terrible - to the extent that I have refused to go back to two of them. Unfortunately they are few and far between.
So next time, the "passion" will be left behind, and a good dealer network will count higher for me than the looks, and drive experience!
I bought my little 147 a few months ago and always have a smile on my face. In that time I have done 4000miles with zero problems except for some nit picking. It feels really well bolted together and solid.
The 1.9JTD 16v always returns 40mpg even with a fair amount of checking that glorious 0-60mph in 9sec. I am sure that much mpg more is possible.
Doing 400 miles in a day on the auto route is a pleasure even in such a small car. Presumably this is something to do with the 300+ Nm of torque. Handling seems to me infinitely better than the Golf that I test drove, even if not quite as good as the A3. I took it up a very windy and very steep mountain road the other day, and even though it is not a sports car, it acquitted itself very nicely.
Around town it is very easy to drive, the steering is perfect, the clutch is featherlite, and visibility is okayish.
On the bad side, the six speed gearbox can be a bit of a pain (particularly hard to find 5th from 6th), and when the turbo comes in at 2000revs one has only a second or two of fun before one has to change up before the 4500 revs redline, whereas the Astra gives 5000 revs.
It definitely does not like speed bumps except slowly - probably not too bad a thing, and bad auto routes at speed make themselves felt. Cobbled streets are taken surprisingly well.
As a small A3 on the cheap, it does a very competent job.
Despite reading some negative comments in the press about reliability and build quality this doesn't seem to apply to my Alfa 147 1.6 Lusso. I have owned it from new and it is now nearly 3 years old. It has never been anything but dependable and utterly reliable! The build quality seems top notch and frankly I haven't owned or driven a better car. It is enjoyable to drive (the engine sounds great) and it is always a pleasure to sit behind the wheel, which is more than I can say for some other mainstream cars of similar size which always rate highly with reviewers!! The only warranty claim I have made so far made was for a faulty passenger sun visor. The garage dealt with this without any fuss. On the down side I do have a clutch which causes a mild screech when reversing from cold and I could understand some feeling the ride to be a touch firm. However, the positives way outnumber any negatives and I would recommend the vehicle as a private purchase without hesitation.
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