well, where to start. From the initial mocking comments from my friends about reliabilty issues to the side of the road in a cloud of smoke waiting for the aa, this has been an experience i can only hope no-one else encounters. Plus point- it does look smart and cabin feels well made. minus points - I HATE THIS CAR!! the cam belt going after 4months/3000miles (36,000 miles total milege) and the lying garage refusing to cover this on the "full 2yr warranty" = 1100quid bill the constantly binding of the wheel arch over the front wheel making an embaressing squealing the unbelievable 3litres of oil in 9months it devoured the fact that on its last day it cgewed and refused to eject my fav cd as if it knew its fate. It actually made me slightly depressed to own it by the end and i feel so relieved to be shot and back with german engineering. please do not make the same mistake.
Have owned my 147 for over 4 years from new and covered 50k miles. Overall I've been very pleased with it and it's never let me down. It has, however, suffered from one or two problems which seem to be more or less fitted as standard on this model.
The phase variator - part of the engine used to control the variable valve timing - started to become noisy at around 20k, giving the car a somewhat diesely sound. At the 48k service I booked a cambelt change. I was told by the garage that they had never seen a cambelt so loose and still stay on the car, so I consider myself very lucky to have escaped a major engine rebuild. I can't emphasise too strongly the need to get your belt changed early.
Main dealer service costs are frankly frightening.
The gearchange linkage had to be replaced under warranty in the third year. This proved to be something of a fight, as the main dealer intially tried to tell me that it was wear and tear and I would have to stump up £500. They eventually relented; this probably highlights the weakness in dealer backed third year warranties.....
Apart from these issues, the car has been great. The car looks great, the cabin ambience and materials are really classy and apart from a rather bumpy ride it's great to drive.
I'm currently looking to change the Alfa and I'm really struggling to find anything similar that offers the same combination of style and exclusivity at a similar price level.
quite a bunch of mixed reviews!!
i love alfa's, i now own my second 147 upgraded from the 1.6 T. Spark to the recent Ti JTD 16v 150, both cars are fantastic to drive, the later being better on the fuel! build quality is as good as any golf, if not better!
Dealers where a let down during the time i purchased my first 147, my second 147 came from Chris Varina nottingham, who where fantastic,
looking forward to my next alfa!!
It's easy to be taken in by the good looks, attractive cabin and Alfa Romeo badge and on a short test drive on decent roads you are easily won over.
Sadly with familiarity the car's shortcomings make themselves readily apparent - the ride is dreadful - avoid the 17 wheels at all costs - the steering and brakes are overlight and lack feel and while there is grip on smooth, dry roads, how often have you driven on those in the UK?!
The engine is torquey, but there is little point in extending it towards the red-line - there is little extra urge beyond 5,000 rpm - and to be honest it doesn't feel like it would last long if driven like that.
Economy is so-so, not helped by the low overall gearing, but servicing costs are ridulous - I was quoted £800 for a service and cambelt at 48,000 miles - I was also galled to find Alfa Romeo have brought forward the recommended cambelt change interval from 72,000 miles/5 years to 36,000/3 years!
The other Alfas I've owned were great to drive and felt mechanically unbustable, and you could forgive their lack of durability for that. With the 147 there has been an noticeable increase in quality - and mine was perfectly reliable for 11,000 miles/16 months - but this is no hot hatch.
Sadly good looks alone can't outweigh the high running costs and poor driving experience, so it's the last Alfa for me.
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