I had a budget of approximately £5k and wanted something a few years old but not too old. I did a search on Autotrader to see what kind of thing I could get for my money.
Most of the cars that came back from the search I found to be mediocre and uninspiring, e.g. Ford focus, Golf, Renault Clios, Vauxhalls etc. The exception was an 02 Reg Alfa 147 2.0 TSpark Lusso, priced at exactly £5k. This price included leather seats, CD changer, Alloys and a number of other extras.
I went down to the garage to take the car for a spin and the performance matched the magnificent looks (on the outside and in the cabin).
My only concern was Alfa's reputation for reliability, but because of the looks, handling and the overall the value for money I decided I was going to take a gamble and buy it. As an insurance policy I purchased a year warranty, figuring if the car is unreliable I'll sell it when the warranty is up, if not I'll keep it beyond the warranty.
I pleased to say that I have not had any problems with the car (in 7 months). The cost of insurance and running the car is a little more than average but if your that worried then maybe this isn't the car for you. If I was to purchase a new Alfa I'd be a little concerned about the depreciation. My car with extras would have cost around £20k new and only £5k when 4 years old. To people like me thought this makes the Alfa even more desirable as a second hand car.
I love this car, an absolute bargain, bought pre owned at two years old.
Having covered 18k miles in one year without a glitch I would certainly buy another 147, the only downside is the rear hatch opening size
I have now decided that when I come to change in a years time I will go for the Alfa GT!
I was totally seduced by the looks of this car, and admit my heart ruled my head when I set out to buy one. Had heard horror stories of unreliability of Alfas, coupled with high running costs, but I am a fan of Italian design, so couldn't stop myself!
In the time I have had the car, I have found it an absolute joy to drive. It is very forgiving when you throw it round corners, and holds the road like velcro! I feel very safe in the cabin, surrounded by the 10 air bags! Nice to know you'll be marshmallowed in the event of a bump!
Fuel consumption I find to be fine - though I do do a lot of motorway driving. Niggles? Only two so far - it is very thirsty on oil, and the windscreen wipers judder when driving at speed.
Love the interior, sound of the engine, the stereo is superb and I adore my car. Makes me proud to own it when I look at it!
Admit I am dreading garage charges, and I know Alfa parts do not come cheap, but have not come to that bridge yet, and to be honest....she's worth it! Plan to own for for quite some time yet, but when I buy my next car, it'll definetely be another Alfa. They are a pleasure to get into in the morning!
Having owed this car for 3 years it has been nothing but trouble, from small problems like boot lock breaking, remote key breaking, 3 headlight washers falling off, cambelt going at 51000 miles and the engine manegment system spiking. But its the useless Alfa customer services and there dealerships that have made me sell this car i recomend anybody not to go near Alfa cars I wish i had
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