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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For The Alfa Brera has stunning looks and some strong engines

Against Very heavy, poor fuel economy, expensive repairs

Verdict A decent alternative to German rivals – and a lot more interesting to? look at – but the overall ownership package just can't compete.

Go for… 2.2-litre petrol

Avoid… 3.2-litre V6

Alfa Romeo Brera Coupe
  • 1. Two petrol engines were offered: our favourite 185bhp 2.2-litre, and a 260bhp 3.2-litre V6. A 207bhp diesel is available, too
  • 2. The Brera has sharp steering that guides you accurately through bends. However, it's no sports car because there's too much body lean
  • 3. Although the car has four seats, you'd need a detachable head and arms to make yourself comfortable in the back. Space in the front is also tight
  • 4. Dual-zone climate control, a CD player, cruise control, remote central locking, leather upholstery and 17-inch alloys are a standard fit
  • 5. Although the Brera was not tested, it's closely related to the 159 compact executive saloon, which was awarded a five-star safety rating
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Alfa Romeo Brera Coupe full review with expert trade views

The Brera has sharp steering that guides you accurately through bends. However, it's no sports car because there's too much body lean. Push hard and the front tyres wash wide – especially in heavier V6-engined versions. On the other hand, though, the four-wheel-drive system on the V6 allows more secure acceleration on greasy roads. The Brera is quite forgiving over patchy surfaces, but it tends to lurch over larger humps and shudder over potholes.

The Brera's cabin appears to be built from high quality materials, however, Alfa Romeo's performance in recent reliability and customer satisfaction surveys has been disappointing.

Legroom is fine, but even drivers of average height are likely to end up with a crick in their neck, because the seat is too high – even in its lowest setting – and the panoramic glass roof steals even more space. Smaller drivers will struggle to find a comfortable balance of adjustment between the seat, steering wheel and pedals.

Although the car has four seats, you'd need a detachable head and arms to make yourself comfortable in the back. Space in the front is tight. The boot provides 300 litres of space (610 litres with the rear seats folded down), but there's a hip-high lip, which you'll have to haul your bags over.

Trade view

It is cheap to buy used, but be aware of high running costs on powerful petrols.

Rory White
Used car writer

Two petrol engines were offered: our favourite 185bhp 2.2-litre, and a 260bhp 3.2-litre V6. A 207bhp diesel is available, too. Either petrol engine provides a great soundtrack and the performance to match. The 3.2, in particular, is muscular and swift. The 2.2 needs to be worked harder to make quick progress, but it's no slouch.

Dual-zone climate control, a CD player, cruise control, remote central locking, leather upholstery and 17-inch alloys are a standard fit. Standard safety equipment includes stability control and seven airbags.

Although the Brera was not tested, it's closely related to the 159 compact executive saloon, which was awarded a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP.

Trade view

The Brera is achingly gorgeous, but flawed on the road.

Rory White
Used car writer

The Brera never had the impressive resale values of its German rivals, and as such, is very tempting on the used market. Be wary of the petrol engines, though, as they are thirsty and expensive to repair.

Road tax and insurance premiums are high too, but that’s to be expected because the Brera doesn’t have an economy-focused engine in its range and those great looks are desirable enough to put it at risk of being stolen.

Trade view

It is cheap to buy used, but be aware of high running costs on powerful petrols.

Rory White
Used car writer

It’s important to check the car’s electrics are functioning properly, because its systems are famed for their inconsistency. Have a good play with gadgets, lights and infotainment.

Owners have also reported rattles from seats, interior squeaks, and plastics coming away inside. Driver and passenger windows are reported to be problematic, too.

People also complain of poor radio reception, rear light clusters fogging up and alarms that go off frequently.

Trade view

The Brera is achingly gorgeous, but flawed on the road.

Rory White
Used car writer
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