Alfa Romeo 147 Hatchback Owner reviews

No longer on sale

JTDm Collezione 2008 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG48.5 mpg

I have an '09 plate Collezione edition, which was one of the last 147s sold in the UK. For me it still looks modern, and better looking than the Giulietta. The engine (120bhp 1.9 turbo diesel) is very good, feels fast in all gears and if driven carefully returns 53mpg. Only a 5 speed gearbox but 53mpg is very good IMO so doesn't need 6. The car is fun to drive, although the clutch pedal can be quite stiff (apparently a common issue with 147s). The 5 door model makes more sense I think, and have had 4 adults in the car in comfort. The boot is reasonably sized, but not big enough for the golf clubs sadly. The Collezione has full leather which looks great, and seats are comfortable. Not much in the way of toys! But I have added an after-market iPod connection, and the 8 speaker set up sounds great. Have covered about 8000 miles so far (car has done 29k in total) - and no issues with reliability whatsoever. Everything works perfectly, and in the cold weather recently the car was great.

Alasdair Davis, April 14th 2013

TS Turismo 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG34.4 mpg

Nice car, never let me down. I drive more then 15000 km a year. Current km = 180000 km Age car 2001

Bas Grabowsky, May 21st 2011

TS Lusso 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG35.6 mpg

This is a car I would buy over and over again even tho I just roled mine in an acdent after the acedent I came to and the car was on it's roof after roleing 3 times and I was still able to walk away from the car with only scratches and a bump to the head. I couldn't ask for a safer car!

Mark Poupard, Suffolk, December 30th 2008

TS Lusso 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have been an Alfa fan for 30 years. Not quite a real 'Alfisti', but two Suds, a 33, a 75 and a 164 V6. For company-car reasons I've driven an A6 Quattro and a couple of BMW 525s over the past 10 years. But... Three years ago my wife and I saw a "nearly new" 2 litre 147 TS at the local dealer. A test drive, and we both fell in love with it. It has been almost faultless: a clutch and an airbag warning sensor, plus slightly scary servicing. It has never broken down. It has leather, air-con, cruise control and a magnificent Bose sound system. It is an unending pleasure to drive. The steering sharpness of the Sud is not there, and the 147 rides a bit 'high' compared with the old boxer-engined cars. However, "Alfie" is our our car of choice for weekend breaks and just tootling around. The sound, the feel, the quirks. We just adore it; much more fun than the Beemer! Could we replace it? Yes. Will we replace it? Not for a while. I fancy a MiTo, but my wife is after a Brera....only time will tell.

John Lloyd, West Midlands, September 10th 2008

TS Selespeed Lusso 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I bought this car almost 2 years ago, perhaps a little naively on hindsight, and I love it - especially the interior which is incredibly luxurious in the lusso model. Running costs are astronomical though! Services (at an Alfa approved garage so as not to invalidate the dealer's warranty) cost the earth compared to other vehicles. I've also had to have work done to the suspension to around the cost of £1000 and replace the back windscreen motor (this is the only thing which has been covered by the almost worthless dealer warranty). Despite all this I had vowed to keep the car I loved just being in let alone driving until I could no longer afford it - that was until I returned from holiday recently to find that it had completely seized after a problem with the actuator in the selepeed system, something which is costing in excess of £2000 to repair (£1000 alone for the part which is standard in a Ferrari apparently!) and a VERY common problem with the selespeed model apparently, according to the many garages I spoke to - most of whom will not even touch a selespeed model due to their complexity! I love my car but will be selling it once it is able to move again and although in the words of Top Gear you can't be a true petrol head until you've owned an Alfa please remember that unless you have a large salary and wish to just throw money needlessly at a car don't buy one - well not a 147 Lusso Selespeed anyway!

Mary Veale, Kent, August 19th 2008

JTD Turismo 3dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have owned this car since new and despite the determination of my mates trying to put me off... I loved the look of it and apparently the reliability was supposed to be better these days. It's a 53-plate and I can count the amount of times I have broken down on one hand! I have had to have the turbo replaced twice and the steering replaced which cost over £1000. However, it drives well and looks the business. It's one of the fatest cars I have ever driven. It has good fuel economy, too. Despite that, it keeps breaking down. The turbo pipe is constantly bursting; the turbo has needed replacing twice in the last one-and-a-half years. The belt driver has just flipped off (today) on the way to work which powers the whole car. The alternator and starter motor were to blame. The air-con packs up if it's really cold. I'm really disappointed that Alfa Romeo can't get these problems sorted - it's so nice to drive otherwise. I wouldn't have anything else, it's just the reliability issues which are HUGE!

jen else, March 31st 2008

TS Turismo 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Ok, time to take the boxing gloves off and type that last bit again!!! For those of you who have suffered with reliability problems I feel bad for you, because you have not been able to enjoy this car at it's best. But please don't think that the problems you have experienced are exclusive to Italian cars, just take a look at some of the BMW reviews. It makes for very interesting reading.

Brian Watts, Hampshire, February 14th 2008

TS Turismo 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This is an excellent car!! I owned it for four and a half years. I had did 75000 miles and had no major faults or problems. It felt good every time I drove it. These cars look fantastic, definately the best looking car in their class, that's both inside and out! The engine is keen, the handling is sharp, and the admiring looks from BMW owners is priceless! I can't say if the servicing costs are high because I have nothing to compare it with, but I did get the car serviced by a main dealer at every interval and did not regret or begrudge one penny of it. In all I enjoyed owning and driving this car and I have upgraded to a GT, anyone wanting a hatchback that won't fade into the background should look one over. As for those of you who have had back luck, I feel bad for you bad I'm sure bad luck has played a part, just look a the BMW reviews!!!

Brian Watts, Hampshire, February 9th 2008

TS Turismo 3dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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.

matthew craft, cleveland, January 21st 2008

TS Lusso 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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.

David Ramsden, Notts, January 20th 2008

JTD 16V Multijet Turismo 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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!!

lewis morley, NOTTS, January 6th 2008

TS Lusso 3dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive1/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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.

David Walton, December 19th 2007

TS Lusso 3dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Having bought my car new and ran it for two years I can agree with the critics that it is a decision of the heart it scores 10 out 10 for looks and interior style, the noise from the engine is so much better than a boring Ford Focus, but then reality hits. Handling is merely OK after driving a decent chassis such as the Focus. Ride, well is okay but not anything special. My biggest complaints was the number of rear suspension bushes I went through, the thin metal on the doors suceptible to the car park morons, the fact that the Italians can't tighten a couple of nuts up making my gear shift selector useless within 48 hours, requiring the AA to help. Thank god I didn't have the Selespeed as they would just have sent the tow truck if I had. The dealer was very helpfull and efficient, but in the end their location in the centre of a major town was such a nightmare that I decided to lump it in and get something else. Yet despite all the problems I still look back at it and think, that was a great car. Would I recomend one YES but do it with eyes wide open, if you have never owned or driven an Alfa you havn't lived.

Stephen Kellett, Northants, November 29th 2007

TS Lusso 3dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I bought my Alfa when it was only a year old and ran it for 3 years covering 72,000 miles in the Scottish Highlands and having changed cars (mainly because of the ownership costs), I now appreciate the fun and frustration that Alfa ownership brings. I loved the cars looks, its sporty cabin, its layout and generous equipment levels, which were exceptionally logical, the seats were very comfortable even though it was tight for size. The 2 litre engine was superb, delivering a great noise when accelarating to the red line, however, such enthusiastic driving probably accounted for only returning an average 27mpg and its prodigious thirst for oil, even when driven conservatively. The dealerships (I used 2 different dealers) are not terribly slick and you will spend a lot of time and money in them. The car seemed to eat front tyres every 7000 miles or so, its tracking used to get knocked off line incredibly easily and the traction control would constantly cut in on roundabouts at bus like speeds- both dealers failed to correctly deal with either problem. Fuses and light bulbs tended to blow regularly, the aircon system failed a few times, as did the heated seats and cruise control, I've largely forgotten the pain and remember the car through rose tints... All in all despite the horrible reliability and running costs, it hasnt put me off buying an Alfa Romeo in the future.

Dougal Lindsay, June 19th 2007

TS Turismo Special Edition 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

i have traded my tired old alfa 156 in for a brand new 147 ti limited edition, having went along to my alfa dealer with the intention of buying a 159 i was stunned by the look of this 147 limited edition with its lowered suspension and 17 inch alloys, and amazing interior. Driving this car is a dream it is quick comfortable and silent at speed, the controls took a little bit of working out but after a day or two i had mastered the cruise control, dual climate control and stereo, I have just completed a 1000 mile round trip to scotland and even after a solid 6 hour stint without a break i was relaxed happy and felt ready to do another thousand miles. In my opinion this car is superb time will tell how reliable it is ( my 156 was faultless during the two years i owned it!! ) if you want style, class and head turning looks marry jennifer aniston if you want the same in a car buy an alfa romeo i47

ray lunney, somerset, May 26th 2007

TS Turismo 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I purchased this car used (or pre owned ) as the garage likes to call it,does that make it sound better? It had done 29k when bought and I can only say that up until now it has been totally reliable and a dream to drive.I average 35mpg approx which I find quite acceptable taking into consideration the sporty feel and the speed available. I get many glances of admiration when driving,I suspect it's more for the car than me,lol as it's certainly a looker. It is the first and I would like to think that this will be the first of many Alfa's that I will own as it is far and away the best for looks and specs against most other boring makes that are available. It seems from previous reviews that you either love them or hate them and I am certainly in the former,just hoping that I get many more miles of enjoyable driving pleasure. But when I think of what I paid against the original price I would always try to get a faily low milaged used car rather than new as the deprciation is frightening.

michael tucker, glam, May 14th 2007

V6 24V GTA 3dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I got rid of this car last November but thought i would warn others! This car is frighteningly quick, but only drive it in a straight line or it will kill you! terrible chassis, flawed dynamics,hideous running costs, terrible dealer support. I bought my 9000m, main dealer sourced,FARSH 147 GTA in Nov 05..... Failed head gasket, radiator, coolant system, drive shaft assembly! It spent 7 weeks off the road in one year! This car will cost you ££££££££££s in every way... Dont buy Alfa!

Benjamin Burton, Norfolk, April 27th 2007

TS Lusso 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Only had the car a week or so....pleasantly surprised at its performance on a long trip (790 mile round trip day after delivery) Handles well for its class, reasonable economy but space in rear is not very generous. I had a GT Coupe before so not in that class but for price, the spec is high, performance still spritely and has a little touch of class only seen with alfa

christina brown, February 12th 2007

JTD 16v Multijet Lusso 3dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have owned this car for two years. It's a 140bhp model, and is just over three years old with 30,000 mileson the clock. Buy from a main dealer, or at least with a full Alfa Romeo service history, and probably avoid any Selespeed gearbox model. Purchase the extended warranty and hopefully you've paved the way for a long and enjoyable Alfa ownership. The car has been absolutly trouble-free, apart from alternator failure, which was replaced under extended warranty. Servicing costs I offset against the fuel savings made over a petrol vehicle. Performance is generally exellent. Considering the levels of grip and handling, the ride is comfortable. Cruise control and steering-wheel radio/CD buttons, for example, are a bonus. Any complaints? Considering the engine torque quoted, I find the car doesn't respond to motorway overtaking quite as readily as I thought it would, although it's still pretty good compared for example to my previous car, a Honda Civic Type S (160bhp).

stephen coy, January 26th 2007

JTD 16v Multijet Lusso 3dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

bought from new( via importer - dont pay full dealer prices ) , have now covered 9k miles and I'm very pleased with this car. couple of minor issues within first 2k of owning , 1st - a leak on the windscreen wash and 2nd - one piece of loose trim. my local dealer sorted these quickly and efficiently. Engine is a pleasure , high 40's mpg can be achieved however I find myself with a heavy right foot when driving such is the torque from the diesel unit, leaves many a petrol hot hatch behind, the only downside being yo run out of rev's quickly! handling is good but sometime's a little too harsh.. this may be due in part to the 17" alloys my car is wearing. the alfa is not so keen on uneven surfaces. road noise is very good considering my tyre size though I have heard that different tyre makes can make a considerable difference to this! the cabin is well equiped and the materials are very good quality. the cars downside is it's practibility, plenty of space for front passengers (leather seats are well worth the money) but in the back it pretty tight for this class and the boot, well if your putting any sort of luggage in you will have to drop the back seats! the stereo doesnt give as good a sound as i had hoped but it is adequate. The diesels seem to be the least problematic in the range of 147's and well worth a look over the pertrol variants.

jon sollitt, east yorks, January 18th 2007

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