Even the base 1.6 has a lot going for it, but the 2.0-litre is more eager. Both have traditional Alfa sparkle, but switch comfortably from town to cruising speeds. The 2.0-litre is available with an optional paddle-shift manual gearbox. For the best driveability, go for one of the 1.9-litre turbodiesels.
Alfa Romeo 147 Hatchback ride & handling
The 147 tries to be sporty, with fast-acting steering, but comparatively poor body control on uneven roads dulls the car’s reactions. The ride is sometimes unruly, too. Road scars can send shudders into the cabin, but things improve on main roads. The Q2 version’s limited-slip differential improves front-end grip and traction.
Alfa Romeo 147 Hatchback refinement
The big wheels and tyres of the 2.0-litre models stir up some road noise, but that aside the 147 has few refinement flaws. It’s as quiet as immediate rivals at cruising speeds and any engine noise is pleasingly sporty rather than intrusive.