Product Type: Alfa Romeo cars
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Updated - I got the 1.6 in March , now I'm getting a 2 ltr
Alfa Romeo 147
Member Name: janeh
Alfa Romeo 147
Date: 11/04/01, updated on 09/05/02 (3843 review reads)
Advantages: Stunning looks, Comfortable ride, Lots of gadgets
Disadvantages: Rear wiper control location, Restricted rear visability
I bought my original 147 in March 01 and it has given me much driving pleasure. The only thing I never liked about it was the colour! I chose Gabiano blue, which is apparently one of the most popular colours, but I have never liked it - so when I decided to change my car (I know I only had it 7 months), I looked around for something different – guess what I have ended up with – another 147. This time the 2 litre version with climate pack in metallic red.
The fact that even after looking at many other models, I have ended up with another 147 speaks volumes. It is by far the best spec car in its class and price, it also looks fantastic. Read on to see what I have to say.
I have had my 2 litre 147 for a few months now, and it is even better than the 1.6. The ride is slightly smoother and quieter – probably due to the larger wheels. It has headlight washers, heated seats etc. But the best gadget of all is the automatic wipers. How I have ever lived without this facility is beyond me.
With manual wipers, if there is one of these showers that means its raining hard one minute, spitting the next and then nothing and round again, you are forever adjusting your wipers. Not anymore, they do it all for you. They adjust themselves according to the conditions – you just let them get on with it – great. So you see, I am very easily pleased.
Although I loved my 1.6 (apart from the colour), I really love my 2ltr and really can’t fault it.
When I first saw the 147 I was immediately attracted to its rather startling good, if retro looks. I had already been swayed towards the new PT Cruiser with its distinctive front and interior but was put off by the rear of the car which I can only describe a black cab! The 147 has a very distinctive front end with the exaggerated Alfa grill and the specially shaped lighting clusters. The line of the car slopes gently up towards the rear with no side bumpers
(not sure if this is the right terminology!). The rear is also very pleasing with a v shaped rear window to echo the front grill. There are quite a few colours to choose from including a rather stunning iridescent light blue – I couldn’t justify the extra £1200 for it though.
Inside, the Alfa really stands out from the crowd. My 147 is the Lusso, which is the top of the range version and comes with either sports cloth trim or velour. I chose the velour in grey which has a very nice design. I doesn’t look like a baby buggy which many car interiors seem to. The seats are very comfortable and can be adjusted up and down as well as forward and back. The drivers seat has a lumbar support and the sides of the seat come round the sides to make you feel very secure and comfortable. In my model they are also heated.
The steering wheel is leather and extremely comfortable to hold. The wheel can be moved up and down and forward and back for added driving comfort. From the steering wheel you have the radio/CD controls. Here you can operate the volume, mute, radio station selector, CD controls etc. There are several stalks from the steering column. One for the lights/indicators, one for the wipers which includes a four speed intermittent wiper but if like me you like gadgets, you can have the automatic wipers fitted as an option. There is another stalk for the cruise control which has an on/off switch and a set switch. You can also increase and decrease the speed the seed from here and reset after accelerating or breaking. The wiper stalk doubles up as the computer display on the dash – more on that soon.
The dashboard is very original in design. The three sets of dials are in very distinctive sporty housings. They are designed in such a way that only the driver can see the dials. The dials are the usual collection, speed, petrol, temperature and revs. Also in the dash is the computer display. This is operated by the column
stalk mentioned above. Here you can see details of the radio station or CD you are listening to, fuel consumption, amount of petrol left (in miles) and lots of other useful or useless things (depending on your point of view). You can set the individual journey details too – useful for business trips. All the display lighting is red, so when it is dark outside the inside of that car is amazing. Even the electric window buttons light up and the red is very pleasing to the eye.
In the centre consol you have the single CD (I have a 10 CD auto changer in the boot too), the radio and climate control dials. The climate control is individual to each side of the car i.e. the driver and passenger can set individual temperatures. There is an auto setting which means as soon as you set the desired temp the car does all the setting for you and keeps the car to the temp set. There is a traction control button which I have been told to keep on until such time as we get snow and ice – I will then read the manual to find out what I have to do with it! The electric window and mirror controls are located on door.
Talking of the manual, I found that mine kept slipping into Italian every so often and some of the translations leave a bit to be desired but all the more amusing for it.
Oh, I forgot to mention the bouncy castle that comes with the car – apparently in the event of a crash the car is equipped with driver and passenger front airbags, side airbags which cover the windows and more airbags that come out of the sides of the seats. There are also rear passenger bags. You will not be injured in a crash but die of suffocation!
The fuel consumption is not too bad – my computer shows an average of 30.8mpg. Baring in mind that my journeys are to work and back and I basically drive 70 miles a day on A-roads and country roads/lanes – not the best way to get good fuel consumption. I am yet to do a good motorway drive to se
e how good or bad it really is. It costs about £40 to fill up the tank.
All in all I am very pleased with my 147, the looks certainly get some admiring glances – I sometimes park my car and come out of a shop to find people milling round it having a crafty look. There are still relatively few of these on the road, so it tends to stand out in the crowd. You need to be prepared for strangers asking you what it drives like etc.
I can only think of on bad point to report and that is that the rear wiper control is a bit awkward to reach, being behind the steering wheel.
The ride is firm, but sporty and the handling is superb. It sticks to the road and you feel very confident driving it. The 0-60 of the 2 ltr is 9.3 secs but I have read reports in car magazines where it is reported to be nearer 8.7 secs.
I am thoroughly pleased with my 147.