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This is my Company car folks, i got promoted at work over a year ago to my surprise and was delighted, i was even more surprised when the boss said here son pick a car, i could not hide my smile when there was the Alfa Brera on the list i was like a little boy in a sweet shop when i had to ask the boss any one of these on the list you said sir. His reply was yes.
i have been a big fan of Alfa since a kid and Top Gear says you have never driven a car until you drive an Alfa
So the car gets delivered at work with no idea what model i was getting i got to choose the colour and it could be no other colour but Alfa red for me, what i got was a 2.4 JTD in black leather seats with red Alpha stitching, set of very nice 18" alloy wheels, panoramic roof, the car packed with mod cons like sat nav and the most stunning dash board i have seen in a car, interior all black with the brushed steel dash with dials galore.
My first drive of the car was a weary one due to the jump from a 1.4 punto to a 2.4 alfa but soon i was tearing the roads up, the car is eager and rareing to go with great responsiveness there was never much lag in 1st 2nd 3rd and 4th but 5th and 6th it was noticeable, the car had the sound of an alfa and i was not disapointed, the feel was unreal and the speed i could take round corners with no roll like other cars i had owned.
The honeymoon period has ended tho and there has been a few niggles but then it would not be an alfa without it having to go to the garage, the panoramic window is something to stay away from for me the extra light coming into the car is not ideal and very annoying when the sun is low, the car has broken down once and was fixed and handed back within 2 days and over the winter period the window washer pump burst but car was only in garage for the repair a day.
i wont be getting to change the alfa for another 2 years and being honest i dont want it to end, i love the car, i just wish i could give you a good idea at what it would go up against, the car has the grunt, it has the looks, the car is solid interior wise and exterior i love the keyless fob that just sticks into the dash
The Brera has done 17k miles since i got it and has done many motorway travel, it has also done alot of city travel and there is very little outside noise getting into the car, no rattles or squeeks as yet, as for wear and tear the front tyres have been replaced after 14k miles so must be quite hard on the front wheels
This car looks to have ceased production now so you may not buy this as a new model but i would highly recomend this car to anyone, its a dream to drive, when and if i get the a new car from the boss i shall be looking for its replacement the Giulietta.
The Alfa Romeo Brera is the latest in Alfa's proud history of mixing style with performance. It is interesting to note that the Brera is very often overlooked when it comes to affordable sports cars, but their 3.2 turbo Q4 SV version is somewhat livelier than other hatchbacks which are usually placed in the same category.
The drive is incredibly responsive. The steering feels suitably firm and the control is there. The whistle of the turbo is reassuring when you plant the right foot and the performance brakes are there to match. This, coupled with striking and very appealing design, interior looks & wheels make the higher end of the Brera spectrum alluring.
There are, however, a number of snags. The boot is surprisingly small given the way the car looks from the outside. The seating position feels uncomfortable. No combination of seat controls could make me feel at home in the car as you sit fairly high within the car. The rear seats would struggle to fit three kids, let alone adults.
For an engine of that size and quality, I would have expected performance figures to be significantly above what they are, especially given the money you'll be splashing out on petrol and regular servicing. While the Brera definitely feels like an upgrade from the Alfa GT, it is by no means a great finished product.
It is these negative points, together with Alfa Romeo's notoriously poor reliability standards which made me decide against purchasing one when I was seriously considering it and I still believe I made the right decision for me. It must be noted, however, that my wife quite likes the car and I would not be against her getting one in the future.
I recently bought an Alfa Romeo 159 which I took into the dealer today to get a few issues sorted out; I was provided with a Brera as a loan car. The Brera is one of the best looking cars on the road so I was thrilled when it was pointed out - in dark grey with the dark alloys it looked the business. Then I started it up - unfortunately it was a diesel and initially the rattle (even on a warmish day with the windows closed) was very intrusive. After a few minutes, once the engine had warmed up, the rattle subsided but the engine remained boomy towards the higher end of the revs, although this was also accompanied by a good shove from what is obviously a good engine. The car I was provided with had a panoramic glass roof, which did not open - fortunately there was an electric cover which I used. While I have always admired the Brera from the outside, I found the driving position felt too high - possibly because the side glass is deeper than on my 159, and there was not much headroom - this may be due to the glass roof and I am 6'4" so there aren't many cars in which this isn't an issue. As noted by the previous reviewer, there were no parking sensors - not sure whether these are an option or not. In summary, personally the Brera would be too cramped for me (even if I was able to live with a 2 door car) but would suit anyone under 6'. I wouldn't choose a diesel - although the engine was powerful the noise would put me off - although I appreciate for some people who do higher mileages the economy is worth paying more for (although I do wonder how many people pay a premium for diesel and this enhanced economy who drive so few miles that they don't take advantage of the benefit).
Having previously flirted with a boring German Audi A3, danced with a curvy hot Spanish number, (no not Karimkha) the Seat Leon. I finally returned to my Italian roots and parted with some hard earned cash and purchased a +250bhp, 150mph Alfa Romeo Brera!
I have owned this car for just over two years, and is to date the best car I have ever owned! 28,000 miles of pure motoring bliss are decribed below. Please read my review on the Alfa Brera!
Brand new the average price for one of these cars will set you back around £30,000 for a mid-range model, however being an Alfa they depreciate faster than a Zimbabwean Wage Slip! So definitely buy a second hand one I would say!
I picked up my 3.2 V6 JTS Q4 (Qtronic) for just over £15,000 thanks to a loan from an Egg, and a very agree-able sales woman (mine was imported from Italy). Be warned though under current road tax laws in 'Labours Communist Britain', this will cost you a whopping £400 a year to keep parked on the road, let alone insure.
It is however, worth every single penny. And driving this car, is a small price to pay for a tiny matter such as global warming. Anyway, rising sea levels will mean driving to the beach will take less time, and it will be warmer when you do get there, so its a good thing all round right?
If there was a way of turning Pamela Anderson, Liv Tyler, Sophia Loren, Bo Derek, Jane Fonda, Audrey Taotou and every other sexy woman who has ever existed into a car, you would be left with a Ferrari and something quite closely resembling an Alfa Romeo Brera.
Really it is just visually stunning from all angles, it truly is a work of art right up there with the La Gioconda (Mona Lisa), the dome of St Pauls, and the painted ceiling of the Cappella Sistina (Sistein Chapel). Even the designer has a sexy name. Giorgetto Giugaro.
The long sweeping curves leading up to the imposing chiselled designed front, the exotic looking light clusters with bi-xenon lamps, and the curvy squat rear, just give the car a sure footed look, and an aggresive stance. Whereas the Chrysler Crossfire, who went for a similar look, ended up emulating the neighbours cat in a "im about to take a dump over your garden" stance.
If they ever put a small enough engine into this thing, small enough for it to take part in the British Touring Car championship, you wouldn't need Gabriele Tarquini at the wheel to win the championship again, as in the 90's Alfa Romeo haydays, the other cars would literally fall of the road in fear of it.
I almost omitted to mention the beautiful panoramic glass sun-roof, and mini-spoiler, which are just icing on the cake of what is an exceptionally beautiful car.
Aside from the stunning looks, the clever design features are just evident throughout the bodywork, with little extra curves here and there. You can just imagine the dynamacsist up in arms, as the designer added those extra touches. However this is an Italian car, not a boring German machine, wind flow vortices, venturi points, drag coefficients, all take second place, to how much it will raise your blood pressure just by looking at it.
The superlatives used to describe the outside don't stop once you get inside the car. More beautifully crafted detail is in abundance. No boring German efficient design, or dasboards designed by computers in here, this cockpit looks like it came out of a Boeing 747, but one styled by Sergio Pinnafarina. There is no mistaking your sitting in something which is going to thrill you, beyond your wildest dreams.
Sure some of the switches are hard to reach while driving, I can't see one of them when turning left. But who cares, this is sexy stuff. And it was meant to look that way. This was designed by passionate people. People who make love for the hell of it, not just to make babies. This isn't a German ergonomically designed bore, its a red blooded stallion blowing steam from its nostrils.
The leather seats even have stitch detailing throughout, not for any reason, other than it looks good. Two vents in the centre console would be efficient, this has three, because it matches the three dials (including wheel) across the main display. Even the steering itself, has three concentric rings. All these little details and touches just make it, what it is.
Being more practical, fine the rear is cramped, don't get me wrong it looks perfect but I doubt you could comfortably sit in the back if your over or even approaching 6 foot, but it really doesn't matter, because I would rather be cramped up in the back, than have palatial room to stretch my legs in the back of the latest Mondeo.
One thing I haven't yet mentioned is the glass roof, which obviously allows for exceptional lighting within the cockpit, making it very nice to drive on a dull day, it really adds to the sense of your surroundings, and what could be more beautiful than to stare up at the stars with your loved one (hopefully not while driving). Just remember if your getting carried away though, that there is a lack of room in the back though!
-Cars Best Bits -
First. The strangest thing is that this car has ISO fix points in the rear, as if anyone is going to soil this car by putting something like a baby or a small child inside. Pffft!
While talking about strange, for some strange reason, this car has a heated front screen. Like a Ford Mondeo does. Clearly an engineer snuck these design features in, when the designer was out for lunch. Given the UK climate though, its incredibly handy!
This though is where the similarity to anything resembling a normal car ends.
The Engine without doubt is quite something special, not only does the V6 lump unleash more than 250 Italian Stallions, they gallop along merrily all the way to in excess of 150mph, if you were insane, and allowed them too. The really "best bit" though is the sound, its like having Thor the Norsk god of thunder slammed shut under the bonnet. You really don't ever tire of hearing the growling rasp startup when you power past 3,000 revs, if you keep your foot down, it will just sonically shake out all your fillings and burst ear drums. Notably though the fuel runs out quicker, alot quicker, but its worth it!
The parking sensor, if you own something this beautiful you don't want to stack it when reversing. Also it comes in handy given that you can't see anything lower than 5 foot behind the car. Children, babies and dwarfs beware!
Alfa Romeo red, is probably what adds even more enjoyment to owning the car, it just is such a passionate colour, it just makes the car orgasmic. Yes maybe talking about the paint seems strange, but to be honest owning something in Alfa red, is far superior then mentioning the clever electronics, like stability control, traction control, ABS, ABR, EBD, Brake Assist, the paddle shift qtronic gearbox, cruise control, push button starter, and even an airbag for your knees (I kid you not!).
-Safety & Reliability-
Not that any Italian Alfa Romeo would ever crash, but if it did, the clever people at Euro NCAP say that you will probably be OK. Given that they have given this a 4 star crash rating. Don't forget the crash rating is classified in class groups. So if this car crashed into a 5 star rated but lower classed 'smart car', no prizes for guessing the outcome. I don't see what is 'smart' about risking your life. And unless you crash into a bumble bee, a feather, or a rather large snowflake, that 5 star rating isn't going to help.
Reliability was a huge concern when I purchased this car, I know the early Alfa's had horrendous problems with a) rust, and b) electronics. Given that this car is brimming with electronics I was exceptionally worried.
Touch wood, but this car has been rock solid for the 28 or so thousand miles I have clocked up in it, and not so much as a warning light has flickered so far. Other than the irratating seat-belt sign one that is.
Longer term the trend for reliability looks good, with Alfa Romeos reputation slowly but steadily improving. They don't even rust these days!
After being monetarily raped, by the ever so efficient German car makers Audi in the recent past, I was pleased to see that the Italian Mafia isn't yet controlling the car servicing departments of Alfa Romeo dealers.
A service at my local approved dealer, actually cost less than £200. Which isn't cheap, but was quite amazing given its a V6 engine they were tinkering with.
-Driving Experience and Summary-
This isn't a cheap car, I grant you. It is however as a second hand car as affordable as any other medium end cars of this specification.
What an Alfa Romeo gives you though is Italian passion, and Italian design know-how, a thrill every time you turn the key (well press the ignition button) and hear the V6 growl into life. Alfa Romeos have always been reknowned for their engine note, and racing feel hence the motto of Cuore Sportivo (racing heart) but this car takes the biscuit. It could most definitely give you an orgasm as you sure footedly go round a corner that little bit to fast, and it definitely will as all fours wheels bite into the tarmac pushing you back into your seat, as you hurtle out of it.
In essesence though it isn't just all thrills, or even about thrills at all, this is a very driveable everday car. Just one that is jaw droppingly beautiful. Driven carefully the car is even quite placid, comfortable and BMW, or AUDI-like, in the way it efficiently goes about its business, and giving you a supported ride. For a coupe sized car, the boot is gargantuan, huge, so you could pop along to Tesco as I do, and fill it with your weekly shop.
All in all, I couldn't recommend a nicer Alfa Romeo out of the modern era, and it probably would even impress the afficinados of the classics.