1999 Alfa Romeo 146 1.6 Twin Spark 1.6 gas
An Alfa is a car for a true enthusiast who can look beyond the quirks
I bought it used in September 2001 with 9,000 kilometers on the odometer. On delivery it was apparent that the front brake rotors were scored or warped as both sides made a loud grinding noise on brake application. This problem was fixed by a local Alfa shop who's owner is also a big Alfisti. He explained 2nd gear synchronizer is useless on these cars and he was right. To this day, second gear required double clutching prior to engagement. Mostly on downshift, but occasionally on a higher rpm up shift. There was a strange rattle in one of the rear doors, but I learned to live with it.
I've driven BMWs, Mercedes and Porsches all my life. And there is no doubt that they are superior cars. But Alfas have a subjective quality that cannot be quantified. It is the scream of the engine at 7,000 rpm (yes, the 1.6 liter has a 7,000 rpm redline). Or the quirky layout of the interior. My point is, despite the clear technical superiority of the German makes, Alfas have a soul. My girlfriend had a 156 2.4 litre turbodiesel that also has this characteristic.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th October, 2003