1998 Alfa Romeo 146 Reviews

1998 Alfa Romeo 146 ti 2.0 from Venezuela

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 2.0 Semi-Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired0 kilometres
Most recent distance63000 kilometres
Previous carRenault 21

Summary:

The best sports-family car in the market

Faults:

None.

General Comments:

This car is amazingly responsive and its handling is outstanding in its category being the braking capacity its shining ability.

146 ti is lovely and as practical as a Swiss multifunction tool with lots of fun and fast rides.

A truly sports and family car with good looking design, typical European approach and aggressive style.

I really enjoy driving this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th February, 2006

1998 Alfa Romeo 146 TD from Croatia

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission TD Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 kilometres
Most recent distance135000 kilometres
Previous carFiat Tipo

Summary:

Great car, great design, Best Buy!!!

Faults:

Nothing much, just regular servicing every 10000Km (oil & filters), and one big service at 120000Km (oils, filters, belts, glow plugs, battery, brakes, some parts of suspension)

General Comments:

Performance are not the high end, but considering that car has 90hp and 1280Kg, it's fast enough in all situations If you don't expect impossible.

Fuel consumption is low, same as on every other 90hp TD engine.

Handling and suspension are very good balanced between sport and comfort.

There is plenty of room inside the cabin and boot.

Conclusion is: Great car, with cool charisma & style, the real Best Buy!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th February, 2006

1998 Alfa Romeo 146 TS L 1.6 petrol from Netherlands

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.6 petrol Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired158000 kilometres
Most recent distance166000 kilometres

Summary:

Delightful little car

Faults:

Rear window heater button wouldn't remain in the "on" position.

Slight "cough" when starting in cold weather.

General Comments:

I only recently got my driver's license, and therefore didn't really have enough driving experience for me to allow myself to purchase an expensive vehicle. But I did want some sort of air conditioning.

So I looked around a bit and - given the high depreciation - late 90s Alfas (146, 156) were actually within my budget. While I was looking at Mondeos! After trying the 156 first, I decided it was too much "dad's car" for my tastes, and settled on the tastefully black 146 I now own.

And it's an absolute DREAM! Its excellent cornering (w/ 205 tyres at least) invites you to dive into corners at ludicrous speeds, while at the same time on the motorway you hardly have anything to do because it is so well balanced.

A negative point I want to stress is that at this age the rate of fuel consumption is pretty severe, averaging at about 10 litres per 100km (23mpg). For a car of its size, that's not too good.

But what you may lose financially, you gain in sheer driving pleasure. This car really seems designed to make people appreciate motoring, and if you're a starting driver like myself it is a very good choice indeed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th November, 2005

1998 Alfa Romeo 146 1.6 Twin Spark 120HP from Poland

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.6 Twin Spark 120HP Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired80000 kilometres
Most recent distance150000 kilometres
Previous carBMW 3 Series

Summary:

Fast, precise, smile giving car

Faults:

Burned rear inside light. Due to Polish roads small, but regular problems with suspension. Cold engine sounds like diesel, but that due to the nature of Twin Spark valve system (on low rpm doesn't get enough oil, this affects some of TS engines).

General Comments:

Precise, fast car. The very first serial car I've ever driven which feels so much as racing/tuned car. Handling is just great, so is the reaction on accelerator and precise, strong brakes.

Just keep the engine floored.

On long journeys - honey. Especially seats are well formed. Car has no problem keeping up on highways with much stronger rivals.

And finally: this car has a soul, charm and magic in it. You smile while driving. This is indeed Alfa Romeo with cuore sportivo!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th May, 2005

15th May 2005, 02:10

The diesel sound comes from the camshaft phase variator. It seems that the variator appreciates regular oil changes at 10000 kms (instead of 20000 kms as per Alfa's recommendations). Having the variator changed should lead to slightly better fuel consumption and, more importantly, better pick up from low revs.

1998 Alfa Romeo 146 Twin Spark 1.4 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.4 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.4 / 10
Distance when acquired45000 miles
Most recent distance68500 miles
Previous carFiat Tipo

Summary:

Good looker and performer, but serious doubts on the engineering quality

Faults:

The first thing that happened was the slave cylinder on the clutch had to be replaced at 55000 miles, which proved not to be too expensive as I didn't use a dealer.

More seriously and obviously more expensive the timing belt went at 68500. The manual recommends replacement at 72000 miles or 6 years whichever occurs first. The car was registered in July 1998, so there is still some time and mileage left before both thresholds are reached.

I was informed by my local dealer that realistically I'm looking at up to €2000 to get it sorted. Ouch!

My local repair shop has advised the quickest and cheapest way out is a engine change (2nd hand of course). He was advised by Alfa mechanics that they have a reputation for doing serious valve and head damage when the timing belt goes. In addition, 146's do not work out well for valve replacements and head rework.

General Comments:

I bought the car second hand and it does not have a full service history. However, I still think it's unacceptable that the timing belt should go before the advised replacement thresholds considering there would also be a factor of safety built into the limits.

I will pursue warranty with Alfa Romeo on this basis, but would be interested in any comments regarding the timing belt and warranty claim.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th February, 2004

19th May 2004, 12:39

Hi.

The damage to your engine is a factor on all 16 valve cars, not just Alfas. In reality if you have a 16v engine you should change the timing belt every 30-40 thousand miles at the most, and I would do it every three years at most regardless. It's not a lot of effort to save you possibly a small fortune. I know this may come too late for you, but I hope the more people see it the better.

I would be doubtful that Alfa would do anything for you, but would be glad to hear otherwise.

17th Dec 2005, 12:28

I have just bought a var that has suffered cam belt failiure (At 88,000 miles). It cost £800 to fix it, which included new valves and a head re-build, so it's not the end of the world. I also read in Auto Italia that the pistons are always OK after an event like this.

Simon.

Average review marks: 7.7 / 10, based on 10 reviews