2002 Alfa Romeo 147 Distinctive 5 door 2.0 TSPARK from South Africa


A good performer of doubtful quality


My cam seals blew at 19000 km.

After the repaired the cam seals the car has been consuming oil at approximately 0.5 liter per 1500 km.

The rear door handle broke at 41000 km.

The brakes are making a loud growling noise. The engine is making a diesel car like sound.

General Comments:

The car is beautiful and I love it for that.

It is either I bought one out of bad batch or the model has a serious technical problem.

I believe the car is running the same engine as the 156 range and owners of that range are extremely happy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th November, 2003

14th Nov 2003, 01:21

The diesel noise is due to the inlet cam phase variator which is starting to wear. It is a recurrent problem on many twin spark engines which requires a pure and simple replacement of the variator. Technical bulletins have been issued by AR- just browse the internet. Try to have it repaired under warranty. Hope that helps

4th Jan 2013, 19:18

Half a litre of oil per 1500km is normal. These engines are designed this way.

If you don't top up the oil... you will have problems.

And the person after you, who will then go on to proclaim Alfas as unreliable.

Know your vehicle... it's an Alfa... they DO NOT tolerate fools.

2002 Alfa Romeo 147 TS Selespeed 2.0 Selespeed from Romania


Not a good deal


The oil consumption is quite high - 186g/1000km and the problem is that the dealer says this oil consumption is normal.

The result is that in 5000km the consumption of oil will be 1 liter. It`s enormous.

Failure signals all the time.

The locking mechanism of the doors has broken.

General Comments:

The car does not worth the money. It`s not reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th November, 2003

18th Nov 2003, 10:40

Maybe you were just unlucky with your Alfa. Mine is performing just great, nothing wrong so far (20,000 km).

Do not worry about oil consumption. My Alfa used to "drink" 400 g/1000 km at the beginning, but I know I have red-lined it all the time. Now it has tempered its oil consumption to a more decent level, and I know from other Alfa owners that soon would stop eating oil.

2nd Feb 2004, 16:54

1 litre every 5000km is not excessive oil consumption for any car, let alone an Alfa. Modern cars may be low maintenance, but you still need to open the bonnet (hood) a few times a year!

2002 Alfa Romeo 147 Selespeed 2.0TS from Australia and New Zealand


Probably the best looking best equipped car for the money in this market .


Update to an earlier review.

Still some annoying problems with the computers. Odometer flashes occasionally ( no explanation) and audio hunts for the changer (not fitted) Dealer seems reluctant to fix it, unable to decide whether the car needs new body computer or or radio head unit.

Noise from front suspension became quite alarming, but fixed over three days under warranty with new sway bars etc.

Climate control struggles in warm Australian weather and the car can get really stuffy

The "glovebox" is laughably small and so oddly shaped as to be useless.

General Comments:

The same old story with Euro cars in this country. Dealer always needs the car for the full day and parts always have to be "ordered" then "delivered" and the vehicle has to go in again. Courtesy cars are rarely available and then generally executive cars available for the day only and charged for!

Dealer attitude is polite, but ineffectual.

I think it took almost 10000km to get used to the Selespeed, I really like it now - very relaxing as a city commuter

Now the novelty has worn off my kids don't like the back seat - it is pretty tight and dark in there.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 4th November, 2003

15th Jan 2004, 18:20

I bought my Alfa 147 a month ago from Alfa Centro in Rushcutters Bay. I absolutely love my new acquisition.

However I am also experiencing all the problems you have outlined in your review, odometer flashing when I fail to start the engine on first attempt, audio systems looks for a changer out of the blue, clunky suspension noise (I was advised this was normal by the dealer!), climate control proves almost ineffective in some hot Australia days (At times I even thought I had forgotten to turn it on!). The "glovebox" is literally a "GLOVE BOX", impractical and awkwardly designed.

Despite what I hear about Selespeed issues, I have had a good run so far. I am dreading the embarrassing Selespeed failure right in the middle of a busy road!

On all other fronts, the car is an absolute pleasure to drive. I have been an Alfa fan from a very young age, but never mustered the courage to buy one. I am glad I finally did thought, great purchase.

13th May 2004, 19:55

Another follow up to my earlier. After three more visits and services the dealer has now "decided' that the cause of the electrical glitches is the use of recorded CDs. They gave me a1/2003 FIAT service bulletin to justify this position. I remain sceptical, the problem is still happening and I am religiously sticking with genuine CDs.

For the rest the car is a dream - bedded in nicely now, quite good economy and very easy to drive. I am looking for a new car for my wife and this 147 has set a high benchmark.