2002 Alfa Romeo 147 Selespeed 2.0 from UK and Ireland
Looks aren't everything
Selespeed system failure on 3 occasions causing the steering to lock up.
Gear selection problems causing the car to change from 2nd to 5th (resulted in a new gearbox).
The car would slip into neutral from 2nd gear while accelerating.
VDC system failure followed by a complete electrical system and engine shut down, causing me to wait for 10 hours for a breakdown truck in freezing weather (Jan 30th 2003).
Air-bag warning light permanently on as a result of loose wiring under the passenger seat.
Compared to my previous Alfa the general build quality is much, much better.
The interior look and feel as well as the 'toys' are high quality, but fairly cramped other than in the front seats.
The handling is pretty good in all weathers.
The car's performance is more than adequate on UK roads, but it does drink fuel and oil.
But the BIG problem is reliability. The car has been off the road on 4 separate occasions, and the root cause always seems to be electrical.
This is definitely the last Alfa I buy.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 31st January, 2003
Could it be, as is often the case when new technology such as the Selespeed is introduced, that people simply do not know how to use it? I can imagine many drivers trying to force the Selespeed lever into gear the old familiar way and...it's arrivaderci to the poor, battered Italian gear box!