2005 Alfa Romeo 147 Reviews - Page 2 of 2

2005 Alfa Romeo 147 GTA 3.2 V6 from UK and Ireland

Model year2005
Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 3.2 V6 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired18700 miles
Most recent distance19700 miles
Previous carHonda Civic

Summary:

A car of compromise, but if you overlook the faults it is a real gem!

Faults:

I had to take it to the dealer because the stupid useless dealer I brought it from steam cleaned the engine and got water on the coils. NOT the cars fault.

General Comments:

147 GTA.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS.

I have only had my GTA for about 3 weeks, but I am very happy with it.

There is a lot of information out there, and it seems it is either very positive or very negative. Basically everyone is BIASED.

From my relatively short ownership I believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle. While the car is not a fantastic drive, it isn’t rubbish. There is certainly scope for improvement, but that is the case for most cars. What you have to realise with the 147 is that it is not a hot hatch in the same way as the Clio or Civic are. It is more of a muscle car.

Your conventional hot hatch is designed to provide a good balance of everyday usability and performance. The majority of this performance is extracted from decent suspension and brakes. These allow you to maximise the power on tap. These cars will usually have more power than there standard brothers and sisters, but most will still only do 0-60 in around 7 seconds.

What you have with the Alfa is a different sort of car. It has not been designed for performance. It has been designed to be a baby supercar. As a result it won’t be practical in everyway or the best drive. It has some compromises.

The main issue is of course the handling. The electrics do a very good job of countering this, especially in the dry. In the wet they do struggle - As noted by a controllable amount of understeer! Over the last few weeks I have gotten used to its behaviour and it does feel better. There is a surprising amount of grip there, but it takes a while to feel confident to use it. I think it is the quick steering which causes this. Because I’m not used to it, it does feel a little unnatural.

The other issue is the turning circle. I test drove one and the dealer said the turning circle is fine. YOU ARE A LIAR!!! It is not the end of the world, but it is a pain. I cannot get into my driveway without taking a couple of swings. I have never had to do this before. Even with big cars and vans. Tight car parks such as supermarkets car parks can also be difficult to navigate. Some times you need to back up a bit to get a wide enough swing on those 90 degree turns. You then get the feeling everyone thinks you can’t drive.

Lastly the fuel economy. Trust me it is bad. I average about 20mpg and honestly I don’t drive it hard that often. I can get 99mpg on the motorway (going down hill with the throttle released) and usually average about 33mpg on motorway runs. I am thinking about getting the LPG conversion done, as the cost of LPG is half that of petrol. In other words it would be like having a 40-50mpg 3.2 V6!

Anyway I am thrilled to bits with it. I will update this review over time - Maybe do another one when I have a had a better chance to get to know it. I would happily recommend the car to anyone who wants a fun alternative to an Evo or Scooby (Brilliant drives, but seriously naff). Like I have said, you will have to compromise, it is not to everyone's taste, but it has really character and makes you smile!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th November, 2007

29th Nov 2007, 04:00

A truly excellent report - unbiased and gets the point of this site completely.

The 147 GTA is an acquired taste, and I test drove one and was hooked - as you say it is not as complete a package as other hot hatches, but is in a different league of desirability.

It really is like a supercar hatchback, but more like a supercar than a hatchback-utterly engaging, intoxicating, impractical, scary maintenance, depreciation etc etc.

One thing you have is my respect; only a true petrolhead would buy this in favour of the competition. The 147 GTA is a deeply desirable car, but you have to be committed to own one.

I chickened out two years ago and bought a motorbike instead-but I have moved house since and one of my neighbours owns the actual car I test drove (red 04 plate, black/brown leather). Every time I see the car, I get strong feelings of elation from the experience I had driving it, strong regret for not buying it and a sense of relief that I kept the money!!

This has to be one of the best cars of all time-not as a complete package - but as a true drivers car, a total classic and a car worthy of carrying the Alfa badge.

I think what haunts me is that emotion I got from the GTA, was the same I got from a Maserati GT. Other people compare it to Golfs and R26s. WRONG!!

If you think of it as a practical, budget (!) Ferrari or Maserati, it makes perfect sense.

I am so jealous!!!

2005 Alfa Romeo 147 JTD 16v M-Jet 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.9 turbo diesel Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired3800 miles
Most recent distance5200 miles
Previous carVauxhall Astra

Summary:

Be different, stand out from the 'clone crowd'..

Faults:

Nothing so far!

General Comments:

Only had the car for 1 month (1,500 miles), initial impression is a very good one so far. Considered the usual suspects for this sector; Astra, Focus, & Golf, but in the end the Alfa won due to it's more handsome looks, excellent dynamics and high spec.

Comfort:

Very refined. The car is the Lusso trim level, plus has been fitted with following options from the factory:

Metallic silver paint

Full red leather interior

17" supersport alloys (215/45/17)

'Winter pack' - heated front seats, heated windscreen washer jets and headlamp washers.

'Comfort pack' - additional rear head rest, rear centre arm rest and boot cargo net.

Rear parking sensors.

Performance:

Coming from a petrol 2002 Astra 1.8 SRI, the Alfa is far quicker in 'real world' everyday driving, overtaking is very easy and brisk. The engine is the 150bhp 16v multi-jet version with 225ft/lb's of torque at 1900rpm coupled to a six speed gearbox. Initial acceleration in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear is very impressive, with 6th gear proving to be a good cruising gear (35mph per 1000rpm). Economy has been as expected; 47.5mpg is the current MPG figure from my daily mixed town and motorway driving.

Reliability:

Early days yet, but all the major components (ECU, ESP, ABS etc..) are Bosch manufactured so this is a good starting point. Also, the engine I believe is the product of a joint project between Fiat/Alfa and GM. The engine is actually used in few different diesel models; Fiats, Alfa's, Vauxhall's and SAAB. Does not have the usual Alfa sporty petrol engine note, but hey it is a diesel after all!

Summation:

Great looking car, lovely design touches throughout. Boot not the biggest in class (290 litres), but adequate. Seems very well screwed together in all respects, provided the car remains reliable I can see me hanging onto this one for a long time.

If you want to stand out a little and drive with a grin on your face, buy one!

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

Review Date: 27th August, 2006

29th Nov 2006, 12:58

Update from original reviewer...

Now completed 8500 miles. Car has been off the road for almost 2 weeks following an "electrical connection shorting". This occurred with a little over 7000 miles on the clock. Took my local Alfa dealer one and half weeks of fault finding, fitting a new ABS ECU and 'body controller' unit not to mention endless man hours, before the fault was traced by a visiting senior Alfa technician within a few hours. It seems Alfa have yet to cure their electrical gremlins and dealer backup problems. Events like this do very little in convincing me to purchase another car from Alfa when the time comes for a change. I never had this problem with any of my previous cars; 2 x Vauxhall's, VW or Peugeot. All in all very disappointing for a car competing against the Golf, A3 and BMW 1 series.

Other aspects of the car are still impressing me greatly; the engine if anything seems to have loosened up a little, mpg is now around 46.5 to 47 average. Car still looks good and feels tightly screwed together. Lets hope the 'blip' was a one off. I will keep updating the review as the miles increase.

2005 Alfa Romeo 147 JTD 115 Turismo 1.9 JTD 115 diesel from UK and Ireland

Model year2005
Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.9 JTD 115 diesel Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired6000 miles
Most recent distance8800 miles
Previous carToyota Celica

Summary:

More original than golf clones with practicality for daily drive

Faults:

Engine sound very rough on tick over, vibration on steering wheel at idle is visible and make it unpleasant to touch. Something start badly rattle and whine on any bump under dashboard on passenger side. Getting worse by the day. Loud and embarrassing rattle appear from under the engine whenever brake pedal is used. Plenty of wind noise suddenly appears at speeds over 70mp/h. Low beam is useless, silly inefficient heater.

General Comments:

Much better than most people think. Genuine different and well made airy interior, top notch materials used. Simple, but efficient controls and plenty of toys even in base spec. Very good seats and one of the best rides I ever had in a car. Standard fit radio-Cassette looks atrocious, but has fantastic sound worthy of far more posh wheels. exhaust Sound very sporty when pushed, real shock to get it from diesel, but alas, bravo alfa. 43 mpg on average helps, but nothing spectacular there.

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

Review Date: 31st December, 2005

3rd Jan 2007, 14:18

Update on a car 1year and 30000 miles later. Its Brilliant. Take 20 000 miles to run it in. Now it sound better, it handles better, wall of power and torque, dealer fixed squeaks, mpg 45, gives me a smile every day. Most fun car I ever had.

Average review marks: 7.8 / 10, based on 5 reviews