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I am in the process of looking for a new car. This weekend I test drove an Alfa Romeo 147 1.9JTD 16V(140 BHP).
This review will be split under several headings, and each heading will be rated out of ten - ten being fab, 1 being bad.
First Impressions: 10/10 This car is pure style to look at from the outside, the car body has a slight concave shape in the doors and all along the side - this gives the car an immediate sense of style and sensuality. The car exudes confidence and individuality from its' external apperance. The front of the car with its' very prominent grill and headlights endowes this car with some serious road presence and again, even more style. This car appears to be designed by the human hand and not a cold hearted clinical computer. I test drove the three door version - nicely weighted door handles and a great feel of quality. The panel gaps were all equal and the quality of the paint was great - the car I test drove had the Alfa Red paintwork - a nice colour!
Driving and behind the wheel: 8.5/10 All the major controls such as the headlight and the wiper stalks are mounted on the steering wheel column which means easy operation and you don't have to take your eyes off the road. Another lovely feature I found was that the sun visors had illuminated mirrors - great for touching up the hair when you've just come out the shower and need to get to work and you haven't done your hair - or for those moments at the traffic lights when you are wanting to get someone's attention! The fab thing about the Alfa 147 dash is that the rev counter is far BIGGER than the speedo - this to my surprise means that you are always breaking the speedlimit - as the speed is badly marked upon the speedo. The controls for the air conditioning and climate control system are all easy at hand and are very easy to use without taking your eyes off the road. So far so good. The mirror adjustment switches are located on the drivers door arm rest - again great to adjust on the move!
The steering wheel has adjustment for height and reach, this enables a great driving position. There aren't any blind spots although the sylish wing mirrors look better than they perform. Out on the road I was impressed by the consise 6 speed gear change and great brakes and very light clutch. The engine is a stormer, it sounds like a V6 and pulls like a V12, but it's a DIESEL! This car would have you believing that you were driving a powerful petrol motor. The engine pulled cleanly right up to the 6200 red line whilst still powering ahead. This was kept in check with the direct and responsive steering. The car handles superbly. There weren't any signs of understeer or overstreer when pushed.
Safety: 8/10 This car is kitted out with airbags, passenger, driver, side and curtains! ABS and traction control and anti-skid control.
Overall: 9.5/10 A great car to drive and a great car to be seen in - loads of space for two adults to travel in comfort in the rear - as there is also a rear air vent in the rear centre consol and a great stereo system with opertaing buttons on the steering wheel spokes. The ride is nice and firm. The car does come with an alarm and standard fit immobiliser and central locking and electric windows as standard. As well as this you also get a trip computer and a cruise control for the higher spec cars.
Pros: It's a diesel, decent fuel economy, loads of mid range and low down pulling power/urge, style, finesse, sensuality.
Cons: Expensive to maintain - 12,000 mile service intervals, mediocre fuel consumption, high list price. Waiting time for a factory built car - dealer quoted 8 to 12 weeks.
Conclusion: 10/10 BUY IT!!! Great service by the dealer - was very friendly and would negotiate, but don't expect too much to be thrown in. Great car, mine's on order!
********update************ I've now had the car for a while, and touch wood, nothing has gone wrong on at all!! Servicing has been fine, and it has clocked onto 60000 miles without a hiccup! Enjoy!!
Which V12 are you comparing the "pull" of this 1.9 diesel Alfa I wonder. It would be great to read an update on this review, now that you have had it for a couple of years to see how it measured up to your test drive experience. I'm not going to slate this review for being written on the strength of a test drive, i just wonder how many others you test drove to compare the Alfa to before putting in the order. Richard.
n13roy 22.04.2006 22:32
Not sure you can say a lot about this car after just a Test Drive........Roy......