Alfa Romeo 147 Car Reviews | NRMA Motoring & Services

17 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Alfa Romeo 147 Car Reviews | NRMA Motoring & Services
Alfa Romeo 147

Alfa Romeo 147

Car Review

Barring a mild facelift in mid ’05, Alfa Romeo’s curvaceous 147 has remained virtually unchanged since its introduction in 2001. All four cylinder petrol models share a 110kW powerplant. It may not offer more power, but the Ti provides a bit more pizzazz.

Its underpinnings are tweaked with sports suspension and high performance brake pads, and Toora style 17 alloy wheels. Naturally there’s a rear spoiler and some Ti badges. Inside are sports seats trimmed in black leather.

Value for money

At $39,990, the Ti is $4,000 above the entry level 147. Opt for the Selespeed clutchless manual and the price jumps to $42,990.

Standard features

Our manual test car came equipped with dual zone climate control, cruise control, 8 speaker CD sound system, power windows, trip computer, remote central locking, follow me home lights, height adjustable headlights plus the Ti equipment already mentioned. The options list comprises metallic paint – $945, and a power sunroof – $1,950.

Design function

Space practicality

There’s plenty of room up front, and a surprising amount in the rear, although access requires some bending and folding. Luggage space is adequate for two. For larger loads the split fold rear seat, with flip up cushions, provides extra capacity with a level floor.

Leather trimmed sports seats wrap around you, providing excellent support, without sacrificing comfort. Although broader drivers might find they wrap just a little too much. Comfort in the rear isn’t too compromised, the scalloped seats with centre armrest help, as does a rear air vent.

But the high waistline can feel claustrophobic.

Large instruments combined with a straightforward switch layout are easy to use. Although the radio’s small buttons can get confusing. Best to stick to the wheel mounted switches.

Forward vision is good, but the small rear screen limits the view when reversing.

Euro NCAP (there is no ANCAP score) give the 147 a three star rating. Standard safety equipment includes dual front, side and curtain airbags. Traction control and ABS brakes are complemented by EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) with BA (Brake Assist), plus Alfa Romeo’s Vehicle Dynamic Control system.

Build quality finish

The days of so-so Alfa quality are long gone. While it may not have Teutonic or Japanese levels of fit and finish, the 147 is still very good.

Inside there are touches of chrome to give the dark cabin a lift, while outside the polished alloy door handles are a neat touch.

As scored by NRMA Insurance, the 147’s 56/120 rating puts it towards the lower end of the sports car category. Well down on the similarly priced VW Golf Gti’s 86/120.

Alfa Romeo 147

On the road

Like most European models the Alfa requires a minimum of 95 RON premium fuel. When tested under ADR81/01 standards, the Ti’s average of 8.9l /100km is a little thirstier than the Mini cooper S (8.4) or Golf Gti (8.1). Our real world figures returned a 10.3l/100km average.

Like so many of Alfa Romeo’s engines, the 2.0 litre twin cam is a gem. It’s easy revving, flexible nature makes the 147 just as enjoyable around town as on the open road. Close set gear ratios help provide strong rather than storming performance. The engine’s sweet note is an added bonus.

The gearlever’s longish throws make for relaxed rather than rapid fire shifts.

Unfortunately the further you move up the Alfa Romeo ladder the worse the ride seems to get. At best the Ti’s is choppy. Around town it bumps along in a series of jitters.

At higher speeds it certainly improves, but it still has a nervous disposition.

Handling steering

With go kart like responsiveness, it only takes a flick of the wrists to get through the twisty bits. Grip from the Goodyear F1 tyres is excellent, although there is some tramlining along uneven surfaces. But the Ti is always working with you. Suspension consists of dual wishbones up front, and struts at the rear.

All of this combines to give you enough rope to enjoy its adjustable dynamics, without hanging yourself.

Part of the Ti package includes high performance brake pads. You won’t find any complaints about the standard system, but for those who will push the car harder than average the sports compound is up to the task. During our testing the four wheel discs were consistently strong, giving excellent feel.

Smoothness quietness

At freeway speeds the interior peace is only broken by the note of the engine, and depending how coarse the road, some tyre noise. This isn’t a car that leaves you insulated from its surroundings.

Alfa Romeo 147
Alfa Romeo 147
Alfa Romeo 147
Alfa Romeo 147

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