The Alfa Romeo 147 was voted Car of the Year in 2001. Its sleek hatchback body, which not only sported Italian styling, also featured within it advanced engines and competitive price that made it a serious rival against class leaders like the BMW and Audi. This model has also disproved the Alfa’s notoriety for not providing durable and long-term vehicles, making it one of the first reliable models released by the company. In 2005, the model was given a serious facelift as well as a minor makeover in is interior. The changes are quite welcome and have made the Romeo 147 a vehicle worth keeping in the long run.
The Alfa Romeo 147 comes with four engines: two diesels and two petrols. There’s the 2.0-litre at 150bhp and the 1.6-litre at 120bhp Twin Spark petrol units. Both the petrol engines are enthusiastic and free-revving. The diesel alternative to these two would be 1.9-litre unit that comes at either 150bhp or 120bhp outputs, but with the 150bhp as the recent addition in 2005. Another diesel option would be the 3.2-litre V6 engine, which is actually a GTA version. This unit can arrive at a 60mph sprint in just 6.1 seconds; but expect this unit and the other powered diesel choice to be the more expensive in terms of buying cost and fuel bills.
Handling has always been Alfa’s strongest suit and the 147 continues this fine tradition. The model’s sporty look is proved in the vehicle’s fluid gearchange, slick steering, and composed corner turning. You won’t have any problems either with the brakes’ responsiveness and driving the 147 along the motorway. The Q2 model that was released in 2007 features a limited slip differential as an added handling advantage; but this can only be had in the 150bhp diesel unit. It’s still a worthy investment, however, as this system gives the wheels that required traction for getting out of tight corners or quickly driving out of a junction.
Drivers won’t have any problems adjusting the steering wheel according to the most convenient rake and reach. Plus the driving seat can also be adjusted according to height, so tall to short drivers can easily shift into a comfortable position.
Next to the 147’s rivals, however, the model fails to reach the same level. Comfort is seriously lacking, especially in the front’s limited leg and headroom. Passengers at the back will also be experiencing discomfort. Only two can fit in that area at the most, but even then leg and headroom is still limited. Although the seats can be folded and split for more room, luggage space is also small and tiny compared to the spacious measurements of the Ford Focus. Owners will also have problems opening the boot, as it’s only accessible by pressing the key button or from the dash.
The petrol engines are enjoyable on the road, but the JTD units are a better recommendation since they are able to balance a puncy performance and fuel economy. The only downside to the diesel units is the heftier price tag, which turns into an investment once you start enjoying this vehicle’s incredible power.
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