The Alfa Romeo Brera first introduced itself in 2003 as an ItalDesign concept car that drew from the Maserati. After this introduction, Alfa responded to the demand and produced the Brera. The Brera shares the same interior and exterior styling and the same gearboxes and engines as the 159. In terms of performance, the Brera is more of a grand tourer rather than a sports car. The drive is enjoyable on both the two petrol engines and the refined diesel unit. The sportier model, the Brera S, was released in 2008. This came with a lower ride height, tuned suspension, and bigger alloy wheels. The 1750TBi was introduced into the range upgrades in 2010.
Expect none of the Brera models and engines to give you a slow ride. The 2.2-litre unit at 185bhp is quite lively, able to sprint towards 60mph after just 8.5 seconds. You can gain a faster speed by upgrading the engine to the 200bhp five-cylinder 2.4JTDm by half a second. The five-cylinder is not just sporty as soon as you rev into greater power, but also quiet throughout the acceleration. The most powerful unit in the range is the 3.2-litre V6 at 260bhp, which is able to do the 0 to 62mph sprint in just 7 seconds. But despite its incredible power, the unit is more stable along everyday driving compared to when one decided to push it harder.
Grip levels are decent for the most part. The S version is the best handler of rough surfaces and handling issues, as it’s the most focused out of all the variations. Firmer suspension, better weighted steering, and a lower ride height can be enjoyed with the 2.2-litre and 3.2-litre V6 units. Bodyroll is also minimized and the steering more precise.
The Brera features a generous boot at 300 litres, making it just as big as a family hatchback’s luggage space. The boot can also be expanded by folding the rear seats. Other storage spaces include a shallow glovebox, a central cubby, and narrow door pockets. The cabin itself has a gorgeous design oozing with Italian flair. The centre console is practically angled within the driver’s reach. The driver’s position is a bit snug but the cabin’s look allows for a cockpit feel. Instruments and the central digital display are easy to read and use.
Although the vehicle has supportive front seats, they aren’t soft enough for comfort. The driving position is limited in terms of legroom and the S version tends to falter over uneven surfaces. Rear seats have no legroom at all. Plus it’s an area difficult to gain entry to. The upside to its seats is the electric windows and automatic control that come as standard.
The six-speed gearbox doesn’t like to be rushed, despite the engine range’s incredible power. In terms of handling, the Brera doesn’t handle sudden changes in direction. Body roll is prominent as you turn into corners and change direction. Kickback is felt as the Brera rides over rough surfaces. The notchy gearchange makes the ride extra uncomfortable.
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