Alfa Romeo 146 Hatchback 1995-2001

Alfa Romeo 146 Hatchback 1995-2001

Review by Creditplus
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • The engine sounds great
  • Pleasant styling

Cons:

  • Poor build quality
  • Poor turning circile

Overview

Alfa Romeo introduced the 146 (95-01) hatchback during a motor show in Turin in 1994 which was aimed at targeting the small families market. Alfa launched the 146 when there was extensive competition in the market for hatchback cars as they wanted a larger share of the market.

Exterior and Interior

The Alfa 146 (95-01) is a five-door hatchback with the attractive and pleasant styling of a mini saloon. Inside there is a blunt cut-way dashboard and complex stalk controls which don't make it easy for the driver to operate, although the high driving position will please some. The 146 offers plenty of leg room for backseat passengers and the boot is significantly bigger than that of its counterpart, the three-door Alfa 145. On the exterior the galvanized bodywork helps to keep the rust to a minimum but this isn't the most stylish of Alfas.

Performance and Economy

The 1.8-litre engine will return about 32mpg if you are light-footed on the throttle pedal. However, the throaty engine will probably prove too tempting, so you're more likely to see an average consumption figure of 27mpg. This economy isn't too bad and will probably be enough to keep fans of the car happy. The diesel options will provide better economy but lose some of the magic of the car.

Like to Drive

As the 146 was based around the Fiat groups Tipo platform, the car was praised for its handling and responsive steering as Alfa preserved the latters' fundamental suspension on the front, with the trailing arms located at the back which optimized the conventional Alfa Romeo treatment and the driving experience for its drivers. With its responsive steering, it gives its drivers an excellent handling and powerful braking system. It has an energetic and lovely sounding, throaty Twin Spark 16-valve engine and a positive gear-change.

Faults and Repairs

The Alfa 146 Hatchback is definitely a cheap buy as prices have hit rock bottom. However, it is quite expensive to maintain with the cambelt needing to be changed every 60 000 miles and the suspension bushes, which tend to be the most vulnerable part, should be expected to need changing at least once whilst being under ones ownership.