Alfa Romeo 147 Hatchback 2001-2005

Alfa Romeo 147 Hatchback 2001-2005

Review by Shaun Armstrong
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • Looks like a business car
  • Has the best interior in the Alfa range
  • Cheap to buy second hand
  • Great engines
  • Handles well

Cons:

  • Running costs are exceptionally high
  • The rear seats are cramped
  • The car is not that comfortable
  • Has a very small boot
  • Body control is poor and the ride is uncomfortable on rough roads

Overview

The Alfa 147 (01-09) hatchback is a sporty small family car which was voted European Car of the Year 2001 ahead of the Toyota Prius. It was launched in 2000 as a replacement for the Alfa 145/146 hatchbacks.

Exterior and Interior

The 147 GTA is short and light and also comes with its own unique trim. All the other cars across the range come with a choice of either the Turismo or the Lusso trim. The Turismo does not have a CD player or alloy wheels whereas the Lusso has both of these fitted as standard. There is also a choice of either a three or five-door model with the extra doors adding practicality to the car. Climate control is fitted in all the cars in the range as standard. In addition there are also optional extras such as leather seats and sat nav depending on how much you are willing to spend. The cabin is the also the classiest looking amongst Alfa's other cars, although the legroom for the front and rear seats are less than desirable. The dashboard inspired by the Lamborghini Miura gives the car style, class and a sense of heritage.

Performance and Economy

The Alfa 147 was pretty cheap compared to its rivals when bought new, but the depreciation when it comes to selling it on leaves a lot to be desired. However, the sharp depreciation makes buying it second hand excellent value for money. The running costs are also exceptionally high with the servicing costs for the 147 being costly compared to those of their rivals BMW and Mercedes. The diesel cars are highly economical giving around 48mpg, but the petrol cars do not return the 34mpg for the 1.6-litre petrol engine, and 31mpg for 2.0-litre petrol as claimed by the company. For most of the cars the insurance is reasonable, except for the 3.2GTA which can be little on the pricey side for those below the age of 25.

Like to Drive

Driving this car is an enjoyable experience. The acceleration is fantastic, and the chimes are loud, the pedaling is swift and the torque steer is quite manageable. The car gives a lot of comfort with huge amounts of grip and impressive body control. However, the car becomes uncomfortable around bends with the grip being weak and the driving experience not effortless. The stability control reduces the fun somewhat but some drama can be experienced at the rear end.

Faults and Repairs

The newer 147 models tend to be very reliable and won't have a single problem, but the older versions can be problematic. The cost of servicing is also too high, compared to that of rivals Mercedes. Spares are also expensive with some parts costing a lot more than one would expect, and complicated routine repairs raise the labour charges. The car has to be maintained for its smooth functioning by spending large amounts on its regular servicing and other routine repairs. A significant problem occurs with the cambelt as it should be changed every 36000 miles or after 4 years, whichever comes first as it tends to fail before its recommended 72000 miles.


Overall Rating:
Review by Jamie L
Monday, May 16, 2016

Overview

"sporty hatchback"

Exterior and Interior

The interior on the 147 opens your mind to the style of the Italian leather seats and dash design, this car looks and drives the part. a/c is very handy over the summer months. I initially went for this Alfa on the basis that if you like your cars at one stage you must own an Alfa, I chose this Alfa 147 as the interior had sleek styling with a sporty dash arm rest and cream leather and a very impressive sound system. The car is soundproof and keeps out the noises of the road making this a very pleasant car to drive.

Performance and Economy

The 1.6 Lusso is very eco friendly had a average MPG around town of 42MPG, the twin sparks really do show on this car as for the litre of the car it had impressive acceleration without the additional fuel costs. with optional traction control it made a really good handling car even in the wettest of conditions. I owned my Alfa for 18 months and had only needed to change the brake calipers, Alfas have come along way over the last 10 years and the 147 really does show that. I have since owned another Alfa romeo 147 but slightly newer and cannot fault the performance on these vehicles. It gives style, performance and economy all in the same package. Ideal for a town run about.

Like to Drive

The car drives very smoothly and has a nice sounding engine as sounds like a 2.0 rather than a 1.6, very rigid chassis make it very nimble around corners and with the leather seats it makes an all round comfortable drive. The gear box can be improved slightly as gears are quite close together but other than that is a really nice car to drive. <

Faults and Repairs

Brake calipers tend to wear quickly on these models but mainly its the cosmetics that suffer, as i had to replace a gear gaiter, and 2 window switches all of which was replaced to wear and tear.
Quality
Performance
Comfort
Value