The thought of purchasing a used Alfa Romero 147 makes my eyeballs spin like the three-reels on a slot machine.
The thought of purchasing a used Alfa Romero 147 makes my eyeballs spin like the three-reels on a slot machine. On one hand, the 147 is a stunningly attractive and capable Ford Focus rival, but I cannot help wondering whether it will frequently leave me stuck on the hard shoulder. After all, Italian cars are not renowned for their impressive build quality.Despite this the 147, which was introduced in 2001 and revised in 2005, feels more robust than previous Alfa offerings - but it is still very much a typical Italian car. This may be because manufacturers have an instinctive manufacturing ideology. Italian marques, for example, are generally hot on passion, style, and personality - but less focused on practicality and reliability. By contrast, the Japanese build vehicles capable of outlasting time itself, but many of these cars are perceived as dreary granny-mobiles. Therefore, realistically, the 147 may need to be repaired more frequently than some of its rivals. On the plus side Alfa owners benefit in other areas such as sporty handling, prestige, and the satisfaction of owning something stylish. Recognising these pros and cons before signing the purchase order is the key to happy Alfa ownership. Good, now that is sorted let's consider what else the 147 has to offer. The most noticeable enticement is the 1.9-litre diesel engine. This 150bhp unit propels the 147 to 60mph in 8.5 seconds, and on to a maximum 129mph. Okay, not amazingly fast but this variant averages 47mpg and suits the 147's sporty driving characteristics. The best petrol alternative in terms of performance is the 2.0-litre 150bhp variant. This hits 60mph in 9 seconds, and returns a combined average of 31mpg. Best stick to the diesel. So, how much will you have to withdraw from the piggy bank to purchase this small family car? Motoring.co.uk's database reveals the used Alfa Romeo 147 is listed with 'buy safe' sellers from £4,000. Not bad for a prestigious hatchback with more kerb appeal than the Playboy Mansion.