Drove the 147 Q2 today on an extended test run - lots of twisties and then home to mine motoroway and A roads and then back to Mangos. Overall I was impressed with lots of aspects of the car but slightly disappointed in others.................
The car: 2008 Alfa Romeo 147 1.9 JTDm 16v (150bhp) 5 door6 speed Q2. Alfa Red, 17'' Q2 alloys, chrome effect mirrors etc. etc. 3500 miles approx
Looks: The 147 still looks the business - I wasn't the much of a fan of the facelift models but as so often in the flesh the car looked great. The little tweaks on the outside of the 2008 cars and the loss of the chrome trim of the boot make a difference.
Interior: Better than the one I had in 2003! Nicer finish on the dash and on the Q2 lots of chrome detailing. I like the new dials on the 147 and the alu effect pedals. The seats were
amazing! They were the leather sport seats and were 100% better than the ones on my 159. I seat into them and the side bolsters (which my wife detested - as she did the whole car
) were excellent in keeping you in place when cornering hard - which is what you do in this car
Room for 4 adults 5 at a squeeze, boot a little small but I knew that. The interior is well screwed together and there were no rattles (it was an '08 after all) and as I say much better than my '03 147.
Overall it is showing its age as nothing on the centre console is angled toward the driver and the switches and some of the controls are in awkward positions but nothing to moan about really.
On the road at speed wind noise was such that I thought the windows were open and there was some tyre roar and some engine noise (remember I am coming from the insulated world of the 159
) Again I could live with it as the car was fun.................
Engine: On start up and on idle it sounded more dieselly than my 2.4 159 but of course this is a smaller, lighter older design car, again it wasn't obtrussive just more noticeable. On the go the engine spun easily and was keen to rev and it was easy to keep it at 2000rpm so torque and power were always on tap. It was very responsive more so than my 159 but again the lighter weight of the 147 helps. In this car the 150 bhp engine is very well suited. Redline at 4500 rpm. Pulling off in first was so easy and was again more responsive than in my 159 -I got wheel spin in the 147
- but lots of traction too
Need I say more - like it was on rails. Q2 is fantastic! The car feels neutral in corners and you can push like hell and take corners with much more confidence knowing the car will stick. I drove it hard I thought but the car has more to give and I really enjoyed driving it - I had a huge smile on my face - it was go-kart like - very responsive and lots of steering feedback. At lower speeds the ride was a little jiggely and pot holes and lumps and bumps were felt (again compared to my 159. This car has sports suspension so the ride was bound to be hard but once again if the car was just for me I could live with it.
Overall I loved it, it was a go-kart compared to my 147 and it felt like a real drivers car. Yes the 147 is showing its age in some areas and is not as refined as the 159/Brera cars but somehow it only added to the experience. The car felt alive and the feedback from the steering was excellent. The seats were great too, the gearbox slick and the engine a gem in this car.
Unfortunately I can't buy this car as it won't do for me - my wife hated it because it was so go-kart like - that what she described it as! To me it was a drivers car to her unrefined and tinny
If the car was just for me I'd have bought it. Even with less refinement than my 159 it was quick, handled well and the fuel economy was great - I averaged 43 mpg on my run to and from Mangos and 37 mpg on my test drive on the twisties. In comparison my 159 did 32.3 mpg to and from Mangos.
Yes, yes it is all due to the weight I know and some of you will say I can't compare the cars but as I drive a 159 it is my yard stick. I still love my 159 but it felt very big when I got back in and somehow the driving experience was somewhat dulled but still very good.
If you are interested in a 147 Q2 get yourself to Mangoletsi and drive this one and buy it