Ex BMW drivers Opinion
From 4car.com, thought people might be interested...........
"Alfa 147 Selespeed 5dr
First off, let me point out that I traded a 1998 BMW 3-Series for the Alfa 147. I decided to give the Alfa a chance after all the positive reviews of the Alfa 156 and comments about improved quality in the 147 compared with the 156 (especially in the Selespeed box). I have now owned this car for one month and it is an absolute gem. Having driven an Alfa 156, I can see the leap forward in fit, quality and overall performance of this car. The Selespeed is a tricky box to start with, but after a couple of weeks, anyone can master quick takeoffs and smooth gearchanges (note: gearchange time is halved when engine speed is above 5000 rpm!).
I initially had a three-door on order, but when I saw a five-door in real life, I realised that there is minimal change in the profile of the car and decided to go for that model, as its practicality outshines the (supposed) sportiness of the three-door.I have not had many problems with this vehicle aside from the fact that last week, I hit a kangaroo, which caused substantial damage to the front end (requiring new bumper, wing, bonnet and headlight). However, this has given me the chance to fit the sportier front bumper from Alfa Romeo.
The performance and dynamics of the car easily match those of its German rivals, and the design of the 147 inside and out shows the Italian flair that no German marque can match. Do yourself a favour and check out this car before putting your hard-earned cash on a sensible but ultimately boring BMW 3-Series Compact, Audi A3 1.8T or Volkswagen Golf GTI."