There do seem to be a lot of problems posted and discussed, but in all honesty, if we took away the known problem with the 'brain' of the car (which is relatively sophisticated) and the known sillyspeed problems, there isn't that much wrong with the 147. Ok a few trim rattles and minor build issues, but you get that with Mercs, BM's, etc. I think I've been quite fortunate with mine. It had the usual VDC warning within 24 hours and my rear light failure was genuine and not just a phantom. 2 brains and 3500 miles later it has been fault free except just one time it told me of a number plate light failure (but it was telling porky pies). No selespeed problems, because I resolved that issue at the dealer by ordering a manual! Interior build on mine, dash and door rattles etc very minimal.
All in all I can truthfully say, the 147 is the best looking hatch on the market, nothing else comes close. It has one of the best interiors, better than most 'more upmarket' stuff. Only comparables that I know of are the TT and maybe the MINI. It IS well built, handles very well (and I've driven a lot of cars) and my only complaint is a lack of power. Not that it lacks power as such, but it is quite hefty at 1250kg and in my opinion should have a minimum of 175bhp to keep it in the same league as the Leon Cupra, Golf V5, BMW compact 325 Ti - it's rivals. Not 'hot hatches' such as the Clio Sport or even the Civic Type R. The 147 isn't a stripped out racer, but a compact sporting executive.