Thanx for that Andypj......Im real keen and have my eye on a 1.6 Lusso 5dr 147 2003 plate with leather upholstery, 44000, FHS at £3790. The seller will have a full timing belt kit fitted,MOT and full service. Wont budge on the price but it seems ok to me. What do you think? You sound really positive about the 147. Have you had any major problems/worries?
I'd agree it sounds alright. Its really difficult to give advice because I haven't seen the car and buying a used car is all about how genuine it is and you can only do that by being there looking, checking, trying, investigating. Sometimes that's hard when its something you really want.
I've had 7 Alfas, 3 with the 1.6 litre engine, and 3 147s. I haven't had any engine problems with any of them. Yes, most of them have been new or nearly new, but none of them have ever left me stranded.
Find out as much as you can about the car before committing yourself.
If the car is at a garage it might be worth talking to the previous owner(s) if you can. Check the V5 over carefully.
If you are buying from a garage make sure it has a warranty with it. Alfas can be expensive to fix although routine items won't break the bank. If you're not entirely sure then take someone you trust or get an RAC/AA check on it.
Finally try going out in another 147, maybe a new/nearly new 147 from a dealer and see how that compares. It should sound and feel (almost) the same. At least then you've got something to compare it with. Our 147s have an age difference of 3 years and its not easy to tell them apart.
I hope it turns out right for you, if it doesn't there are others out there! Good luck!