Well, as I took delivery of my lovely Bella one year ago, I thought I do a small review about my experiences.
Name: Mel Bonkers a.k.a. The Stigg (Yes! I’m that fella who drives those cars around in TopGear
Car: Alfa 147 1.9 JTD, 115BHP, 275Nm torque, 5 speed manual
Trim level: Distinctive (in UK also known as Lusso)
- Grigio Africa
- Audio controls on steering wheel
- 10 CD-changer
- GSM pre-disposition
- Aluminium Kick Guards
- Smoked side indicators
- Hans ‘Selespeed’s’ ex-exhaust tip
- Novitec Ice Scraper
Kilometers on the odometer on Tuesday January 20th 2003: 56559 km’s
Well, what can I say? I love the car, the handling, its looks, the engine’s power. It just rocks. The steering is impeccable and even my wife told me that our Alfa reacts very keen on the throttle and on the steering wheel (she had a short run last week
). I love the sporty sound of the engine (yep it’s a diesel). It sounds distinguished and not like one of the takketakketakketakketakke VAG-diesel engines.
After more than 56000 km’s and two services, the only thing that has to be repaired is the door of the glove-box. The handle is a little bit loose (due to my wife banging the glove-box door close instead of gently closing it
). After 50000 km’s the front tyres were changed as the original ones started to wear.
I haven’t had any serious problems with my Bella:
• The front tyres had to be aligned as I felt some vibrations in the steering wheel (this was before I had my front tyres changed).
• My car-kit had some glitches (but that’s from Siemens and not Alfa
• Some small airco related problems, which got sorted.
Went to Morocco with my Bella in July 2002 and have to say that the trip (in total 6750 km’s!) was just fantastic. The airco kept us cool in bloody hot weather, the engines power and torque was fantastic for overtaking cars, trucks and buses in a flash. And the cruise control did help a lot in achieving a comfortable, but fast trip to Morocco and back to Holland :.
Top 10 nice options/features that come with the Alfa 147:
1. That has to be Alfaowner.com and all you Alfaowner-members. Really, if I didn’t fall in love with the Alfa 147, I would’ve never ended up living in Alfaowner.com
2. Remote automatic opening/closing of windows from the remote (duh) control.
3. Extensive functions of the board-computer (primarily display of errors, trip computer).
4. When you lock the car and one door is still open, the car tells you a door is open by adding two short flashes after the long lock-flash. I just love this!
5. Automatic locking of the car after the car has been unlocked for 1 minute and no doors have been opened.
6. The power of the engine. Although I’d love to have even more power
7. The comfort (read lack of interior and exterior sounds) and the silent engine (it’s a diesel!).
8. The very complete and impressive trim level of the Alfa 147. If you compare it with other cars in it’s class, you see that the Alfa is packed with nice features and options.
9. Factory fit radio/CD-player in combination with the audio controls on the steering wheel. Just love the audio controls. And the CD-player might not be a high-end radio, but it brings a lot of music in my life
10. Although I switched it off from the main menu of the board-computer, I really like the buzzer!
Top 10 of things that could and should be improved:
1. The famous dashboard creaks. Although I’m lucky in that they only appear when it’s cold, I still think that Alfa has to work this out. Other manufacturers have sorted this out, so has Alfa Romeo.
2. The switches of the electric windows on the driver’s door. They should be placed more to the front. I have rather long arms and thus I have to put my arm in a very unpleasant position to operate the windows.
3. Drop the button you have to press to operate the rear windows. Just give me one button for every window.
4. As I got used to the very direct steering, I think I would love it to be even more direct. Now it has two turns of the steering wheel from full lock left to right.
5. Coinciding with point number 4: the big turning circle. But I guess you win some, you loose some.
6. Although the car is a design-gem, the view to the rear is very bad. This can make parking the car somewhat difficult from time to time. This is why some of us have bought the Electronic Parking System on Alfaowner.com
7. The opening of the wiper-fluid reservoir is hard to reach if you don’t use a funnel.
8. The dual zone air-conditioning should have a technical overhaul and some bugs should get sorted. Sometimes the system does things that sometimes I don’t understand (then again, maybe that’s why it’s called an automatic climate control
9. The sun-flaps (don’t know the actual word for them) only have two positions. I’d love to have a sun-flap that can be put in all positions I want to. Now it’s either too low, which is good for protecting against the sun, but I can’t see the traffic. Or it’s too high and I can see the traffic, but the sun shines straight in my eyes.
10. The wiper fluid sprayers. They are useless above 80 km/h.
Options I’d loved to order (again) if I had to order my car again:
1. Red Leather Momo upholstery. Love it! Want it! Need it!
2. 16” Selespeed alloys. Love them! Want them! Need them!
3. ConnectNav. Gysman gave me a demonstration and I was sold. Really nifty system!
4. Grigio Africa, have it, love it, would order it again.
5. Aluminium kick guards. Really give the car that distinguished look and feel. I would definitely order it again.
When I ordered the Alfa 147 I liked it! When I received it I fell in love with it! After owning it for a year I can say I’m infected with the Alfa-virus. My next car will definitely be an Alfa Romeo! Cuore Sportivo!