Posted the following review tonight on my site. Any feedback on what more could be included is appreciated. On the site it also comes with pictures in cronological order, hehe...
After now about a year and almost 30'000km's in the 147 Selespeed, I feel an urge to give my review, as I get emails at times from people who want to know about reliability, problems, etc. This is all as I recall it, so any facts might be slightly off, hehe!
First 15'000 km's
On the 8th of March I picked up my bella, at Bilhuset Kråkenes in my hometown Bergen. Or to be more correct, she and the salesman picked up me, when I arrived at the airport!
She was a beauty there, with Eibach springs mounted by the dealer, and lovely 16" Selespeeds with winter tires.
We were off to an awkward start, because on the first day already, I got the Selespeed System Failure message, which ****ed me off a bit, since the car was pretty damn new! After many rounds with the dealers in Bergen and in Oslo, they managed to fix it. To be honest, I can't remember anymore how they fixed it, but I think they had to replace the main computer if I'm not mistaken.
Other problems that were there from the start include a very tricky one with the VDC kicking in too early, usually in fifth gear, especially at around 60-80 km/h, and more often in left turns than in right turns. In the end they found out it was the ABS unit that was faulty, and they either upgraded or replaced it. The dealer/importer tried to tell me some crap that this was due to the fact the car was lowered, but fortunately they had lowered it for me, so then I just said, 'alright if that's what you think, why don't you "unlower" it and test with the standard springs, because if that's it, you owe me some money for the lowering'. They never did that, but after testing and having the car in for a week(!) they finally found out it was the ABS unit.
Another thing that was there from the word go was the outdoor temperature sensor error. Whenever I opened or closed the driver side window, it would flip down -20 degrees, causing the AC to go berserk and the car beeping and warning about ice on road, even though it might be +20 outside, and even more annoying, resulting in the AC blowing hot air into the passenger compartment, which is NOT FUNNY when it's +20 outside already.... The dealer also spent a LOT of time trying to fix this, and it wasn't fixed until months after I got the car.
The CD player had a few problems too (all these German parts in my car, hehe!). It made sort of 'white noise', like a disturbance of some sort (no not a disturbance in the force), which could be heard btwn songs, when playing at volumes of 35-40. After spending much time, I managed to convince the dealer and make them hear the sound, and they replaced it. This also solved another problem which is that it was skipping a lot, something I had earlier attributed to the fact that I have stiffer Eibach springs. Also the CD player would get CD Error messages a lot, especially when turning on if it was cold. This was also fixed when they replaced it. So if you have these problems, get it replaced, don't give up!
Other faults that emerged the first 16'000km's after some time, are minor. The right side main light enclosure had a leak (it fogged up one time when I washed it). This was replaced, no problems since. There have been a few squeaks and rattles (a rattle in the right side front door for instance), but this was all fixed by my dealer.
The first couple of thousand km's I drove it carefully, and tried not to go past 4000rpm, to give it a run-in period. I replace the oil and oil filter every 10'000km too. It might sound like I've had a lot of problems, and I can agree, there's been a few. But the most annoying thing was that the dealer took so long to fix them, and that it took so much complaining and threathening with lawyers and whatnot to get the help I was entitled to all along.
After all the faults above were fixed, there haven't been any! I had to replaced the main light bulbs after around 16'000 kms approximately, and one of the parking light bulbs after 23'000. I've been driving it all across the southern part of Norway, on highways, sideways, bumpy roads, smooth roads, gravel roads, in any condition it works like a charm. The VDC now functions brilliantly, and it's been of great help during the icy Norwegian winter. I can notice that stiffer springs cause worse handling on snow and ice, but then again they make the car twice as much fun on bare asphalt, so win some, lose some I guess. The car works like it should, it doesn't seem to car if it's +25 or -25 degrees outside.
That about wraps it up for my experience the first 30'000 kms with this fantastic car. It's my first Alfa Romeo, and my second car (first one was a Fiat Barchetta). I don't have any regrets about spending this much on a car, because it's really been a fantastic car to drive. For the same money, here in Norway, I guess I could've gotten a Merc C180 Coupé (or whatever it's called), a BMW Compact or and Audi A3 1.8T, or maybe something less luxurious but with more power. But I can't say any of the competitors appealed to me in the same way the Alfa did. They all lack a lot of things that the 147 has, in my opinion. So, all in all, it's been a fantastic year, for me and my baby, and I'm lookoing forward to the next one!