Diesel Car magazine, that fine parody/pinnacle of motoring journalism have this month produced a review/roadtest of the 147 1.9 JTD. Unfortunately it wasn't the 16 valve version, but the common, or garden 115 bhp version.
Not going to give you the full review word for word because I am neither that interested nor that sad.....
Starts well; 'The ***** (sic) Romeo has always benefited from a good image' (Has it? I thought they were reknowned as unreliable rustbuckets with ape like driving positions?)
It then goes on; 'Alfa Romeo has always had a bit of a posey image, with it's cars tending to be driven by junior executives who can't afford BMWs' (Diesel Car magazine rapidly clocking up more brownie points from ***** drivers).
Summary of review, good and bad points; 'Surprisingly powerful, on the open road a very happy car, very little tyre noise, reasonably quiet engine, great to have cruise control, but fiddly switch gear, body roll surprisingly evident, brakes very good, steering not as direct as you'd expect, wheelspin something of a problem, stylish interior, drivers seat and steering adjustment great, rear passenger space restrictive, headlights make it look cross-eyed. That's the gist of it.
Final comment; The Alfa 147 is a gorgeous looking car, there's really no disputing that. The 1.9 JTD engine is an impressive beast, knocking out a good amount of power and torque. The only real problem is the handling. The 147 needs slightly stiffer suspension to sort out the handling problems, then it would be an ideal car for anyone. In it's current state, it's great for anyone who wants enough power to get them out of trouble in a great looking package. Not really recommended for aspiring rally drivers though.