Welcome to AlfaOwner danielesantos,
I bought my first car only 4 months ago which was an Alfa 147 Sport Q2, it's diesel but there's plenty of torque and the turbo gives a good boost. The handling is precise thanks to light steering, it's fun to drive and let's not forget they are beautiful to look at. Parking is easy and it comes with decent equipment levels, air-con, electric windows and mirrors and remote central locking etc. And yes, you CAN turn the traction control off.
Like you I was looking at a BMW 1 series or similar but afterwards I found them to be... a little boring, no disrespect. I should say that I've had a few small problems, flat battery, bulb malfunction etc but nothing major or expensive. If you buy diesel just make sure that the timing belts are changed every 32k or 3 years and perform regular oil changes and you should be fine. If you do decide on a diesel you do get a limited-slip differential on the 150 bhp version which is very nice. I'm not too sure about the petrol engines but you'll get plenty of help on here if you ask.
The difficult bit is picking the right one. Go and look at the car and ask as may questions as you can, service history, test drive if possible. One thing to remember is that the 147 engines were designed to use some oil so if the dip-stick shows that the oil is low it could mean that the car has not been looked after. If you happen to view a 147 here are some things I was told to look out for: -
- Clutch & flywheel - Higher mileage cars my need a clutch & flywheel replacement which is quite expensive, check how high the clutch bites for help here
- Panel damage - Check that the body is in good shape with no major scratches or scrapes
- Suspension - If you can check the bushes, suspension arms and upper wishbones
- Electronics - Check everything works, air-conditioning, mirrors, lights, heater etc
- Power steering pipes - These can rust where they attach to the body and it can be an expensive repair
- Turbo - Most turbo repairs are expensive so it's best to check this, my turbo kicks in around 2000rpm and it should pull away quickly
- Exhaust - The 147 has an odd exhaust back-box design which seems to rust if you breath too closely to it. The back box does have multiple layers so it should not cause too much concern but it does look ugly in this state, and the words Alfa and ugly should not be used in the same sentence.
If you can, test drive it, this will tell you a lot about the car before you hand over your money. However, just as hdseven said, if you don't want to spend too much money on an Alfa you may wish to look at something else. I went to buy a 'reliable' car and my brain said buy a Honda or a Mazda, I hadn't even considered a 147 but I saw one, had a ride and drove it away as soon as the guy could let me. I have no regrets buying my Alfa, there's something special about them and I'm sure anyone on this forum will agree.
But... it's your money that you've worked hard for so good luck with whatever you decide to get.
147 Sport Q2: Autolusso Remap + Swirl Flap & EGR Delete, Mocal Oil Cooler Kit, JTD Performance FMIC Kit + High Flow Elbow, Wizard Downpipe, PF Pads + 5.1 Fluid, Autolusso Braided Brake Lines, MTech Short-Shifter, Autolusso Silicone Turbo-to-MAF Hose, Refurbed Q2's + Some to add later.