At the moment I am in a sort of limbo, where I no longer drive an Alfa but are going to be doing that this year, at some point and financial situation permitting. However, I cannot help but bore you all to death (or at least those reading the thread) about my first Alfa experience and my honest thoughts.
I drove for just over 1 year and a half a 147 (pre face lift) 2.0 5d Sele, grey metallic, black leather. A beautiful, beautiful car.
I loved that car, and every minute spent in it. I only wished I had taken the plunge and forked out the extra cash and bought a GTA but that's another story...
This is where my old Bella is missed the most. The rear was a little trigger happy at times (probably due to my poor driving skills) but the steering was perfect. It gave a lot of feedback and was always easy to get to go where I wanted the car to go to.
The engine was certainly very competent. Did try to outrun an M3 once but was just kidding myself really, though the punch the engine produced made me feel I could do more than I technically could have achieved.
The ride was firm yet comfortable. The potty streets of London were not the most forgiving for the car's set up, but on longer trips I felt both front and rear passengers were in absolute comfort. The driving position was great. I know some reviewers thought rearview visibility was limited but I didn't feel it created a problem at all.
Very luxurious and comfortable with good quality plastics. I felt I was in a higher category car when seated in it and can't help thinking Alfa's strategy of getting their cars' interiors more and more refined must help them win more customers in the future.
Not up to Audi's level perhaps but a TT-driving friend had not a bad word and plenty good ones to say about the interiors.
Didn't make any modification to the standard specifications but felt the cars was the most beautiful one in my garage (and the car parked opposite mine was a 360 cabrio!).
Worked well, not a single issue, very handy in traffic. Maybe I have been one of the few lucky ones with my Sillyspeed
Mixed here. Most of them worked very well, like the dual-zone climate and the trip computer, but the front electric windows had some problems. The rain sensor was quite annoying and sort of went off on its own more than enough.
A special reference to the SatNav because it's such an expensive gadget, one ought to see if the money was well spent or not. The conclusion is mixed. Though extremely helpful in general, I thought the reliability was not great (I had to get it re-set at the dealer once because it kept insisting I was driving in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean) with the time it took for the system to start working properly and to work out new directions way too long.
The graphics were fairly basic, though in colour, and it lacked any radio-signalled traffic information or even static data such as parking or petrol station included in the map (though they were stored for the most part in a database).
Had some issues I wouldn't have expected to have such as an oil leak and a problem with the front left shock which are probably minor faults but after reading this forum, feel they are seemingly part of a wider still sub-optimal (though overall good) build quality. Probably on par with the other major European brands but still tangibly behind the Japanese.
I loved it!