5 months with my new Brera. It's been complicated….
It's taken a while, but I have finally got round to posting a few thoughts on Brera ownership. As the post says, it's been complicated!
It's my third Alfa, after a 147 (owned for over 5 years from new) and a GTV Phase 3. The GTV was great, but I needed a bigger boot (due to the arrival of our first child), and the Brera's boot is big enough to take the buggy chassis meaning it got the nod over a 159 (it would have had to been a Ti, and they are such a premium). I was fairly specific on spec, and went for a 2006 2.4 - my journey to work is 18 miles each way up an down the A3, so I assumed that (plus odd longer trips) would be make it the best option, especially with an upgrade from AHM a future option. Silver looks great, and 18" horseshoes were essential.
Obviously, its arrival was much anticipated. Test runs were good, with bucket loads of power to balance out the extra weight over the GTV, plus a much upgraded interior to enjoy. I don't need such a fun machine now, and a powerful tourer more the order, which meant it fitted the bill moving on from a GTV.
But. It's been frustrating so far. There is now the odd dent and alloy scrape that new cars just seem to attract, but hopefully they will be sorted soon. I've finally fitted a stereo that plays my iPhone for music and Bluetooth calls, so that's sorted. Overall, it's great to
drive and wonderful to look at. I still have the best looking car at work, a 911 and Saab convertible the closest - but no cigar ;-)
However, on the drive home from the garage when collecting it (!) I received an engine warning light, and limped home the remaining mile. Solving it took ages, eventually needing a inlet manifold replacement. Thank god for the warranty! There have also been a few other little things, but they have been done. I should also point out that the selling dealer - Whitequay in Reading - and my nearest dealer to my work - Allams in Epsom - have both been very good.
And still the performance doesn't feel quite right. It feels a little hesitant, and virtually every journey I get a gap in power, the booster turbo dial goes up and I assume a regen kicks in? The economy is also pretty poor - obviously less enthusiastic driving helps, but on a solid, very sensible 70mph drive home down the A3 I can still sometimes only get 30mpg. Which is pretty crap.
So overall, it's been mixed now. I wanted a Brera before but could't stretch to it so got a GTV. Having got there, it's obviously a fair bit heavier but I knew that and it's still rewarding the drive and goes round corners pretty well. When it's got the power lined up it goes very well, it's a nice place to be in and the looks are fantastic. But I'm not sure about the issue - I will probably need to get it checked again. I would love the DPF/EGR fix, but a bit nervous while the car is still under warranty, and you need to keep the car quite a while for it to be justified cost wise.
Still, when it all comes together it's an Alfa, and it's all worth while ;-)