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Thinking of buying a brera

Hi All
Been an alfa owner for some years now various models culminating in probably the worst car i've ever owned,a 156 1.9 jdt 16v.Decided it's time for it to go,there's various threads in the 156 lounge if anyone's interested.
Now thinking of getting a brera,i cant decide which one,it's between the 2.2 or 2.4 i'm a bit concerned about the diesel as the 156 is the only diesel i've owned i realise it's a different engine but i'd hate to get bitten twice,all the other alfa's i've owned were petrol,looking to spend in the region of 8000.So some advice needed from you guys who run these cars day to day.
I travel on average 300-350 miles per week 250 of that on motorways the rest about town,whats the real world fuel consumption like between the two models?.
Reliability,what are they like regarding servicing,road tax costs,timing belt and water pump changes,drive shafts,you know what i mean,what are they like to live with on a daily basis.
Any specific things i should look out for as i've seen cars advertised from 3000 up to 9000 with no difference in the advertising.
Any thoughts appreciated
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I have a 2.4 Spider so almost the same car. Mine is a the 200 bhp 2.4

In summary:


- Goes well post remap, smooth with bags of torque and power
- The above makes it a superb cruiser and loads of overtaking grunt
- Once warmed up engine sounds pretty good under load and not diesel-like
- MPG is reasonable for a fairly powerful, heavy car.
- Gets a lot of positive attention and comments
- Generally fairly well built
- Feels very solid on the road
- Brembo brakes give immense stopping power

- Sounds very agricultural when cold
- Much to heavy for a car of this type
- Gear change is very crunchy and doesn't like to be rushed
- Seating position too high even at lowest position
- Standard engine was hopeless pre-remap - ridiculous lag. Later 210 bhp 2.4 engine is better out of the box.
- Standard suspension a joke - springs ridiculously soft and car wallowed and rolled all over the place when driven hard. Fixed by fitting an OMP strut brace and Eibach springs
- Windows rattle a bit in the door frames
- Chrome fascia and steering wheel centre very easily damaged (and reflect the light into your eyes with the top down, though obviously less of a concern for a Brera!)
- Can be a bit smokey post remap

That is my honest feedback after 12 months of ownership.

To be fair, my biggest gripes were fixed with the remap and Eibach springs and now the car handles and performs very well. It is a great all rounder that excels at long distance, whilst very sure footed on A road blasts. It gets loads of attention from other road users, mostly positive.

However, good as the Spider is, I have never truly bonded with it. I like it, but that is far as it goes. I can't get passionate about it somehow and view it as a utility vehicle. My daily work horse.

Hope that helps anyway! Good luck in your search.

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I brought my Brera about 3 months ago (2.4) and think its am excellent car. Its is sluggish pulling away but once up to 2000 revs picks up nicely (I've not had remap yet) its a great cruiser on motorways very smooth, computer says I'm getting late 30- 40 mpg on long run, which isn't great but you don't buy one for fuel economy. No issues with wallowing and soft suspension, I think this was well reported on the spider version though. It soaks up the pot holes well, and is a very comfortable drive. Certainly no sports car though. The interior Ali dash can get scratched easily but mine is 6 years old and has only couple of small marks, just watch your keys and wedding ring etc. Not had any issues with seat height, although mine is as low as I can get it (I'm 6ft). Sadly because of all the negative reviews and reports I've read on them, I almost expect it to go wrong everytime I use it - although its been totally reliable to date (so far, touch wood etc etc) :-D
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If you're doing 350 miles per week, I suspect the 2.2 may work out a bit pricey for you, but for balance I thought I'd chip in with my experience so far. I bought mine privately back in March of this year; an 07 plate with 37k and paid 7400 for it (was advertised at 8250). I think I got lucky finding one with that low mileage for that price. I only do about 8-10k a year, driving about town because I live close to work and I average 23mpg....and I'm a far from conservative driver!

- still the most beautiful "normal" car I see on the road. I've even caught a driver of a DB9 checking it out!
- Makes me smile every time I drive it, and I still always look back at it after I park it
- Gorgeous interior that makes you feel like you're in a much more expensive car (the dash can get marked, but it will vary a lot from car to car depending on the previous owner(s).
- No mechanical problems to date, my only MOT so far passed with only 1 advisory re: worn brake discs which could be expected on a 5 year old car.
- It sounds like an alfa. Nice tone, especially at high revs.
- Goes plenty fast enough for me. It is heavy for what it is, but how often do you rag the pants off it compared to cruising at a sensible speed on the motorway or around town?

- as people have said, the seat doesn't go as low as you'd like, but I'm 6'3'' and although it took a bit of playing around when I first got it, I can still drive it comfortably.
- Hesitation at low rpm. You can read a lot about it on here, its only really noticeable in traffic but I've found that not using supermarket petrol makes a noticeable difference and getting the brera S exhaust silencers makes a big difference
- Usual alfa niggles: my passenger seat squeaks when someones in it, the oil temp gauge has stopped working and the parking sensors decide on a daily basis if they want to work or not. Not major, but it all adds to the car's character!

Hope that helps! Matt
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Thanks guys all replys more than welcome.
As i said in my post i'm concerned about the diesel even though it's a different engine from the 1.9,i've blew turbo hoses about 6 times now had actuator hoses go but realistically it's been more of other things going wrong.
Cheers again for the replys
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Had my 2.2 just over a year, went for a final model revision with updated interior and have really enjoyed the reliability of the car through my ownership versus my previous Alfa which was truly a money pit.

Admittedly I do very low mileage (5K since I bought it) and most of that is urban but I've been surprised to see a significant increase in MPG since I fitted Prodrive backboxes along with a huge reduction in low speed hesitation. I'm getting around 26mpg which is better than the urban consumption Alfa quote for the car, on long runs its' been in the high 30's as long as I stay away from the accelerator.

The 2.2 does feel a better car to drive than the 2.4, it's also slightly lower than the V6 and the diesel so looks better in the flesh IMHO.

I have the fully electric memory seats (which don't go as low as manual seats due to the electrickery) with skyview and electric blind and I'm 5'11" and have no issues finding a comfortable driving position.

I think the Brera is the nicest car you can get for the money of this type, equivalent cars from other marques seem to command higher prices and not always for a car that is better. Ultimately the Brera is a compromised package though, there is much about the car that is plain rubbish like the unusable rear seats but overall its a competent and good looking car, it doesn't really excel in any other area than the look and feel inside and out though which for me leaves the car with questionable dynamics when put up against competition that is both good to look at and performant but again with emphasis on at a cost i.e. 3 series coupe.

//Ramble mode off

Go test drive them and see what you think.

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The 2.4 is pretty reliable. Most problems come from the DPF or EGR- budget to get them removed as soon as you buy the car. The DPF can clog and cause problems and the EGR causes the intake manifold to get caked in crap.

It's not the most frugal diesel (I've got the 210) but it's better once the DPF & EGR are out of the way.

The 1.9 is quite an old engine. The 2.4 was the first of the newer breed and its reliability is a leap ahead of the old 1.9

As others have said; a remap and improved springs will sort out the other niggles.
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Originally Posted by spudulike View Post

The 1.9 is quite an old engine. The 2.4 was the first of the newer breed and its reliability is a leap ahead of the old 1.9
Nope. The 10 valve 2.4 was the original common rail diesel engine, and the 210 can trace its lineage directly from it. The 1.9 came about when they effectively lopped a cylinder off. They are both old engines, with the 2.0 being a modernised update.
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