Brera +4 days.......
Okay so here's what living with a brand spanking new Brera 2.2 is
like after 4 Days.
Most comparisons are going to be with the old 2.0TS 147.
Not a fair comparison, but the easiest for me.
After a week with mine, I'm well happy with 185 horses.
I've not had her over 5000rpm yet, but so far the power
seems to be available over a much wider range than the 2.0TS.
The exhaust note is fantastic, but she only seems to sing while underway.
Sitting in a car park and revving the engine does not give the real deep
burble that you get whilst on the road.
Finding gears on the old 147 could be a bit hit-and-miss,
but the six speed box on the Brera seems well spaced and you
can slot it into gear with a nice crisp change. I really like it!
Braking is MUCH better than the 147; a big improvement.
But again not as sharp as other cars I've driven.
(Let's see if I have to change discs as often as pads!!)
Handling is just superb! It's flat, very controllable and more precise
than the 147 could ever have been.
Steering feedback is excellent and she grips like a good-un.
The VDC can be totally switched off on the Brera, as well as the ASR.
In terms of ride, I opted for the 18" roundies. The ride is harder than the
demo car on 17", but not massively so and the wheel/car proportions
look cool. No snow chains with 18" though!.
The big improvement in town is the turning circle. U-turns or 3-Pointers in
the 147 was a major pain. Brera doesn't have that problem, even though she's
Inside I'm really happy with the fit of everything. It is all wrapped around,
but not claustrophobically so. Steering column is full adjustable.
Seat bottom has both height and inclination adjustment
The backrest is electrically adjusted even on the manual seats.
Not sure, but I think the manual seats go lower than the fully electric ones
in the demo car I drove.
Also the SkyView roof really does give the front seats an inch or two extra
head room when open. Demo car didn't have the SkyView. (Less headroom
in the back, But tough luck! I'm never going to be in the back!)
With the seat at it's lowest, I've still got 2-3" head clearance. (I'm 5'11".)
Rear visibility is very restricted. Good show Alfa for making radar a standard item!
The boot seems bigger than the 147. Managed to get a 26" LCD TV (fully boxed)
in there. Had to fold the back seats down but the parcel-shelf went back in and
the TV was fairly hidden in the boot. The CD changer does eat into a bit of space
on the RHS. Still think I should have X'd the skinny-spare and got the
compressor/gunk- spray option. This would free-up the whole wheelspace for
stowage. You do have to lift loads over the lip and then lower them into the deep
boot-well. So, careful with the old back!
The brushed aluminium centre console is good touch, as are the electric
folding wing-mirrors and centre box/cup holders/chiller.
Glove box is really small though and there isn't much in the way of stowage
for small items. (Cigar lighter/ashtray is vestigial at best!)
The instruments are modern and clear, Alfa standard of pointing everything
towards the driver seems to really annoy most of my passengers.
The speedo is on the left, large onboard-computer display in the middle,
with the tacho on the right. Other than that the interior is very uncluttered.
So far the airconn seems much more up to the job than the 147's.
But the big test will obviously come this summer, after leaving her in
a 35degC car park with the roof-blind open!
The best gadget is the bluetooth kit. Fully integrated into the car.
You can view your phonebook on the main display and call up whoever
you select. It mutes the stereo/routes phone audio through the speakers.
There is a voice activated system that seems to work well. But on my car
it only speaks/understands French, so I'd assume that you are stuck with
the one language.
Most annoying is the seatbelt warning bell. But according to the manual
you can ask the dealer to kill this. Permanently.
The stereo doesn't seem to have as much bass as the 147's. It's basically the
same Blaupunkt HU, but there is only a six speaker system as opposed to the
147's eight speakers. (Will have to play with the EQ and find the sweet spot.)
The MP3 option isn't yet the "Blue&Me" Fiat/MS system. So you DON’T get a
USB port in the glovebox, just the ability to read MP3 files from a burned
CD-ROM. The steering wheel command buttons seem to need a longer hold-down for them too work.
Having a black coloured car with the SkyView roof means that it looks like a
single coloured car. (For other colours, the roof and rear spoiler are still black.)
In summary: She's solid, handles well and (so far) performs better than I'd have
hoped. Can't wait to put a 1000Kms on her and then really open her up! I'm really
glad I stuck my neck out to get one of the first ones!
Brera 2.2 JTS Selective
Carbon Black Metallic Paint (opt)
Black/Grey Leather Interior (std)
SkyView Roof (opt)
CD Changer (opt)
Anti-lift alarm (opt)
18" Mugello Alloys
Last edited by Nev; 31-05-06 at 14:54.