Desira in Bury St. Edmund let me try one this afternoon, a nice blac 2.4 JTDm, I was quite looking forward to it, after hearing fairly positive news about it I may have been expecting too much but claims like best Alfa in years needed to be backed up, sure its a JTD but I drive one of those at the mo anyway, the V6 is not available for a while here.
Firstly the positive, the ride is very compliant even with 18s driving around very rough b roads it was fairly smooth, I wish my car could match it. The 2.4 engine is also nice, the sound was good though a little muted, more noise would have been nice, the car didn't feel quicker than mine all that comfort robs you of sensation but the speedo rose quicker I am sure of that, so fairly decent performance BUT my god what is wrong with that lag, I normally couldn't give two hoots about a bit of lag if when the car is going you can keep it running nice and fast, I don't recall this issue in the 156 20v I drove so something must have chnaged here whether the ratios don't land you in the right place or the ECU is doing stuff for economy/emissions to rob you of that immediate response I don't know but trying to cane it down the road each gear chnage was met with a bit of decelleration due to the boost having to reclime, not smooth at all, I tried many ways to drive arong the lag by doing stuff like keeping the throttle applied on a gear chnage etc. but it just wasn't nice
The next drawback, the moment you drive the car it feels heavy, this is not just percpetion because I have read reviews that say it is, its because it is and also the steering is slower/heavier too than the old Alfas, turn the wheel and not a lot happens, steering sensitivity is gone, no feel in favor of comfort I guess, it was never brilliant in the 147/GT cars but it was there. The Brera has a lot of grip but throw it fast into a bend and it lunges a bit also, heavy braking from speed is met with the usual heavy nose dive that plagues the 147/156/GT so unfortunately this is another Alfa that will be modified after purchase to get the car you feel Alfa should have built
I think Alfa need to consider a suspension option like BMWs M-sport option thats offered with most BMs as an Alfa Ethusiast is not just looking for a comfy cruiser even if shopping for a dielse
On to the seats
they look so good but like the rest of the car fail to meet expectations, comfy if a bit flat but no support at all, I am not after bucket seats but a bit of side support for when cornering would be nice, this reminds me of our Stilo
not a £26k car with sporting pretentions.
I am 5 11 and my head kept touching the side of the Skyview, that would annoy the **** off me, get rid of it.
I know I drove the diesel and its not top of the line but there is not a lot there that would inspire me to try the 3.2, I just hope they take a harder stance with the V6 as I just walked away from the Brera thinking whats it supposed to be
The likes of Autodelta will probably make a lot of money fixing these new Alfas I fear.