Re: Brera 2.4 SV
Thanks all. Can't wait to collect it.
It's nuts that Alfa don't offer a tan leather option with the Alfa red paint. It would really make the Brera into a mini Maserati. Incidentally, I nearly went for a 159 SW with the same engine, just to get the exact colour combo. The Brera just feels more special though somehow - must be the glass roof and higher sides - and the fact that its a lot rarer.
BTW, thought it my be worth throwing my two penn'orth into the pot re the Brera's weight and handling...
I want a genuine sporting grand-tourer that will make my smile each time I approach it and which will feel special each time I drive it, without breaking the bank as I need to pay for my fuel. I need enough space in the back for all our "lifestyle" gumpf but not necessarily any back seats.
I tested a fairly eclectic selection of cars before plumping for the Brera (no pun intended), including the Z4 coupe, 330d touring, A4 and A6 Avants, Subaru Legacy spec B, Mazda RX8 and Nissan 350Z.
If I wanted to take my car on track days or up and down the Stelvio Pass as part of my daily commute (which I don't), the Brera would probably rank somewhere in the middle in terms of handling, certainly beating the Audis and, in my view anyway, on a par with the RX8. The Audis were just dull and involved no interaction with the driver. The Subaru felt cheap and would prove a real gas guzzler.
However, for the sort of driving that I do, which is mainly long motorway and A-road trips, a few weeks in Scotland and in all likelihood a big European trip each year, each of the BMWs, the 350Z and Subaru all fell short.
I blame this on run flat tyres and/or the continued insistence on honing cars at the 'Ring rather than on real roads. The rear suspension of both BMWs jiggled around so badly on the concrete surfaces of the M25 that it actually felt dangerous in heavy rain. The Z4 and 350Z were also very noisy and unrefined - yes they make a nice noise from the outside but 90% of the time you just want to get to where you're going in some sort of comfort, rather than being deafened or being given an impromptu vibro-massage...
Both the Z4 and the 350Z are stunning rear-drive coupes, both look good but as a daily driver they just don't work, particularly if you have to pick up the fuel bill. If I just wanted a weekend car, they would be fine, but I don't and so they're not.
In my view, they are not as good looking, well-equipped, comfortable or practical as the Brera. After all those tests and comparisons, far from seeming overpriced, the Brera actually seems like pretty good value.