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147 buyers guide advice please!

I've been an Alfa owner for a year now, & really happy with the Brera.
The missus has really been bitten by the Alfa bug as well, & is thinking about a 147.
At present she has a 4x4, & fancies a style change to something a bit nippier/fun & cheaper too.
We'd need room for 2 adults & 2 or 3 kids, & occasionally be able to get our dog in the boot(by taking the parcel shelf out) for 2 or 3 mile trips to the vets, etc.So not long journey stuff.
We will probably go to our local dealer to have a good look at size/practicality issues. Budget is about the 10k mark.
Saw the ad in a London dealer for the cars that were originally bound for foreign climes & that got us pondering.
Thinking about the 1.9jtdm 5 door model. I'm not really into diesel that much, but looking at the performance figs & bhp, the 1.9 diesel & petrol look evenly matched (on paper at least).
So come on all you 147 fans & experts. What do I need to consider to turn us into a 2 Alfa family?
I posted this originally in th 147 tech section, but afterwards though it may get more views here. Apologies to the mods if thats a bit wrong.
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Re: 147 buyers guide advice please!

There is only one piece of advice - buy a GTA
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Re: 147 buyers guide advice please!

Yeah, love the idea of the GTA, but as they don't make 'em anymore (why on earth is that??), 2nd hand, with low mileage seem to be pretty rare, although again, there is one for sale at that London dealers I mentioned earlier.
A Brera & a 147gta in the driveway? That'll do nicely sir!
Any other thoughts on reliability/servicing things to avoid, etc?
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Re: 147 buyers guide advice please!

You'd never get a dog in
the boot of a 147.

Suspension and brakes would be
the main things to look out for.
And obviously the timing belt/variator
on the TSs.)

Sportwagon?
 
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Re: 147 buyers guide advice please!

Thanks for that Nev.
Ideally, a 159 SW would be my choice, but they're still a bit too expensive, & I guess we won't see any in our price range for a year or two yet, mores the pity.
One thing in the back of my mind is that the 147 is getting on a bit now, & the replacement is what, 1 or 2 years away? Mind you, if I got a good'un for £10k ish, so what.
The missus thinks that estate cars are not that much fun, a bit frumpy etc, & if she's going to give up on the 4x4 thing, she'd like to change it for something funkier. I have a suspision that if she drove a nice 159 sw, with a nice colour combo, she'd love it. She really loves driving my Brera, anyway!!
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159 2.4 JTDm

Re: 147 buyers guide advice please!

I was seriously considering a facelift 156 SW-I think they look fab. Much cheaper than a 159.

I had a 2002 147, and other than ensuring than the timing belt/variator, I was only advised to watch the oil levels.

Check all the electrics carefully and one thing that happened to mine was that the seals at the top of the driver and passenger doors started to come off after I bought it (2nd hand)-so check that these are firmly in place.

I had a 1.6 TS and found it fine for everyday, but for motorway driving you could feel the strain at 80+ MPH (not that you should be doing that speed of course......). I would be intrigued to drive a 1.9JTD given that I now have a GT JTD and find it a hoot.....
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