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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I am looking for a new car. My heart says "buy the 147GTA, you know you want it". My head is saying " dont touch it, you dont need those sort of problems..."

What I need to know is the stuff I cant find out from dealers / reviews etc.

I have never owned an alfa before, are they that unreliable? Are the dealers deserving of their reputation?

The 147GTA what is it like to live with? Can you get more than 20MPG on the motorway?

I'd appreciate any advice you guys have that own one of these, help me make a descision.

The alternative is an S3 (bit dull) or another M3 (look a bit of a ****** in it though)

Cheers
 

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I ran the big brother (156) for a year and absolutely loved it. The performance is very good (apart of slight torque steer when heavy accleration, which I actually quite enjoyed), tight handling with some understeer on tight bends. Very fast and V6 sounds wonderful at both high and low revs.

Very few people know what it is. Very different to S3 and M3 (4wd vs rwd vs fwd).

Build quality poor (147 is slightly better) so you will need to put up with rattles and on bits of trim falling off.

If you buy the right one (say a 53/04 plate) you will not lose too much money (1500 pa depreciation). Try and buy from enthusiast. Mpg is 20 in town and 27 on longer runs. This falls away if you are putting the foot down.

I miss mine dreadfully and when circumstances allow will get another.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I figured the build quality wouldn't be up to the Audi or the BMW level but then they are both a bit soul less, especially the Audi. I can live with rattles and trim noises its the fuel consumption and depreciation that scare me.

What's the service interval and costs? Are the dealers that shocking? I still really want one, just not sure I can justify it given the bad press.
 

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I had an M5 for a year before tiring of it's lack of soul, then rejected an Audi S4 for the same reason. When I test drove my 156 GTA it just felt alive, and I find I can forgive the odd creaks and noises as "character".
I get 24mpg in mine in mostly London driving, which I think is acceptable.
The dealers are pretty bad, but there are lots of enthusiastic indies out there.
Servicing is annually or 12,000 miles, budget £300 p.a. except when timing belt needs replacing.
You won't regret it
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks,

I have the same problem. I had an S3 which was beautifully put together but very dull so dont really want another one. The M3 I now have is much more fun but no one lets you out in traffic and I do feel a bit of a ****** driving it plus it is up for a change now anyway.

The Alfa looks great and sounds awsome; like someone actually had a bit of passion when they designed it. I have been putting off driving one as I know I'll buy it.

Is there anything that I should look for specifically, known issues with them?
 

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I've hopefully got my 147GTA arriving very soon ;)

But I had the same concerns as you. I have no doubt that they will have little issues that crop up - but I've never driven a car before that had so much character and individuality. Alternatives like the Golf R32 and Focus RS are just totally staid, IMO.

One thing I will say - you may (may!) find the driving dynamics a little dissapointing after the M3. I've come from an Elise and an ITR which are very focussed (sp?) cars, but I find the GTA more than makes up for it in other areas.

Try one and see what you think - but I can guarantee you'll find it better than the S3!
 

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I am looking for a new car. My heart says "buy the 147GTA, you know you want it". My head is saying " dont touch it, you dont need those sort of problems..."
You've hit the nail on the head there, that's EVERYTHING to your purchase, if you buy it with your heart even if it does go wrong, it wont matter.

If you let your head have too much of a say that's when the demons set in.

For my part I've found my 147 as reliable as any other car I've owned (and I've had quite a few).

Like anything mechanical they suffer if there's a lack of maintenance, but I wouldn't believe the rumours you hear.

Dealers have been bad, and Alfa UK have had a cull, it seems also that Alfa UK are trying to reposition the brand as a conversation I had with my local dealer gleaned that new Alfa dealerships will be more aligned to prestige marques, so expect to start seeing Alfa's on the same forecourts and Merc's and Beemers very soon.

:)
 

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the engine noise is phenomenal though. the intake noise in say 2nd or 3rd on light throttle is mad, just like its on throttle bodies (which i suppose it is in a way with the chrome pipes). higher revs, snarls and stick it in a tunnel through the low gears is mind popping!

worth the ticket price alone....
 

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Cant say i agree with the bad build quality issue... I've had mine over a year now and has been totally reliable and find the interior build quality as good if not better than German standards!;)
Fuel consumption is not good, and is worse than my mates 2002 M3, but i can get 28 mpg on a 85mph motorway trip.

Just go for it they are great cars with a wonderful engine;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thats what I thought. The audi was really dull to drive, it went well enough but absolutely no feeling. The M3 is cracking to drive but it falls down in loads of other areas. I guess the 1476 will be somewhere in between.

I've wanted one since they first came out, plus they are rare, I think ive only seen two on the road since they were released.

So best bet looks like finding a decent independent specialist.

What about the cam belt, how often is that changed and cost?

Thanks for your advice.
 

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Cant say i agree with the bad build quality issue... I've had mine over a year now and has been totally reliable and find the interior build quality as good if not better than German standards!;)
Fuel consumption is not good, and is worse than my mates 2002 M3, but i can get 28 mpg on a 85mph motorway trip.

Just go for it they are great cars with a wonderful engine;)
Think you mean 75mph ;)

I know of about two people who have had GTA's that i know quite well, they say the build quality is fine, and nothing comes apart! Reliability was good, but the dealership and running costs are not great, well thats their honest opinions anyways, and they both wished they could buy another if it wasn't for their kids :rolleyes: :)

Buy the GTA matey :cool:

which mark M3 are you giving up BTW,
 

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Discussion Starter #14
m3 is 2001 E46, I've had it a couple of years. Its done some miles but it still puts a smile on my face, especially in the wet.
 

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I was the same regarding buying an alfa because of bad press but alot of the newer vw's have problems to even m3's, my freinds 3 yr old m3 cab went back to the dealers 8 times in a year.
I just had to try a gta because i love v6's and they look spot on .
Build quality again i can not fault the gta the leather highback seat's are very good like the rest of the interior,engine sounds fantastic even at low rpm ,i feel i dont even have to drive the gta fast to enjoy it, i love everything about these car's.
Also my previous car was a supercharged vr6 golf, and the gta still doe's it for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well you guys are doing nothing to change my mind, I was hoping you were going to tell me some horror stories about them. Bugger.
 

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Came from an S3 (99) and an M3 (95) myself. M3 was a more fun car but to enjoy it you were usually in licence losing situations (sideways or circular :p) hence the swap to an S3. I found it very dull tho even tho it was exceptionally well built.

The alfa just has such character to it its a joy to drive either b road blasting or motorway cruising. Plus I have a nipper on the way so the 4doors and large boot are a big bonus (156 for me alas).

I like it a lot and tbh the costs dont seem any worse than any prev car. The GTA (unlike the M3) seems to share a lot of components with the other models making parts a little more easier to buy.
 

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Well you guys are doing nothing to change my mind, I was hoping you were going to tell me some horror stories about them. Bugger.
That's not going to happen on an Alfa enthusiasts board such as this.If its one thing we all have in common here its the shared passion for these very unique cars.Yes on occassion you may encounter dealer service that is not up to scratch,yes you may encounter niggling issues as you would with any new car coming off the production line these days.But when you take an Alfa for a drive,you understand why the Italians are so good at building & designing a car which puts the driver at the top of the food chain.A drivers car in all respects.It's no surprise that "Gran tourismo" cars originated in Italy where designers and builders alike based their cars around the beautiful rolling hills of Italy.I still think that most of the Alfa range these days still place the driver at the helm.
The 147GTA is a unique driving experience,one which still after 3 yrs of ownership im still excited about.I dont think i will ever get rid of this car so the depreciation you speak of really doesnt mean anything for ppl like me.Yes it likes to drink fuel...i average 15L/100km and so if fuel is a major issue for you you may need to reconsider.Overall though,you will have trouble finding a car that delivers the unique driving pleasure for the same price.I won't even touch on the subject of looks and styling because that's a foregone conclusion:)
Anyways i wish you all the best in your decision making.
 

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Alfa still seem to have this bad press about being un-reliable ! If you ask most peeps on here you will find the V6 engine is bulit proof, of course there are are always some problems like gearboxes, I know some of the Aussie guy's have had a few go.. but generally the GTA is one of Alfa's great cars :)

I have had mine for 18 months now, and I have done 28k in it, with not one problem, same as my previous 2 alfa's, they are very reliable IMO.

The 147 GTA is a great place to be, you will not stop grinning, the sound of the V6 is just awesome, the aceleration is great, and if you like to stand out from the crowd and be looked out you will love it. Mine gets comments where ever it goes from mums to kids to Ferrari drivers. The interior is just something else, very comfy (leather is a must), steering precise, and try and go for a later (post 04) model so it has the bigger 330 mm Brembo brakes.

If you need any further info have a look at my website www.147gta.co.uk you might find some useful info on there, go with yr heart you won't regret it.

Happy hunting..

MattB see you on Sunday, the Bella is waiting for you :)

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks guys, just one niggling concern now, and that is the fuel consumption. My S3 regularly gave me 30 - 35mpg. The M3 is the same. 15L / 100km (I'm a bit too old to get that) I think is about 18mpg. I can live with getting 25mpg but not 18 as an average. Is it really that bad, or is that if you drive it hard?
 
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