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It's been a while since my last post, but I've been too busy moving house, working and driving the Brera to be sat in front of the confuser...

In summary, after 5000 miles since I collected it at the beginning of November, the Brera has so far proven to be the most satisfying car I've ever owned (and I've had a few). Thought it might be useful to set out a few good points, bad points, observations and thoughts...

It looks fantastic (mine is Alfa Red with 18in "dial" wheels and black leather). I can never resist taking a quick glance back at it after leaving it parked. Further most other people seem to love the way it looks as well, even non-petrolheads. It doesn't seem to engender hatred or jealously at all as it's distinctive but not showy, arrogant or overly aggresive. The general reaction seems to be "lovely looking car, good choice". Rarity helps as well - I've only ever seen one other on the road (in silver) whilst I've owned this one.

The build quality is the best of any car I've owned (which includes Saabs, VWs, BMWs, Jags). It just feels so solid and refined. Only 2 things have fallen off - the clip holding the parcel shelf (my fault trying to stuff too much into the boot) and the bonnet release handle (my fault again - I kicked it when getting into the car).

The performance from the 5 cylinder diesel is good, although you need to drive it for a while to realise how to get the best of it. Jumping in the Brera straight from another similarly-sized turbodiesel it takes a while to realise the performance is further up the rev range, long after the grunt from a more "lazy" engine would have tailed off. You can feel the weight of the car though - I may look into one of those remap packages to get the best out of what is a really very good diesel engine.

Handling is the best of any front drive car I've driven, Mini excepted. Contrary to expectations, when whisking across fast roads it actually feels very "light on its feet", with good turn in, both features which have long been an Alfa trait. I have no doubt that it's not as good as a Z4 coupe around a track, but having driven them back to back the Z4's ride was just too jarring for everyday use (even in "soft" SE spec), and the Brera has the best ride/handling balance. In essence it's a great, classy, sporting grand tourer.

It's relatively practical for a coupe - the boot is big enough, even with the Bose sub-woofer and autochanger. It does have a high lip though and the rear bumper has been scuffed when trying to load things over it. The rear seats are small, but they have been pressed into service a few times, and have carried two adults on relatively short trips. Being able to fold them flat is an extra bonus - for that "shooting wagon" effect... The front seats are electric and heated - the seat heating is more useful that the electric adjustment, and the way the seat shuffles forward electrically when you fold them forward looks neat but takes so long as to become annoying.

The glass roof is great, especially on bright days. On dull or dark days, the blind covers it up and it becomes really cosy and feels a bit more sporty, for some reason.

The Bose stereo is wonderful, giving a really rich, rounded sound throughout the range, so much better than the overly bass-biased systems in most cars now. The CD autochanger is playing up, but that's Blaupunkt's fault. It's coming out at the first service anyway, to be replaced by an iPod adapter.

This is my first Alfa, and so brand loyalty didn't play any part in choosing the car. However, I have not regretted the choice at all. Having tried all rivals, including the RX8, new TT, Z4 coupe, the Brera JTDM has no real competition - a diesel, hatchback coupe which looks great, goes well and makes you feel special every time you get in it.
 

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Excellent and reassuring write-up...I've done just over 8000 miles in mine and have to agree with just about everything you've said.

I regret not getting the Bose option although I am still satisfied with the sound I have - but my satnav (ordered on the insistence of my 11 year old son) is pretty sub-standard.

I'm very interested to hear that you are changing your CD autochanger to an ipod adapter: is this an easy adaption carried out by your Alfa service garage? If so I'll opt for it as well when it goes in for the first service.

Finally, I am intrigued by your impression that it feels sportier with the blinds 'drawn' on gloomy days. I never normally use them - I must try!
 

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Glad you are so pleased with it LordK.
:cool:
I pretty much echo all your comments, although I don't have the full electric seats or Bose.
 

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Thanks for the review :)
 

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Glad to hear you're having a great time with your Brera, and I'd echo many of your comments....

They are solid - until the'yve been dismantled a few times, and potentially not put together as well as they might, mine does seem to be an exception..

Nice write up as well - I'm hoping that I'll be able to write similar in a few months...

Simes.
 

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LordK said:
Only 2 things have fallen off - the clip holding the parcel shelf (my fault trying to stuff too much into the boot) and the bonnet release handle (my fault again - I kicked it when getting into the car).
I spent some time yesterday kicking the tyres of a V6 Brera at the Reg Vardy garage in Paisley. In an idle moment I popped the bonnet, wondering if I could spot any of the fabled "General Motors" scripts on the engine. As I fumbled under the bonnet for the safety catch, one of the rubber bump stops dropped out and onto the showroom floor.:lol:

LordK, I was very interested to read your review. I will probably trade my Audi A4 for a Brera 2.4JTDM SV in the next few weeks. In particular, your comments about the Alfa satnav were noteworthy: I like the idea of a properly integrated satnav rather than my trusty £200 TomTom, but at more than seven times the cost and with probably less functionality, wonder if it's worth specifying the Alfa system.
 

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LordK said:
Only 2 things have fallen off - the clip holding the parcel shelf (my fault trying to stuff too much into the boot) and the bonnet release handle (my fault again - I kicked it when getting into the car).
I spent some time yesterday kicking the tyres of a V6 Brera at the Reg Vardy garage in Paisley. In an idle moment I popped the bonnet, wondering if I could spot any of the fabled "General Motors" scripts on the engine. As I fumbled under the bonnet for the safety catch, one of the rubber bump stops dropped out and onto the showroom floor.:lol:

LordK, I was very interested to read your review. I will probably trade my Audi A4 for a Brera 2.4JTDM SV in the next few weeks. In particular, your comments about the Alfa satnav were noteworthy: I like the idea of a properly integrated satnav rather than my trusty £200 TomTom, but at more than seven times the cost and with probably less functionality, wonder if it's worth specifying the Alfa system.
 

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alfa uses an old cd based system, it is a total waste of money.

i would avoid until they upgrade to a hard drive system that is in the maser gt
 

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I am perfectly happy with it. Sure it's older technology, and it's overpriced (as all factory fit units are). But it does the job and looks very neat on the dashboard. I am very happy having chosen it.
 

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Hi LordK, I've also got a Red Brera 2.4 SV, now with about 6000 on the clock and I would agree with pretty much everything you said - what a great car!

You say: "It doesn't seem to engender hatred or jealously at all as it's distinctive but not showy, arrogant or overly aggresive." This has been my experience as well.

I had mine remapped at Red Dot at about 2500 miles and I really would recommend it. The torque is up to very nearly 500NM and the BHP is about 240. Pre-remap MPG was 28 and this is now 36 (although it has been getting steadily better as the engine loosens up). Better than all of that though is how nice this has made it to drive. It's fine pootling in congested traffic, very capable on the motorway and easy to overtake on A roads.

Cheers,

John.
 

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I had mine remapped at Red Dot at about 2500 miles and I really would recommend it. The torque is up to very nearly 500NM and the BHP is about 240. Pre-remap MPG was 28 and this is now 36 (although it has been getting steadily better as the engine loosens up). Better than all of that though is how nice this has made it to drive. It's fine pootling in congested traffic, very capable on the motorway and easy to overtake on A roads.
I found a red dot site online but not much info on there - would you mean discussing costs and warranty implications (if any)? PM if prefer.

TIA
Rob
 

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Good write up, I enjoyed reading it.

Have to quiz you further on the rear seat room, though. You say you've had a couple of adults in there for a short distance and it was adequate, but in the showroom I couldn't find any legroom whatsoever in the back with the drivers seat set for me, and I'm a short arse 5' 7".

My Gt is what you would call adequate (for a coupe) but in the Brera a better description would be "IN"adequate or as Clarkson might say "useless".
 

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Have to quiz you further on the rear seat room, though. You say you've had a couple of adults in there for a short distance and it was adequate, but in the showroom I couldn't find any legroom whatsoever in the back with the drivers seat set for me, and I'm a short arse 5' 7".
My twopenneth.

I find that my girlfriend (who is 5'3") can sit behind me (5'10") if I move the seat forward a bit. It's not my usual driving position,
nor is it comfortable for her - but, as has been said, it's okay for short journeys.

The rear seat is fine for my 6-year-old daughter in her booster seat - as long as she sits behind my girlfriend.
 
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