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Well I went for a Test Drive today expecting to be driving a fully specced 2.0 Selespeed with Connect Nav+. What I got to drive was a 2.0 manual with Connect Nav+ but without the connect bit working.

Firtly anyone thiking of buying connect nav+.....BUY It!

It works like a dream.

Firtly the Telephone part. Put your SIMM card in the slot. Type in the PIN. Call a number. But there are many ways to call the number. The system an access the numbers on the SIMM as well as those stored in the Connect system itself. You can go through the two phone books and call the number or you can press the phone button on the steering wheel and call out the number i.e. 0121 234 3333 and erase characters which the voice recognition gets wrong (can happen apparently while travelling). Or you can press the phone icon and call out the persons name as it is stored in the internal phone book. Called a friend and had a good conversation. He said it sounded better than calling somone on a phone as it sounded more cavernous due to being in the cabin. I could hear him equally well through the stereo's speakers.

Text Mesaging I didn't realise was in the package. You can view and read all messages on your SIMM. You can recive messages and send them as you would on any phone.

Sat Nav: Put the CD in. Choose your destination. You basically scroll through the alphabet and choose the letters in order and it works out the destination you wanted after typing in 3 to 4 letters by narrowing down the list of places it could possibly be. Tried where I live found it on the map and calculated the route. Not necassarily the best route or the one I would have chosen but it got it right.

Then tried a route in the area I was in. The sales guy let me choose the Destination Street so as to not choose a route he knew would work. Set off. If you are not moving it first has to work out where you are going i.e. I was in the dealers car park to start with so it didn't know how I was going to get to the first road it expected me to be on. By the time I exited the dealers it had worked out where I was. It then displays the next two turnings you are due to take on the left of the display and shows your progress on the map. It also show the next turning on the steering wheel read out cluster. It also talks the directions to you. When you get to within 150 yards of the turning/Island it tells you what your next move will be. 'at the next Island take the second exit' for instance. The steering wheel diaply counts down as you get closer to the next manouver. Just as you get the the next move it will repeat the message. I delibertaley made a wrong move at one point and it quickly worked out a revised route.

Needless to say we did get to the correct street and it only got it wrong where the map was out of date due to a change in road layout and when I deliberatley made a mistake.

All the time it calculates your arrival time updating it as you go through traffic. Apparently it will tell you about traffic and divert if neccesarry but we didn't hit any traffic so I'll have to take it on trust that this works.

You can also get details such as average MPH and MPG through the Trip screen. The Audio section alows you to choose from your preset radio stations etc.

The guy told me that Connect worked well when it is working. For instance you can call them and ask what the traffic is like on a certain motorway. Or you could ask for an italian restaurant in the area and they will send details for the restaurant back to you via text and you can call the restaurants number and the call centre can send co-ordinates for the sat nav to direct you there.

Finally the drive. Sadly it was all slow roads. Couldn't get above fifty and only got to rev it hard a couple of times. I am going back next week when they have get a Selespeed in from their sister dealership. Steering is incredibly quick when you first turn into a sharp corner but you get used to it and it works really well once oyu do. Brakes worked well though didn't get a chance to try an emergency stop as there was loads of traffic behing me most of the time.

Compared to my 1.1. Punto as you'd expect it was far from a 'dog' :p . Even from the bottom it pulled well for me and it did sound nice and rorty once I got it revved up the couple of chances I had.

Ride was good even on 17" ers even though the route did go down some uneven back roads. Also all the time he was demonstrating the Connect Nav system before we set off it was only when I pulled away that I realised that the engine had been running all the time. Incredibly quiet at rest. Again maybe it's cause I'm used to my Punto but even that is quiet at rest. But not as quiet as the Alfa!

I'll post an update when I try the Selespeed where I have been guarunteed a chance to try it on a the local stretch of motorway. Wish I could try a few rods I knew in my area. I was a bit nervous driving it as it wasn't mine and I didn't know where I was going.

Also Stef, I am definitely going for the sunroof. Lets more light into the cabin and works well. Love the way you can open all windows and the sunroof from the keyring thingy. So you can let the heat out before you get in.

Essay over. Handwork handed in :)
 

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Graded A* :D

Your choice sounds fantastic chappy... I now wish i could change my 1.6 for a selespeed... chances are i'll have mine for a fe years to come yet!!!!

Good luck man... your gonna love it!!!
B sure to send us webmasters some photos when you get it particularly of the SAt nav/connect business cos i aint got any!!!

G Luck!
George
 

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Cheers G,

Man it was gagdget city Arizona. NASA couldn't have done a better job.

Will send you some picks. Also to be posted on my website when I get it finished.

I intend to do some decent videos pictures demonstrating sat nav for my site when I get mine. If Alfa did this as a video they would sell Connect Nav + by the shed load.
 
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The satvnav does get lost sometimes and it makes staements like "turn right" when the road you are on bears only right slightly. This is worse when you have just passed a turning and then she says go right, when she meant bear right on the same road. It does take some time to programme but its very good as a locator. I used it down to france even though I could have done that route with my eyes closed. The UK map comes with a suprisingly comprehensive European major highways guide and we always knew where we were. The degrees-minutes-seconds location for longditude and latitude is VERY precise indeed.

The telephone system is a doddle indeed - it was worth it for that alone. Connect was useful on the way home when we just could not find our hotel in Orleans, they naviagted us right there as we were less than 2 miles away using the GPS tranceiver on the vehicle. I'm not sure its a service worth £175.00 per year though unless you are always on the road. The new Merc E-class is the next car to get this option and BMW introduce a similar thing later. My biggest gripe was that the Italian english speaking people in Arese were only helpful to a point and somewhat begrudgingly one felt.
 

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Thanks Jay Nine. As they coudln't demo the connect I am always intersted to hear opionions on it. I belive Alfa UK now offer the first year Connect subscription free. Wether the Danish dealer can swing something for me to get a free year I don't know. Probably not! But I think your right the Telephone system alone could justify the cost in the long run for the intial outlay and I'm sure everyone would make use of Satnav at some point. Didn't know it had major european routes on the UK CD. That's cool. I also liked all the audio controls for the equaliser and stuff like that displayed on the big colour screen. One other thing I forgot to mention about the system is the Memo function where you can record a 30 second (I think) message to listen to later as a reminder. Trouble is the dealer said, 'is remembering to listen to the message before you get out of the car' !! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Jay have you ever had any eperience of traffic trouble where the satnav has picked it up and redirected you? Apprarently they use Traffic Master for traffic info.
 
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Chappy,

you actually sound like you enjoyed the drive. :p

Man, that has to be the best description of the Connect Nav System. To say I am extremely jealous is an understatement. We don't have the ConnectNav as an option in Australia :mad:

I am a bit of a slave for tech-y stuff like PDA's, Dig Cameras, MP3 players and stuff, so this ConnectNav system would have been straight up my alley. Would have gone for it for sure.

Well, I guess you'll have to send me pics of the system in your car Chappy.

So you like the Sunroof, huh? What did I say? :D

Trust me...you won't regret it. As you mentioned, it lets quite a lot of light into the cabin, which is great and the extra light combined with the Tan leather, will really make the interior light and ambient. Very smart choice.

Also, I maybe a bit thick in the head, but I have the suroof open all the time except for when its raining. That includes having the roof open when its cold outside. I really like to have the sunroof open to allow cool breeze into the cabin, while I put up the temp of the climate control.

I would highly suggest that on your next testdrive of the Selespeed, you try and drive the car for a good 30min to 3/4 hour. Also would help if you didn't have a salesman sitting next to you. This would allow you to REALLY experience the 147 without being nervous, or feel like you can't drive like you would want to just becuase the salesman is sitting next to you.

Man, I still remember how excited and nervous I was to test drive the 147 selespeed.

I also remember how upset I was when I tried to ask my fiancee to testdrive the car, and she refused.

Stef
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Stef, I did indeed enjoy the text drive. To be honest I was so concentrated on watching what the Sat nav was doing to truly tell you how the drive went (maybe that's a sign of how good it was in terms of comfort and refinement that I didn't notice it as I wasn't thraping it). When I test the Selespeed I wont have the satnav so I will be able to soak up the driving experience better.

Don't think they will allow me to drive it on my own, but I will make damn sure I get a good drive and will loosen up a bit now I have tried the 2.0 manual and am used to the repid steering. That's what really got me in my punto I have to turn the wheel probably 90 degrees before I get any action out of the steering wheel. The 147 turned immediately with very little speed of travel on the steering wheel.

It's a bummer that they don't do it on Oz. A huge country like that you'd expect it would be wouldn't you?

As I hadn't seen the sunroof before I didn't realise how snugly it fitted. It doesn't ruin the roof line at all. It's a dfinite now.

One thing that has me thinking again is I saw a 156 in sterling silver with red seats and nearly shot my load :) god it looked damn sexy. I'm now torn between two colour combos again. Gabianno with Natural or Sterling with Red. Jeez will I ever make my mind up. As I've said before I wouldn't be disapointed with either, so I think I'll stick with my first choice. Having **** weather over here the Gabiano looks really cool and subdued in low light and shines when it's bright.

Can anyone confirm that my original review post was the longest ever posted on the AO forum. Obviously I was so exited I didn't realise how much I had type and finally submitted to see a post the size of the encyclopedia Brittanica. :)
 

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Ha Ha, that's the first time I've noticed the forum automatically put **** where I put a swear word in :) . Right lets try monkey spunk.
 

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Sorry AO. Please delete my last childish posts. frown
 
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HaHa.

I thought they might get you on "Shot my Load"... :)

Go with your heart on colour. You will not have the same choice again once you have picked up the keys. So if possible get them to put the cars side-by-side.

The Sunroof is awsome, in its operation. My friend drives a Merc and loves the system in my car (ie: the rotary dial). In his Merc you have to keep a button depressed until the roof closes.

Don't forget to try the car with "ASR on" and "ASR off". With "ASR off" you'll definitely feel better gearchange in 1st-to-2nd on the Selepseed system if you change above 5500RPM.
 

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Ha Ha, crafty eh!

Yep I think my mind is really made up.

Yeah I forgot about ASR. Any more tips on test driving when I get the chance in the Selespeed anyone??
 
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3 best things about Selespeed to look out for on test drive:

1. Blip of throttle on downshifts.
2. 0.5sec gear changes when flicking Selespeed paddle past 6000 RPM
3. Using the gear lever on tight twisty roads.
 
K

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Just noticed people talking about automatic traffic avoidence on CN+, as far as I can tell my CN+ does not do traffic avoidence - it has RDS-TMC on it, but the UK map CDs do not support it. Is this a new feature (I got mine in October last year)?
 

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Haven't got my car yet but the dealer who demoed it assured me it worked. How well I don't know.
 
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My dealer promised me that the car picks up TraficMaster signals and will report them to you - this was actually what sold me on the car. However my 9 month old Connect Nav+ DOESN'T! Talking to the other salesman at the dealership he confirmed this and said he didn't know what the other one was talking about. The connect service (the phone center) does use trafic master data to warn you of trouble - but it is presented to you as text rather than a icon or route recalculation. I'm not going to say new units don't have it, but double check it!!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks kpuplett. I'll have a word with them when I go back to test the Selespeed.
 
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