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Alfa Romeo 147 (01 on)
***--
For:
New diesel and six-speed gearbox
Against:
Tight in the back.
New Price Range £13,395 - £19,355
Used Price Range £3,135 - £15,687
Insurance Group 11 - 14
Summary ***--
Voted Car of the Year 2001 before it even went on sale here, Alfa's sleek, sporting 147 hatchback has appealing Italian styling, advanced engines, sequential Selespeed transmission and competitive pricing against premium offerings from Audi and BMW. What Alfa lacks is the reputation for longevity and re-sale values that worry both fleet and private buyers, however it has so proven to be one of the marques more reliable models. Facelifted in 2005 with the new corporate face and a light interior makeover.
Behind the Wheel ***--
The steering wheel adjusts for reach and rake, and the seat moves up-and-down, so it's easy to find a comfy driving position. The seat could be more supportive. This shows up on longer journeys. The interior is one of the prettiest in the class with typical Italian style, but some of the controls are in odd places.
Comfort **---
Not good enough compared to rivals. Shouldn't be too many complaints from the front passengers, with adequate head and legroom. But passengers will be grumpier in the back. Enough room for two, with limited head and legroom, but it's a struggle for three (even in the five-door model).
Equipment **---
You're paying for the performance and that Italian pedigree chassis. So don't expect too much extra kit in the base model. Most used cars have all the options you want, though.
 

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Alfa Romeo, 147