147 & other Alfa owners

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I am just after your advice. I really like the 147 and think it is one of the best looking hatches on the market. I am interested to know though if you have had many problems with your 147 or other Alfa
model? And if you have had the odd issue, how much has it hurt you in the wallet to get it fixed?
Are Alfa main dealers really poor when it comes to servicing and repairs? And do you just go to an independent place to get any repairs/maintenance done?
How many MPG on average would you get from a 1.6 litre 147?
I don't have a car at present but am looking to get something a few years old very shortly. I am considering a 1.6 petrol 147, an Ibiza Tdi, a petrol 1.4 or 1.6 Civic and a diesel Corolla D-4D. Budget between 5k and just over 7k.
These are examples of what I have been looking at so far:
147 (5k to 7k) http://tinyurl.com/ca6n3
Ibiza Tdi (Have seen 130hp Tdis for just over 7k) http://tinyurl.com/bogs7
1.4 Civic (R-Type bodykit) 5500 http://tinyurl.com/avwb2
Corolla D-4D 2.0l (Just over 7k) http://tinyurl.com/b9xao
What would you go for if you were in my shoes and were choosing between these? And what about if you were in your own shoes? What cars do you personally like at the moment that you would realistically consider for yourself if you were on the market for a new or used car?
Thanks for your advice.
John
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Not sure but around late 30's very early 40's

Slow and chuggy

Guzzler but fast

I get a 1.6 civic SE from work. 40 and 300 miles to the tank (unless you drive everywhere at 55mph... dont beleive the 44mpg.

Never had one ad cannot comment

If you are willing to stretch to 8k I can sell you a 55mpg 1.9JTD Alfa with full cream leather. a couple of years old and full service history finished in black. You can still see it here...
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&itemE68948554&ssPageName=STRK:MEUS:IT

Alfa 1.6 is not the best performer, even though it is an alfa I reckon you will dissapointed with the drive/handling (or thats the feel I get from 147 courtesy cars I drive) i'd stear clear of the civic unless you are looking at the Type-R Never heard any bodys opinions on a corolla - is that good or bad? Granny car me thinks like the civic 1.6. Seat TDI would be fun but dont expect luxury.

a two-three year old Alfa 156 would be top of my list in your boots. Decent car, better than the 147. You should also consider the Mini - thery're coming down in price now, and maybe the new fiesta - thats looks kinda cool in a full kit. The new civic is out soon so you might want to wait a wee while. That look hot !
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Lol.
If you drive it like a nun, maybe.

No, slow and revvy. They need revving like hell to get anything out of them.

You have a funny definition of 'guzzler' - my mate has a Passat with that engine and has just done a steady motorway run at 69mpg average. His normal more rapid use sees over 50mpg.

When are you going to take the hint that you're asking too much money. You've been touting this around for several weeks with not a sniff of interest - that's sort of a hint that you're way OTT with the price.

Get a 156 2lt TSpark. You'll pick up a very nice 5 year old example for around 3k with a bit of shopping around (our 99V cost us 2800).
--
Steve H 'You're not a real petrolhead unless you've owned an Alfa Romeo'
http://www.italiancar.co.uk - Honda VFR800 - MZ ETZ300 - Alfa 75 TSpark
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<snip>

The 147 is based quite closely on a 156. Some time ago, I saw running cost figures (can't remember where - motoring mag probably) that indicated that a 156 would cost the same to run as a Porsche Boxter when main dealer serviced. My experience has led me to agree with that finding..they can be frighteningly expensive come service time. If you're on any tight budget, do yourself a favour and get something else.
As I can cope with the running costs, I'd get what I've had for over four years now...best looking and best car I've ever had..
--
Z
Scotland
Alfa Romeo 156 2.4JTD Veloce Leather
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says...

Thing is. I'm selling my Celica GT4/Alltrac. It has 147k miles on it. It is too thirsty and expensive to maintain.
I've bought a Saab convertible. 2 years newer, 212k miles, body is in about same condition maybe better. Big ends were gone. So the last owner totally rebuilt it, fitted a recon box and turbo at the same time.
The suspension is fine, the steering is good, because it is a convertible there is more rattle and scuttle shake, but it drives great, and uses far less fuel. Oh and they are reliable.
--
Carl Robson
Car PC Build starts again. http://smallr.com/rz
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On Wed, 21 Sep 2005 13:26:09 +0100, NeedforSwede2 wrote:

Saabs, and most Euro cars over here, seem to be a 50/50 proposition for some reason.
The most you ever see a Euro car over here is sitting outside the repair center...
Even the Big Boys, M-B and BMW spend more time on the lift than on the road.
BTW, I saw a NICE, REALLY NICE 2002 yesterday. Some young lady owns it, says it's her second.
i am trusting she will park it before the first snowflakes...
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I am from Pennsylvania, over here in the states, and I was wondering how everyone in Europe gets along without driving a pickup. I never see any pickups on the road over there whenever I watch "The Amazing Race" or news stories involving Europe. Are we Americans addicted to pickups for no reason? I know most American families survived without them during the '50s and most of the '60s. I love small economical vehicles. I am amazed at the different makes and models available to Europeans and not to the US market. A majority of the vehicles over here that are on the road are gas guzzling bricks on wheels.
On another note, remember that Mercedes has been contaminated by Chrysler - but I don't know why BMW is having reliability problems as of late.
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Buyers buy the vehicles they want and can afford. In Europe vehicles and fuel are heavy taxed to pay for their socialist system of government so they can get FREE medical care etc, making it more expensive to own a operate a car. There are plenty of vehicles available in the US from domestic and import brands, for those the choose to buy them, but apparently few choose to do so. If buyers can afford to buy larger safer vehicles they will do so. The recent spike in gas prices did not slow larger vehicle sales as much as it increased small vehicle sales. Apparently those that could afforded to buy the vehicles they wanted continued to do so and some went out a bought a small vehicles to use as well. It was the poorer folks, that can not afford to buy larger safer vehicles, that were effect by high gas prices not those that drive the larger safer vehicles. It was the small car buyers that cut back on their driving or converted some of their discressionary spending over to fuel.. WalMart and McDonalds were effected butt upper class stores and restaurants. Unlike Europe, Americas population is more spread out over the country where their is little or no public transportation and people need cars and trucks in their daily work and lives.

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Mike Hunter wrote:

i'd /love/ to know where this "larger safer vehicles" myth comes from. have you ever looked at any of the insurer or nhtsa fatality stats? suvs kill many more times the number of their occupants than cars. it's because they're so unstable and because there are no rules regarding cabin crush safety like there are cars. c'mon guy, get with the facts.

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You better do a bit more research, if that is what you believe, because your information is not based on facts. Only around 2% of ALL of the hundreds of thousand accidents in the US involve a rollover and the majority of rollovers are the result of striking, or being struck by something, not from instability.. The fast majority of ALL accidents are frontal collisions. The larger the vehicle the less likely properly belted passengers will be injured or killed. If a vehicles height actually made it more likely for it to rollover one should expect to see six wheel trucks rolled over on a daily basis.
mike

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On Wed, 21 Sep 2005 15:26:06 -0400, "Mike Hunter"

You should think about what you're saying. Height is not the be all and end all, neither is mass. Build a 10ft tall car made of lead. Fact is, high cars tend to kill people in the OTHER car. a frontal-colision (aka a dual front-on collision) is not the most common either - no idea where you got that preosterous notion from. Maybe a lack of research
The safer cars are ones with an integrated safety system wih full energy dissipation. I always come back to the last major accident i was in - a brand new VR6 golf hit the rear of my Volvo340 in september 2000 at the end of a british motorway. The golf was scrap, mine needed minor repairs only.
There was also a demonstrative video i saw a few months back. Showed a 4x4 hitting a regular car. a Shogun, and a civic iirc. in a side impact. Well, the high front on the shogun oblitirated the passenger compartment of the civic, then the height of the shogun rode OVER the civic, and rolled over itself. Typical of car-SUV crashes in fact (except a rear-ender). This is how nice tall vehicles roll over.
Next time, if you're going to critisize soeone saying they've not done any research, try actually doing some yourself first.

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You can choose to believe whatever you wish, you are entitled to you own opinion, I'm not going to debate someones opinion. I am a retired automotive engineer, with a degree is metallurgy. The facts concerning crash dynamics I posted where not an opinion, they are based on my experience in automobile crash dynamics gained during my thirty years as an automotive design engineer involved with body structure. I helped design those crumple zones and SRS systems. The larger the vehicle the more efficiently they do the job for which they are designed, that is to reduce the terminal speed at which ones organs strike one skeleton, referred to as the 'third collision.' The second being when ones body strikes their belt and SRS system restraints. One can not defy the laws of physics. In nine out of ten collisions the larger the vehicle the less likely proper belted passengers will be injured or killed, period. Those that hate SUVs and do not want others to drive them like to distort the facts about accidents to favor their cause. I don't own an SUV, I drive only larger RWD vehicles. From what I know I will never ride in a small FWD car just to save a few hundred dollar a year on fuel.
mike
wrote:

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Mike Hunter wrote:

since you bring up the subject of distortion; http://www.bridger.us/2002/12/16/CrashTestingMINICooperVsFordF150
didn't work for ford did you?

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I swore I wasn't going to add to the fire... but...
Mike Hunter wrote:

I agree on the not being able to defy the laws of physics.
However... so you're postulating a "mine is bigger than yours" strategy? What if you neighbor now gets a Hummer? Will you get a yet bigger vehicle? Then he gets an 18-wheeler? Then what?
This is an escalation that does not make sense. As others have pointed out, all that large vehicles do is endanger the smaller ones. As hard as it may seem, one has to think not only egoistically (because that will get all of us killed), but also consider what's around you.
I just shudder everytime I see one of those ridiculously *huge* SUVs, with one *tiny* person sitting in it, mostly on the cell phone (not paying attention to the traffic, thereby greatly increasing the risk of accidents). How dumb is that? It's not about the few hundred dollars a year of gas you save, it's about the insanity of just blowing away a finite resource that your children, and your grandchildren, and their kids will want to use, just to "make you feel safe" (Jim Beam has already touched on the "feel safe" vs. "be safe" points)

But you *would* run over those wimpy folks in their Civics, wouldn't you? The main thing is you survive?
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I am not postulating anything, simply stating a fact. Anti SUV haters aside, the larger the vehicle the less likely properly belted passengers will be injured or killed in the most common type of accidents, period. Obviously even a semi looses to a locomotive. Once again the engineer will likely fair better than the truck driver even without crumple zones. One simply can not defy the laws of physics. ;)
mike hunt

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On Thu, 22 Sep 2005 12:03:34 -0400, "Mike Hunter"

Or simple practical realities. You're quite right that in the initial impact they will sustain less injuries. HOWEVER the vehicles do ahve a tendency to roll afterwards, as they ride over smaller vehicles, causing much greater secondary injuries. As someone who's claimed to work in this field, surely you should know this fact which has been widely known and documented for over 20 years (and has been a facotr in millitary vehicle design since the late 20s)
this is why there have been postulations about an 'impact bar' of a suitable height on all vehciles, so they all impact with each other with matching strength. Problem is, where do you put the bars on an elise, and a Land rover defender, so they match?

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On Thu, 22 Sep 2005 08:02:14 GMT, A strange species called "tomb"

This has kind of diverted from my original post a bit. I think that there is a lack of understanding on both sides of the pond here.
In Britain and Europe we mainly have Smaller economical manual cars because they are ideal for and designed for our needs.
In the US they mainly have bigger automatic cars and SUVs because they are ideal for and designed for their needs.
In the UK we don't really need a big car or large engine as we don't need to do as much driving. In the States they can afford to have bigger gas guzzlers, they need them and can afford to fuel them.
I don't see what the big deal is. It is all about supply and demand and market forces. The reason the Americans probably don't think too much to a fair percentage of the cars made for our market, is because they are not suitable for theirs and it's the same vice-versa. The companies that customise cars for different markets, those cars will do well. There will only be the odd exceptions to that general rule.
One point I would like to add on this whole crash thing, I would say that the newer a car is the better it will withstand a crash against a similar sized but older car.
I seem to recall an episode of Top Gear here in the UK where they had two large 4x4 vehicles and they showed how the newest model just went straight through the older one in a crash with relatively minor damage whereas the older one was completely trashed and there could have been fatalities. That also has to be a factor in crashes from what little I know. So even if you have an SUV that may be slightly bigger than the other person on a collision course, you may come out of it worse if they have a brand new model.
One thing I like about American cars is the seat belt. I was in I think it was a Saturn, and the seat belts moved across automatically for me to plug in. Are their any cars in Britain than do this? This is a serious question. I expect it may just be some of the executive cars with things like this. This Saturn though I believe that was just one of their basic cars.
John
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On Thu, 22 Sep 2005 23:01:05 +0100, John wrote:

Not really. I'd bet 3/4 of the SUVs in this country NEVER see ANY off-road use, and prolly 1/2 of those never even see dirt roads. "I need it for winter" (buy a Subaru...or a MAtrix AWD). I want my kids to be safe (at the expense of someone in a Yugo...)
Nope...not necessary. I never saw the craze, myself. Who the hell wants to maintain a 4WD vehicle when you only really need the 4WD maybe 6 times a year? (he says after spending the weekend working on his AWD Grand Caravan... But I use my AWD van to move the amps and drums to gigs in the winter)

Then why is is, EVERY SINGLE TIME I see someone on TV bitching about gas prices, they are driving an Excursion, or an Escalade, or a Suburban?

Like the SUVs in places like NYC and LA?

Toyotas once used the Ford system, where the shoulder harness would glide into place. After hangging out the window of a Camry when my BIL started the car, I think I know why they stopped (GAG!)

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Hachiroku wrote:

75%? More like 98%+, especially those with the low profile tires and spinner rims...
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On Fri, 23 Sep 2005 07:56:51 +0000, tomb wrote:

Cruising down the Freeway in LA county? ;)
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