Car Reviews - Alfa Romeo 146

1997 Alfa Romeo 146
Reviewed 20 Jan 2009

Great car to drive, when it's going.

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2000 Alfa Romeo 146
Reviewed 07 Jun 2008

I loved mine, but....crash one and see! The car is based on a Fiat Tipo floor plan designed back in the early to mid 1980's so effectivley it has the safety rating of a paper bag. A 30kph front corner impact twisted and bent mine into a scrapyard beyond recovery. Handles great and looks super even though if a bit girly. But avoid it. Its too old and it will cost you. Once an Alfa hits 5 years its value skyrockets like a hammer trying to fly. The only 146/145 worth buying now is the cloverleaf TS and that is just for enthusiasts. Buy the much better safer and peppier 147.

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1999 Alfa Romeo 146
Reviewed 31 Oct 2006

There is nothing else on the road that can offer the looks, performance or handling for such little money. I get between 32 to 43 mpg whilst having more fun on quiet roundabouts and back roads than is allowed. People harp on about reliability and probably with some justification, but, if you get a good one you will be continually delighted. There is 51k up on the clock on mine and according to two seperate garages it should do another 50k miles fairly hassle free. The 146 has a few other things going for it. It is an extremely practical shape and even if the car is fully loaded the 4 disc brakes stop the car just as well as when you're on your own. The interior feels a little cheap but nothing actually brakes off and the heater fan is brilliant for a car without air conditioning. I wouldn't recommend going to an Alfa dealer for servicing because they will insist on using Alfa spark plugs etc. The car works just as well on spurious consumables for a fraction of the price. However, running costs are surprisingly low. Having done 13,000 miles in mine so far, the tyres still look untouched, the brakes are "good for another 2 services" and apart from a slightly thirsty engine if you have a heavy right foot its cheap. Tax and insurance costs for the level of performance is an absolute steal. This car has Italian quirks, looks and performance. It itches to be driven like any good sports hatch. I will be buying another Alfa soon, and can not see myself being swayed by any other make. Jeremy Clarkson recently wrote that "you aren't a real driver until you've owned an Alfa Romeo". You won't understand what he means until you drive one.

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