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Competitors

You can see how this car fares against its competitors by clicking on the car's name below.

Audi A3
4.5 stars

BMW 1 Series
4.5 stars

Lexus CT200h
3 stars

Mercedes A Class
3 stars

Mini Countryman
3 stars

Volkswagen Eos
3 stars

Volvo C30
3 stars

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Alfa Romeo 147

Alfa Romeo 147

Rating

3 stars

Quick Summary

Recommended. Great to look at, great to drive and solidly constructed. Keen pricing and excellent performance makes the baby Alfa a very strong contender in the premium hatchback sector.

Full Road Test

Getting old, but gracefully - the 147 is one of the best-looking hatchbacks out there. It still drives well, too, although Alfa's claims that it's a rival for cars like the Audi A3 and BMW 1-series are wide of the mark. Based on the same chassis as the recently replaced 156, the 147 cruises well at speed and puts in a spirited performance on country roads. The cost of this is a very firm ride, which can get crashy over rougher urban surfaces.
The well-designed cabin is one of the 147's best features - featuring a sporty seating position and deeply-cowled 'sixties style instruments. On the downside it's not particularly spacious, and rear seat passengers will struggle to see out of the high windows.
All engines offer spirited performance, although the basic 1.6 litre Twin Spark needs to be revved relatively hard for overtaking punch. Fortunately it sounds brilliant, so you won't really mind. The larger 2.0 litre petrol engine gives brisk performance at the cost of poor fuel economy - higher-mileage buyers will prefer to opt for the 1.9 litre diesel option in either 120 bhp or 150 bhp states of tune. The clunky semi-automatic "Selespeed" transmission is worth avoiding.
The range-topping V6-powered GTA looks good, sounds brilliant and goes like stink thanks to its 250 bhp 3.2 litre engine. Sadly, it's case fades when corners approach - the big engine making it feel front-heavy and unwieldy.

Next: Full Road Test