The Alfa Romeo’s history is plagued with an enormous quantity of successful cars. One of them is the 2001 147, unveiled at the 2000 Turin Motor Show as a replacement of the 145 and 146 hatchbacks. It was produced for ten years, making it one of the oldest small family cars on sale in Europe.
The peak of the 147 was reached between 2001 and 2002, being awarded multiple times. The most important accolade? The European Car of the Year in 2001, especially thanks to its handling, performance, and sporty aesthetic.
The 147 was intended to be a sporty car to compete with champions like Golf GTi and BMW 1 Series. For that time, from both outside and inside, it was a stylish hatchback. Its only flaw was the elevated running cost and the driving, which had a really firm and kind-of-uncomfortable drive experience comparing it with the competence.
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Let’s review this Italian styling car.
Powertrains and Performance
Four engine options were available in that time, two petrol and two diesel powerplants. The smallest were a 1.6 L TS with 118 horsepower at 6200 rpm and 108 lb-ft of torque at 4200 rpm.The acceleration is average, going from standstill to 60 mph in 10.6 seconds and reaching a top speed of 115 mph.
The other petrol engine were a 2.0 L TS producing up to 148 horsepower at 6300 rpm and 133 lb-ft of torque at 3800 rpm. The acceleration was enhanced but not that much, going from standstill to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds and hitting a top speed of 129 mph.
The diesel engine was a 1.9 L JTD 8V producing 99 horsepower at 4000 rpm and 150 lb-ft of torque at 1750 rpm making it accelerate from standstill to 60 mph in 12.1 seconds and reaching a top speed of 114 mph. Another 1.9 L JTD 8V was available but, this time, producing up to 113 horsepower at 4000 rpm and 203 lb-ft of torque at 2000 rpm, making it accelerate from standstill to 60 mph in 9.9 seconds.
Alfa Romeo offered a hardcore performance edition, with a petrol engine of 3.2 L GTA V6 producing 247 horsepower at 6200 rpm and 220 lb-ft of torque at 4800rpm. The performance was exhilarating and it was capable of accelerate from standstill to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.
Design Line and Interior
The 147 was pure Italian styling. The hatchback exterior was highly admired due its athletic stance. The front fascia was sexy with tons of air intakes and the typical triangle, tiny grille with horizontal oval headlights. From sideways, the car delivers a sporty sensation with a low center of gravity that reveals its impressive handling. From the rear, the same formula is repeated: oval taillights with a sporty and sexy angles.
Once in the interior, the cockpit was stylish, unfortunately with hard and scratchy plastics. The seats were comfortable and the position of the driver seat enhanced even more the handling and comfortableness of the 147. The front seats counted with a lot of space in both leg and headroom, but we can’t tell the same about the back row. The equipment for the 2001 147 was excellent but quite standard for its segment. Nothing to highlight, really.
The Bottom Line for the classic 147
The 147 was really successful during that period, highlighting an incredible Italian styling with plenty options for enhanced performance. The running cost was too expensive but the price-value was competitive. Don’t expect for this car the most comfortable ride or even the best in its class in terms of equipment. It’s still a good deal if you want to get a 147.
Don’t expect from this car the most comfortable ride or even the best in its class. It’s still a good deal these modern days if you want to get a 147. You can buy one really cheap and enjoy the good old days of Alfa. The major upside down will be the expenses in gas. It’s up to you.
Starting price at US$17.000.