It started all those years ago; back in spring of 2013 when I was a wee 19 year old, my hunt for the perfect first car was underway. I looked at Punto's, C1's, Astras, Mazda3's, Lancers and more (except for Corolla's & Golf's) all under about $8000, nothing really excited me, until I keyword searched 'Alfa Romeo 147' and 'Under $8,000' then I found it, a 2004 Alfa Romeo 147 Ti, I took it for a drive.. it was 'da one.
Growing up I always loved the 156 and 147 series cars, I never imagined owning one though.
Now i'm on my second Alfa Romeo 147, a 2010 which was for sale on the other side of Victoria at a pretty good price. Long story short, I got an amzing trade in price for my other 147 and couldn't say no. I paid about $4-5000 after changeover with full leather, sunroof and 68,000km.
My current car is a Selespeed, which personally I love. it's tight, fast and evolving unlike more modern single and dual clutch units.
I think i'm qualified enough to comment on reliabilty and durabilty of these 147's as i've travelled over 70000km in the two years of driving them. Generally speaking (as a working 20 year old student with a budget of about $3.85), I've found that they've been pretty great compared to some of my friends similarly priced (And not so well cared for) German and Japanese cars. Sure, I had one rather *traumatising* experience on punt road at peak hour, however this wasn't a fault of the car but due to human error on a recent service, however, everything was warranted through FCA. I've done plenty of long trips through remote areas with rough roads and smooth dual carriageways and i've never felt nervous taking it out of the main cities.
As for the negatives; My anxiety levels skyrocket in shopping centre carparks around christmas time because of the stupidly huge turning circle. Of course, this is what gives the car such good character on the winding roads.
I've never felt the services prices are excessive through Dealers or Alfa Romeo specialists, it doesn't need servicing too often either, nor does it require oil top ups between services. However, they can be very picky on which oils are used, I tend to use a lighter fully synthetic 10w40 oil most of the year except summer where i'll use a full synthetic 10w60 (As Alfa Romeo recommends), my car just doesnt feel or sound right using the Selenia dealer oil, nor does it like any of your Shells and Castrol's. Intrestingly, the same goes for brands of petrol as well and octane, sure I sometimes top up using 95, but the car will often ping and won't purr unlike using a 98.