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Alfa Romeo 147 Ti 2006 review

While it falls short in key areas, it is still a great piece of eye candy and one that's a hoot to drive.

While it falls short in key areas, it is still a great piece of eye candy and one that's a hoot to drive.

While the 156 on which the 147 is based is about to be supplanted by the new 159, it won't be until at least 2008 before we receive a replacement for the hatch.

In the meantime, Alfa has spiced up the range with the release of a special Ti edition, a moniker that is sure to bring back memories for followers of the marque.

The Ti or TI in the strictest sense of the term stands for Turismo Internazionale and is the mark of a car designed for the young at heart.

Who for instance could forget the remarkable Alfasud Ti of the '70s?

For an extra $4000, the three-door Ti delivers Ti embossed alloys, a roof mounted rear wing, top of the range sports seats and specially stitched leather.

Trimmed in light grey with fine red stitching, the same treatment is also used on the door trims.

The gear knob and steering wheel also get the leather treatment and black cloth roof lining completes the picture.

The wing comes courtesy of the heaving hitting GTA.

What the Ti doesn't get is the more sophisticated 2.0-litre JTS engine that is fitted to the 156 which is itself about to be superseded.

It makes do with the original Twin Spark four that develops 110kw of power at 6300rpm and 181Nm of torque at 3800rpm.

As its name suggests it features two spark plugs per cylinder for more efficient combustion.

With variable valve timing, the JTS engine with variable valve timing delivers superior power, performance and economy 121kW and 206Nm of torque.

The Ti is available with a choice of a five-speed manual or a Selespeed sequential manual gearbox.

Our test vehicle was the five-speed manual, with a short, sharp change that enthusiasts will love.

The car comes with Alfa's signature exhaust note, with a spring to its step that transforms the chore of commuting.

Although it remains front-wheel drive, the 147 responds quickly and accurately to input from the driver, with cornering limitations that the average driver is unlikely to exceed.

Rougher roads, however, are a test of the car's front suspension limits, particularly its ability to soak up bumps without affecting traction and/or steering.

The car takes premium fuel with fuel consumption a claimed 9.3L/100k. We averaged 10.2L.

Standard equipment includes six airbags, ABS brakes and electronic stability control.

There's also twin air, fully featured trip computer with distance to empty and a high-quality eight-speaker CD sound system with steering wheel audio controls.

Alfa Romeo 147 Ti is priced $39,990 for the manual and $42,990 for the Selespeed clutchless manual version.

Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

2.0 Twin Spark 2.0L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $2,600 – 4,510 2006 Alfa Romeo 147 2006 2.0 Twin Spark Pricing and Specs
GTA 3.2L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $4,500 – 7,260 2006 Alfa Romeo 147 2006 GTA Pricing and Specs
GTA Selespeed 3.2L, PULP, 6 SP $5,000 – 7,700 2006 Alfa Romeo 147 2006 GTA Selespeed Pricing and Specs
JTD 1.9L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $2,800 – 4,840 2006 Alfa Romeo 147 2006 JTD Pricing and Specs