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Alfa Romeo 147 GTA 2004 Review

Think rabid greyhound, itching to get off the leash and take a chunk out of the nearest piece of meat and you start to get the picture.

The high performance version of the Alfa 147 is just about the most fun you can have in hatch and one of two cars that can lay claim to the hot hatch crown.

The other is VW's limited edition Golf R32 that boasts a similar profile on paper.

But for our money we reckon the GTA has the edge.

 

  • styling is dramatic and even more in your face than the standard car with the addition of a body kit and 17 inch wheels.
  • engine is a race tuned 3.2-litre V6 that pumps out 184kW of power (that's 250bhp) at 6200rpm and a maximum 300Nm of torque at 4800rpm. To put that in perspective, it's about the same power that a six cylinder Ford Falcon generates, but in the compact dimensions of hatch that weighs 1360kg.
  • it has a fabulous note and you'll find yourself driving around with the windows down just to listen from the engine. The roar from the purposeful twin tailpipes is not lost on others either.
  • performance is impressive but marred by pronounced torque steer as the front tyres scrabble for traction. Yes, it's front wheel drive but don't let that put you off, because there is a sophisticated VDC stability control system.
  • it's one of the least interventionist traction systems that we have driven, but it is still a case of hang on tight and wrestle with the wheel as the car rips from rest to 100km/h in 6.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 246km/h.
  • low, mid and high range acceleration is very strong, with enough torque from the big six to dawdle in just about any gear. It'll even go up hill in top if you don't feel like changing down.
  • transmission is six speed manual although a Selespeed auto is also available. If you fancy your driving, you will want to stick with the manual, with close ratios and a short, smooth easy to use action.
  • the independent suspension is rock hard and the first time you hit a pothole you'll think the car is about to self destruct. It's the price you pay for the sticky handling and most buyers will happily live with it.
  • the price you pay for performance is a thirst. Fuel consumption is listed as 18.1L/100km around town, dropping to a low of 8.8L/100km on the highway, with a claimed overall figure of 12.1L/100km. It drinks premium and prefers the good stuff.
  • during our test the computer showed 15.3L/100km – the overall impression is clouded by a small 66-litre tank that at this rate doesn't leave much change from 400km.
  • beefy brakes are 305mm ventilated front discs with dual pump Brembo calipers and 276 mm rear discs, with ABS and electronic brake force distribution.
  • terrible turning circle.
  • as well as the performance you get a great looking car with luxury appointments. Standard equipment includes highback sport buckets, xenon headlights, climate air, lots of airbags, eight speaker sound system.

Pricing guides

$4,850
Based on 4 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$3,921
Highest Price
$4,850

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
2.0 Twin Spark 2.0L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $2,400 – 4,070 2004 Alfa Romeo 147 2004 2.0 Twin Spark Pricing and Specs
GTA 3.2L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $4,500 – 7,260 2004 Alfa Romeo 147 2004 GTA Pricing and Specs
GTA Selespeed 3.2L, PULP, 6 SP $5,000 – 7,700 2004 Alfa Romeo 147 2004 GTA Selespeed Pricing and Specs
Selespeed 2.0L, PULP, 5 SP $2,400 – 4,070 2004 Alfa Romeo 147 2004 Selespeed Pricing and Specs