RE: Alfa Romeo Brera: Spotted

RE: Alfa Romeo Brera: Spotted

Saturday 22nd December 2018

Alfa Romeo Brera: Spotted

A used Alfa need not be a worry these days; consider the unappreciated Brera



The wonderful thing about the original Alfasud - a car whose name lives on in legend long after the majority of them have rotted away - is simply that once you had used up all its roadholding, which was not much and therefore did not take long, you got to enjoy its sweetly balanced handling, with which no contemporary rival could compete.

Because it was all happening at such low speed, it was so easy to control in an all-square drift your grandmother could have caught it, and it was repeatable at every roundabout again and again and again. Or until the car fell apart. Whichever was the sooner. I know this, because I owned several of them. Indeed my first car was an Alfasud. It went, like most of the Alfas I've owned, away on a transporter to a scrap yard, once I'd used it up and worn it out.


Nowadays, people have much more feeling for an old car's potential worth, and are prepared to invest a bit of money to keep it going. The bodywork is usually stronger, too, so the dreaded rust isn't quite so much of a death sentence as it was to those old Italian motors, and parts for modern variants are usually easier to get hold of, being shared with other more mainstream models.

So we shouldn't run scared from a twelve-year-old Alfa Romeo, even this Brera with 91,000 miles on the clock. It is at its heart a 159, sharing its platform (albeit on a shorter wheelbase) and wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension, and we don't run away from those, do we?


This one conceals under its curvy bonnet the familiar 182hp 2.2-litre twin-cam petrol engine, sourced from GM which, while not exactly a powerhouse, has enough oomph to push the Brera from a standstill to 60mph in around 8 seconds. It'll do 138mph too, fresh out of the box, but those after more power can seek out the V6 version, or the rare and highly sought-after Prodrive 'S' car, with its trick suspension and lighter alloys.

Be warned that timing chains can be an issue with these early petrol-engined cars, though, so it's worth checking the service history very carefully. Rust is only a real problem in the front subframe, but any car of this age will need checking out all over. This one has a high mileage but a full and comprehensive service history, and a long MOT.


On the road, you'll find the Brera is an agile, fluid and rewarding drive, helped by that quick Alfa steering rack. Sure, there are more modern machines that handle a whole lot better, and plenty that are faster in a straight line, but none carry that wonderfully exotic badge and cost buttons to buy. Purists complained at the time it wasn't a true Alfa, while others said it was dull to drive - and both have a point - but as a thing, a thing to buy at this price level and show off to your friends and drive down a winding country lane with the blood rushing through the veins, this could well be a tempting and unmatched proposition. I think there's a fair chance it won't end up on the back of a transporter to a scrap yard, either.

Mark Pearson


SPECIFICATION - ALFA ROMEO BRERA

Engine: 2198cc, inline four
Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 182@6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 170@4,500rpm
MPG: 30.7
CO2: 218g/km
First registered: 2006
Recorded mileage: 91,000
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £3,850

See the full ad here.

Author
Discussion

Nerdherder

Original Poster:

397 posts

34 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
One of the least attractive Alfa’s to my eyes. Pass.

Cold

5,941 posts

27 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
Funny looking thing.

Turbotechnic

395 posts

13 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
Great looking car but it's such a shame Alfa Romeo got into bed with GM and put GM engine and gearboxes in these. That car deserves a Busso V6!

aston addict

191 posts

95 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
And forget about fitting in it if you’re anywhere near 6’....

Hub

4,031 posts

135 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
Everyone gushed about the Brera when it came out, but in hindsight the GT is a better looker and a better drive. I still like it from the front, but it is otherwise blobby and overweight.
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jumare

272 posts

86 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
As an 159 owner (1.9 JTDm), they have their faults water pump (£1,000 repairs), gearbox (£1,200 repairs) and check the front sub-frame.

I'd have one, more practical than the GT and I like the looks, but the wife would kill me if I get another Alfa.

Gompo

3,748 posts

195 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
Like many cars, after the initial disappointment of expectation (prototype) and reality; the looks have definitely improved over time. I've seen a very nice dark grey with grey wheels example the last couple of days.

I do often look at them in the classifieds, my pick would probably be the turbocharged version - although I've not driven any.

seiben

1,583 posts

71 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
We just got rid of a Prodrive 3.2 Brera after 18 months. It was fking st.

ETA: I feel I should justify this a tad more. It was... overwhelmingly disappointing. The engine was bland and too quiet, even with the Prodrive pipes. The ride was unbearable, coupled with the (admittedly lovely looking) 19" wheels which appeared to be made of cheese meant they were welded up and straightened on at least 3 occasions. It also had an insatiable appetite for suspension components, the exhaust had a rattle we could not locate, the wing mirrors delaminated, the heating system had a complete mind of its own, and you couldn't use the handbrake in winter as it would have frozen on by the next morning. Oh, and the drivers window dropped giving horrendous wind noise (and it leaked), the timing chain tensioner started to rattle on startup, the leather dash peeled itself apart and it suffered horrendous torque steer on anything but a glass smooth road.

All this on a relatively low mileage car with full service history which should, in theory, have been a good one. It should have been so much better than it was. I was thrilled to see the back of it and I would recommend them to nobody.

Edited by seiben on Saturday 22 December 16:03

Pooh

3,059 posts

190 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
I had a mildly tweaked 2.2 Brera S and loved it, it was not hugely fast but faster than the 0-60 suggests because it had a close ratio box and couldn't hit 60 in second. It handled very well with masses of front end grip, it could carry a lot of speed into and through a corner.
I did 105k miles, mostly on Perthshire A roads and enjoyed every minute of it. It was very well built, no squeaks or rattles and nothing broke or fell off. It was very reliable, other than normal consumables, it had 1 lambda probe, 1 suspension bush and a new cam chain at 96k miles which is pretty good.
The Prodrive versions where lighter than the rest, my car weighed around 1440kg which is not to bad for such a big, solid car with full leather, electric seats, glass roof etc.

This is my car after I traded it for a vastly inferior Honda and Amari bought it from an auction.






It looks great for a car that has done 105k miles of very Italian style driving. biggrin


Edited by Pooh on Saturday 22 December 10:40

kambites

55,583 posts

158 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
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I never understood the love for these. The 159 looks lovely but the Brera is just such an ungainly blob of a car.

MikeyC

450 posts

164 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
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Prefered the spider version (even better if they had done a ProDrive version tho')
getmecoat

alec.e

1,036 posts

61 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
I think they still look great imo!

A friend at college had a 2.4 one, mapped, went really well, but he managed to destroy the headgasket and quickly PXed it for a MX5, which also blew up...

Helicopter123

4,887 posts

93 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
Stunning looking car, average drive, typical Alfa Romeo!

You would need to be dead from the waist down not to want one.

Russian Troll Bot

19,468 posts

164 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
The concept car looked amazing, the production one very similar, yet somehow ended up looking far worse.

fernando the frog

62 posts

5 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
the spider is much better looking

Cold

5,941 posts

27 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
Helicopter123 said:
You would need to be dead from the waist down not to want one.
Ah yes. It's all about the knee lust when it comes to Italian cars.

jsc15

735 posts

145 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
I owned 2 of these, both red and bought with low mileage when a couple of years old, initially a 57 plate 3.2 V6, then a 59 plate 2.2 with various Prodrive bits (but not the full Prodrive kit)

I really regret selling both of them. The V6 was a lovely thing, but made me on first-name terms with the service bloke at the local Alfa dealer. The 2.2 had the full 19" teledial alloys but lacked the oomph of the V6 (obviously), and had the pano roof but blanked off inside, causing much confusion. I'm 6ft1 and got in them comfortably, though only munchkins can go in the back

WN57LUB and SM59LPZ, where art thou now

Gazgsxr600

1 posts

1 month

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
I recently bought a gorgeous red Brera and on a recent trip To Chester I had a group of Chinese tourist taking pictures of it, so those of you who think they are ugly take a look in the mirror and think again

deltashad

6,611 posts

134 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
A friend of mine just bought one in Romania for trading. He deals with low cost or American cars, I always liked then from new. They have the cool factor .. nice

aaron_2000

2,318 posts

20 months

Saturday 22nd December 2018
quotequote all
Gazgsxr600 said:
I recently bought a gorgeous red Brera and on a recent trip To Chester I had a group of Chinese tourist taking pictures of it, so those of you who think they are ugly take a look in the mirror and think again
What an odd first post. Although I agree, they're far from ugly cars.