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Alfa Romeo Brera (2007)

by Russell Manning,reviewed August 2007

Up until now, if you wanted a self-shifting Alfa Romeo, you had to opt for a quirky Selespeed transmission, which is a manual gearbox with a complicated automated shift mechanism.

But Alfa's new all-wheel-drive (AWD), 3.2-litre Brera for the first time comes with the option of a 'proper' automatic.

The Japanese transmission is tucked between the Australian engine, a Torsen centre differential and an AWD system, which delivers 57% of the drive to the rear and 43% to the front wheels.

The 3.2-litre V6 engine, while sharing its lineage with the current Holden Commodore, has been heavily worked on by Alfa. Its new features, including Alfa designed heads, direct injection and variable timing of the inlet and exhaust camshafts, give a level of performance not found in the parent engine.

On the road, Brera feels every bit of its hefty 1630 kg. It's a bit slow off the mark and heavy on fuel when pushed, but its road-holding impresses. Steering is precise and nicely weighted and its big Brembo brakes work well.

The new transmission works well enough, shifts are crisp and positive, however the shift pattern tends to become a bit irregular in the cut and thrust of city traffic. The transmission's bias towards sporty driving is obvious, and it will often hold gears for much longer than would ordinarily be warranted.

Low-speed ride is firm and every pothole and bump is noticeable, while the exhaust is loud, even inside, and soon becomes annoying.

Brera rates fairly well for practicality. Its doors are large and access to the power-operated, heated front seats is reasonably good. However, the rear seat is small and narrow, headroom is limited and rear legroom is almost non-existent.

Rear visibility is restricted due to the large rear pillar and parking can be a potentially hazardous exercise.

At almost $91 000 Brera doesn't come cheap, but you do get a heap of standard equipment for your money. Seven airbags, stability control, bi-xenon headlights and a full length glass sunroof, quality sound system and leather trim are among the standard features.

Alpha Romeo Brera 2007

For

Performance, handling, standard equipment

Against

Limited rear seat space, temporary use spare wheel, interior noise level

Car Details

Vehicle make Alfa Romeo
Vehicle model Brera
Vehicle type Luxury Sports
Year 2007
Price when new $90 990 plus on roads MLP
Current price range $ - $
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Technical advice

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Engine 3.2 litre V6. Twin cam, 24 valves
Max power 191 kW@6300 rpm
Max torque 322 Nm@4500 rpm
Acceleration to 100 km/h 8.1 seconds
Braking from 80 km/h 25.8 m
Capacity (ADR FIGURE): 11.5 litres/100 km

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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.