The reviewer of the above link sounds like an enthusiast this time but the review is still lackluster at best. Here's what I thought were some highlights:
"No question at all, for all the zip of the engine and the slickness of the six-speed gearshift, the Brera is slow by the standards of the £25,000 coupé. A Mazda RX-8 costs £2700 less and offers nearly 50bhp more. The RX-8 will also hit 60mph in a claimed 6.4sec, a massive 2.2sec ahead of the time Alfa says the Brera needs.
Even cars like the Mercedes C230 Sport Coupé and the now-defunct Audi TT 180 Quattro out-power and outperform this Brera for similar money. And we probably shouldn’t dwell too long on the fact that for an extra £500 over the likely cost of this Brera, the entry-level Nissan 350Z offers six cylinders, nearly 100 extra horsepower, a sub 6.0sec 0-60mph time and a top speed of 155mph. The Brera’s all done by 138mph. You’re going to need the small rear seats real bad to make up that kind of difference.
Alfa might argue that statistics don’t tell the whole story and it’d be right, not least because the as yet undetermined UK spec is likely to include not only electric everything and leather upholstery but also the splendid Sky View glass roof.
But there’s another issue here. With the exception of the TT, all rivals mentioned above plus both the existing and forthcoming BMW 3-series coupés and the Chrysler Crossfire have rear-wheel drive platforms.
This is not a coincidence. Whether it is because their drivers really do appreciate the advantages or whether it’s simply a marketing tool, it doesn’t really matter: the point is rear-drive sells. And as anyone who has ever so much as sat in a well-driven Alfa 75 will tell you, these guys once did rear-drive better than anyone."
If I was a regular consumer that didn't love Alfas the way I do, this article would be decisive enough for me to move on to a 3-series, RX-8, or the now out-of-production Audi TT. The article concludes on a down-note that basically says there are better cars out there for your money. Here:
"The Brera is not without its problems, the biggest being the self-inflicted price-point that means it’s going to be outgunned by almost all its serious opponents. But I see it as further progress in the rehabilitation of a brand that means more to more of us than its size or significance in the global market should ever warrant.
I believe that Alfa Romeo is a marque that, like Lotus, like Jaguar and even like MG, inspires an almost irrational fervour among car enthusiasts that it should succeed. And I believe that, despite all the poor product and questionable quality that’s gone before, if you give us a good Alfa, we will buy it.
And make no mistake, the Brera is a good Alfa. Not a great one, mind, but a decent step in the right direction. Think about where Alfa was 10 years ago and then look at cars like the 159 and Brera. These aren’t class leaders, but they are at last serious contenders."
Last edited by Aghevli; 11-26-2005 at 07:39 AM.