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One of my favourite rock climbs in Langdale was called Revelation, a 60 metre pillar of rock that kept you thinking and interested all the way to the top. At several different places you'd have to really search for the holds, and lo and behold - just when it was needed you'd find one, hence the name Revelation. Now I'm going to confess that I have never driven an Alfa before, but this 147 has proved to be just like that rock climb - a revelation!

Yes, I'd heard people say how wonderful Alfas were to drive, and how this would make up for any deficiencies they might have. I'd also heard people say how unreliable they were, and how they'd have any car except an Italian one. If you're told something often enough it starts to become the truth, and the reputation of the Alfa went before it, but was it the truth?

In part yes - because it is a truly fantastic car to drive. The first thing that struck me was how comfortable the seat was - it's big and just feels right - probably the most comfortable car seat I have been in. The engine is the 150bhp diesel. It's quick, smooth and has lots of torque. Very impressive. Add to this a 6-speed gearbox and light, but positive handling and you have a car that is a delight to drive. So that part of the reputation is true....but what about the reliability issues? Well,I checed out the owner's reliability index and it comes in at a surprisingly high score - plenty high enough to kick into touch the theory that they are unreliable.

Would I recommend this car to you - absolutely not - I want to keep it for myself......

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