In-depth Reviews

Alfa Romeo Brera coupe (2005-2010)

“Stunning to look at but not so great to drive, the Alfa Romeo Brera turns heads wherever it goes.”

Carbuyer Rating

2.2 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.5 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Gorgeous looks
  • Great choice of engines
  • Big boot

Cons

  • Not that cheap to buy or run
  • Not as fun to drive as its rivals
  • Cramped rear seats

Alfa Romeo’s Brera combines all the right ingredients to make the perfect coupé, with a gorgeous design and the promise of good performance from a wide range of engines. We think it's even better to look at than the Audi TT, but despite this the Brera remains a rare sight in the UK.

Its relatively high price and Alfa’s legacy of poor reliability count against it, as does its ultimate lack of driver appeal. Even so, diesel versions are cheap to run, while the petrol models are fast.

When producton of the Spider ceased, it was never directly replaced. However, Alfa Romeo has released a 4C sports car. Read our review here.

MPG, running costs & CO2

The 3.2-litre V6 is very expensive to run

The cheapest of the Brera's petrol engines to run is the 1.7-litre TBi, which will return 34.9mpg and emits 189g/km of CO2, so it costs £225 per year to tax. The 2.2-litre JTS version costs an extra £10 in road tax and will average 30.7mpg, while the 3.2-litre V6 is very expensive to run - it returns 25.7mpg and emits 260g/km of CO2, which means an annual road tax bill of £425.

Diesels are more affordable, as the 2.0-litre JTDm will average 52.3mpg and costs £115 per year to tax, while the 2.2 JTDm returns 41.5mpg and emissions of 179g/km mean the annual road tax disc costs £190.

Engines, drive & performance

The Brera never really feels comfortable at speed

We’d recommend the 1.7 TBi petrol engine or 2.0-litre JTD turbodiesel for their mix of performance and sensible running costs. The V6 petrol option makes a nice noise, but you’ll pay for that at the pumps and really, the Brera never really feels comfortable at speed - even with Q4 four-wheel drive.

The ride is firm and the steering accurate, but not even the sportiest S version feels as exciting to drive as rivals are.

Interior & comfort

Tall drivers will struggle for space

Wind and road noise are not intrusive, so the standard Brera is a quiet cruiser - and has a surprisingly comfortable ride for a sporty coupé. The limited edition S model is a bit firmer, to the detriment of comfort.

The front seats are supportive, but tall drivers may struggle for space, as the Alfa's seat doesn't adjust to a low enough position. Legroom in the back is very tight, so the rear seats are only really suitable for children.

Practicality & boot space

The boot's unusual space makes it tricky to load

There's very little storage space inside, but at least the Alfa Romeo Brera has a bigger boot than a lot of coupés on sale. At 300 litres, it's only trumped by the BMW 1 Series Coupé, which has a 370-litre boot.

The unusual shape of the rear hatchback means that loading can be difficult. There's a lip that extends quite a long way out from the boot itself.

Reliability & safety

The Brera's interior feels quite robust

Alfa Romeo reliability has been questionable in the past, but the Brera's interior feels quite robust - and represents a significant improvement over Alfas of old. Alfa Romeo did not take part in the 2010 JD Power survey. Warranty is set at three years, but there is no mileage limit, which is a bold move from Alfa.

Price, value for money & options

Second hand values are not very strong

The Brera is quite expensive, especially when compared to rivals like the Mazda RX-8. It represents better value than the Audi TT though, which is slightly pricier. Residual values for the Alfa Romeo are not the best around, especially for the powerful petrol-engined models, but diesels hold onto their value better.

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