Caught in the classifieds: 2008 Alfa Romeo Brera JTDM
Because I spent the last few weeks highlighting expensive BMW ‘M’ cars, for today’s “Caught in the Classifieds” article, I wanted to switch things up a bit. As such, instead of highlighting something German, Japanese, or even American, I went for the gusto and decided to showcase some Italian beauty. Everyone, I give you the Alfa Romeo Brera.
Making its debut in 2005, the Brera was Alfa Romeo’s answer to Audi’s TT and Nissan’s 350Z. It was introduced as a mid-sized GT car, with Alfa themselves calling it a 2+2 Coupe. It never had the same sporty credentials cars like the Porsche Cayman or the Nissan 350Z had, but it did have gorgeous Italian styling and a real sense of character and charm.
It only remained in production for 5 years, with Alfa building some 21,000 examples of the coupe and 12,500 examples of the roadster (called the Spider). Because I personally love the coupe-shaped derivative, I’ve decided to highlight a rather wonderful Brera with just 83,000 miles. These cars were relatively affordable new, but given how quickly Alfas tank in value, it’s a surprise Breras held their value as good as they did. This particular example can be had for just under £4,700, and I strongly suspect it’ll hold its resale value quite well for the foreseeable future. So then, if you’re in the market for a fun coupe and only have £5k to play with, should you consider a Brera?
Visually, the Brera is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous cars in its class. The Porsche Cayman was never a particularly good-looking car, especially the first-gen, and I think we can all agree the Audi TT has a somewhat ‘feminine’ design (even though it’s actually a brilliant car). By comparison, the Brera was styled by none other than Giorgetto Giugiaro, the man responsible for classics such as the DMC DeLorean, the Maserati Ghibli, and let’s not forget the original Mk1 Volkswagen Golf.
From the front, the Brera is almost identical to its four-door sibling, the 159. It has the same front fascia, including the same lights and the same grille. That being said, I think the 159 is one of the most amazing-looking saloons built to date, only second to Alfa’s latest saloon endeavour, the Giulia. I love how different the Brera looks to anything the Germans were building back in the mid-to-late 2000s. The front headlights consist of six different circular shrouds, three on either side. The small triangular grille follows a long tradition of classic Alfa Romeo design, making the car instantly recognizable as an Alfa.
Where things get really exciting though, are at the back, where the Brera is distinctly different from the 159. The Brera’s posterior is enormous, making the car seem sportier than it actually is, but we’ll get to its performance in a second. As an object to look at, I find the rear 3/4 view of the Brera to be in a class of its own. I don’t care that the quad exhausts are overkill for a diesel GT car because, at the end of the day, you buy an Alfa for its looks over anything else.
Inside, the Brera feels amazingly luxurious given its age. I know Alfa’s build quality isn’t the best, but Breras seem to hold up just fine. The cabin is spacious and roomy for a car of this size, and even though the back seats are next to useless, they’re still better than the ones you’d find on an Audi TT.
The driving position is pretty good too. The steering wheel is the correct size and shape, and I particularly love the gear stick and its placement. The pedals aren’t exactly perfectly positioned for heel-and-toe, but because this is a diesel Brera, you don’t really need them to be. All in all, the inside of a Brera is a lovely place to spend time in. The materials are soft and plush, the dials are super clear, and the sound system is half-decent.
Engine and Performance
Although you were able to buy a Brera with a 3.2-litre V6 back in the day, not many people opted for one because the fuel economy was terrible and it wasn’t a lot quicker than the flagship diesel. As such, most Breras currently on the road have a 2.4-litre five-cylinder diesel producing anywhere between 200 and 210 horsepower and 295 and 325 lb-ft of torque, depending on model year.
Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual. The sprint to 62 mph takes 7.9 seconds and flat out it’ll do an honest 143 mph. I know those figures aren’t particularly impressive, especially for a car that looks as aggressive as the Brera, but I do think it feels quicker than the stats would have you believe.
The chassis can’t hold a candle to the 350Z’s, and the engine feels gutless at higher speeds, but consider this: a diesel Brera can easily return over 45 mpg on a run, whereas a 350Z will struggle to top 25. I know I’m comparing apples to oranges here, but if you’re buying a sub £10k sporty coupe, chances are you’re not looking to waste money on petrol bills.
Model: Alfa Romeo Brera
Trim: 2.4 JTDM
If all you’re interested in is a sporty-looking coupe, why would you even look at something like a 350Z or a Porsche Cayman? The Brera has them both licked when it comes to design, and it doesn’t drive half-bad too. A 350Z will always show it a clean pair of heels, but a 350Z doesn’t even have back seats. If you don’t have a massive budget and want something economical, cheap to run, and great to look at, I’d skip looking at anything else and just get a Brera instead. Grab yourself one now by heading to DesperateSeller.co.uk where you’ll find loads of perfect used Alfa Romeo Brera cars for sale
DesperateSeller.co.uk: 8 out of 10