Alfa Romeo 145 Cloverleaf
Cost new: £14.484. Value now: £3000
A rorty little hatchback with bags of 2.0-litre twin-cam charm is just the thing for Nathan
Only a few years ago, £1000 would bag you a 145 Cloverleaf. Those days – and most of the cars brought into the UK – have long gone. There are just 98 taxed cars left here, and this example is particularly tempting.
Yes, it’s three grand, but with so few remaining in decent order, this represents good value compared with other similarly aged hot hatches.
It's done 112,000 miles too but it looks good for its age. There are a few parking dings, some rubbing marks on the wings, and some minor scratches and blemishes, but the cosmetics will be sorted before the car is sold. The alloy wheels are in good nick, and the tyres have plenty of tread remaining.
The interior shows some light wear ,which matches the mileage. It wouldn’t take much to put it right. There’s cloth coming away on the passenger door, and some marks on the cloth seats. The passenger sill cover has a crack in it, and the steering wheel rim is worn. There’s a little ‘lifting’ on the dashboard mid-section and some scratches on the door moulding, but the original Sony cassette stereo is a nice touch.
The car’s just been freshly serviced, with its belts replaced. There’s some service history to go with it too. The view under the bonnet is clean and tidy, and all of the fluids are up to their maximum marks.
If you’ve never driven a 145 Cloverleaf, you're in for a treat. 150bhp may not sound much, but it’s only got 1200kg to move. It accelerates with the vigour of a much larger car. There’s some torque steer to contend with if you hoof it, but it only adds to the giggle factor.
The Twin Spark engine isn’t blessed with huge dollops of torque, but it revs keenly with a properly exciting rasp. The five-speed gearbox is silkily smooth and positive, making it easy to keep the engine on the boil.
In the best Italian tradition, the steering is sharp yet also light. Chuck it into a corner and the wheel fizzes with front-end feedback. The suspension’s compliant too. Noticeable body roll is again all part of the fun. We didn’t hear or feel any rattles or noises through the steering or drivetrain, and the brakes were sharp yet predictable.
The 145 is a design you’ll either love or hate, but if you’re down with its angular form and fancy some high-revving thrills then this is a good place to start. With so few decent examples left this is well worth a look.
Alfa Romeo 145 Cloverleaf
Mileage 112,000 miles
On sale at Auto Sportive: 07771 703595
Engine 1970cc, 4-cyl, DOHC
Transmission FWD, 5-speed manual
Top speed 129mph
Choose your Alfa Romeo 145
145 arrived in 1994 with 1.9-litre turbodiesel, and 1.3-litre, 1.6-litre, 1.7-litre petrols.
In 1995 the 155's 16V, 2.0-litre Twin Spark engine came to the 145 Cloverleaf. In 1997, 1.4-litre, 1.6-litre and 1.8-litre Twin Spark engines were added.
Phase Two 145 launched in 1999 with body-coloured bumpers and fresh interior. Old diesel replaced by 1.9 JTD turbodiesel. Later that year, Junior 1.4-litre model launched, matching Cloverleaf styling and suspension. 147 replaced the 145 in 2000.