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Car reviews - Alfa Romeo - 33 - Boxer 16V QV 5dr hatch


7 May 2003

DISAPPOINTMENTS don't come greater in the motoring world than when Alfa replaced its legendary Alfasud with the indifferent 33. Even though it was essentially a rebodied Alfasud, the 33 has never attained the status or admiration its corrosive, at times shoddily built yet inspired predecessor commanded. Inferior dynamics, homely styling, a heavy five-door hatchback-only body and recalcitrant electrics saw to that. That was in 1984. Six years later, Alfa had another crack at it, with a longer Alfa 164-style nose and tail grafted on. Now known as the 33 Boxer 16V QV, it benefitted from more power, better luggage space, a new dashboard and revised cabin. In May ’91 the 4WD 33 hatch arrived as the 33 S 16V Permanent 4, using a rear wheel differential with a Ferguson viscous coupling to proportion drive from the usual 95/5 front/rear bias to a maximum 55/45 in extremely slippery conditions. However it was treacherous economic conditions that forced Alfa Romeo to retreat from Australia for more than five years from early 1993, thus spelling the end for the unloved 33 Series II range. A small Alfa didn't return until the 147 of 2001...
Model release date: 1 July 1990 to 1 December 1992

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