Lancia Beta Reviews from Australia and New Zealand

1975 Lancia Beta 1800 Sedan 1.8 Twin-cam

Year of manufacture1975
First year of ownership1981
Most recent year of ownership1986
Engine and transmission 1.8 Twin-cam Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired62000 kilometres
Most recent distance171000 kilometres
Previous carHolden Torana

Summary:

An absolute gem! I wish I'd kept it, but it rusted to pieces

Faults:

Rust, rust and still more rust. Body dissolved like cotton candy!

The Italian government forced Lancia to use crappy Russian steel, due to Left-wing sympathies. This means...yes, rust!!

Headlamp self-levellers died, causing wonky beams.

CV-joints wore out after 5000km. Remember, it was six years old.

A few minor annoyances, but I can't remember specific ones.

General Comments:

I went from a LH Torana SL to this car.

It was like travelling through time from the '50's to 2001.

Ride and handling was just magic.

The engine was so refined, most modern engines are just catching-up with it now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th March, 2006

1982 Lancia Beta HPE 2.0 petrol

Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership1982
Most recent year of ownership1991
Engine and transmission 2.0 petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired45 kilometres
Most recent distance280000 kilometres
Previous carRenault 12

Summary:

One of two the best driver cars I have ever owned

Faults:

Head gasket blew at 180000 km.

Wheel bearings at 150000.

Clutch replaced at 215000.

General Comments:

This car was a great long distance cruiser which was a pleasure to drive.

I always had total confidence in this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th July, 2004

1975 Lancia Beta Coupe 1.8L petrol

Year of manufacture1975
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.8L petrol Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired60000 miles
Most recent distance88000 miles
Previous carMG B

Summary:

Drive one hard and fall in love, buy one forever.

Faults:

Generally the Beta has been very reliable. It gets thrashed on a daily basis.

The front suspension bushes have only recently required replacement.

The gear linkage setup can cause a bit of hassle for the uninitiated.

Minor problems with a few rust spots around the windscreen and chrome strip surrounds of the rear windows.

General Comments:

I bought this car for my girlfriend, but I just love driving it. She's got a Datsun now!

The Beta drives brilliantly, the motor is a real gem and just loves to rev.

The handling is superb and on the seriously twisty bits I have seriously embarrassed some considerably more exotic marques.

Brakes are great, however it is possible to get considerable weight transfer to the front and the back end can jump out and bite you. This is only evident if one is really going for it though!

Original interior, red velour seats and lime green carpet...yeach...where's the mirror ball.

Surprising amount of space for a long bloke, I'm 6'3" and no problems, but on the odd occasion there is not much space between the upper thighs and the bottom of the wheel. This is usually apparent when one is fighting with the wheel when you've jumped onto the brakes late into a corner and the boot lid is just outside the drivers window.

This is a drivers car, give the little bugger heaps, thrash it, they love it and will reward you with a smile that lasts for hours. Just gotta duck out and buy some smokes, I'll be back in a couple of hours.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd May, 2003

29th Aug 2004, 00:50

You used to drive an MGB, that would make the Beta feel like a Ferrari. I'm glad you crossed over.

Jarc.

1977 Lancia Beta Coupe 2.0

Year of manufacture1977
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired0 kilometres
Most recent distance21000 kilometres

Summary:

High performance and great looks

Faults:

It would be quicker for me to list the things that have not gone wrong.

Since purchasing this car, the engine has practically been rebuilt and the clutch and gearbox replaced.

There are a number of very small rust spots around the front windscreen.

The vast majority of the work carried out on this car has been due to very poor maintenence by the previous owner.

The key to (happily) owning a Lancia is keeping a high level of maintenance and having a great mechanic (many thanks to mine).

General Comments:

I have driven a number of different sports cars including a relatively modern turbo-charged Toyota MR2. However, nothing I have driven is as exciting as my Lancia Beta.

The features that this car had as standard equipment in 1977 are impressive even by today's standard: Four wheel disc brakes, fully independent suspension, anti-roll bars just to name a few.

The car looks great, the performance is fantastic for the size of the engine and, coupled with great handling, it is a pure joy to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th August, 2001

1st Apr 2006, 22:33

I cannot agree more about this vehicle. I am biased because my first car was a Beta Coupe. It is a very under-rated vehicle and deserves far more respect as an engineering masterpiece of its time. I have owned a '92 MR2 and driven lots of exciting machinery. Few compare to the Beta in terms of all out perfect handling and poise. If you see one buy it!

10th Aug 2009, 17:37

I have the standard list of complaints about my Beta experience:

* Leaking/Rusting around the windshield

* Complete rebuild of clutch and transmission at low mileage

* A slow, but persistent stream of engine component failures.

Overall, when this car ran it was a blast to drive. It wasn't so much like driving a car, as it was strapping the car on and going driving.

If you have the means to keep an excellent mechanic on retainer, this is a fun car to own as a second vehicle.

26th Feb 2010, 22:58

All I have heard has inspired me to keep the restoration of my car, a late series going on. As I live in a rather small country, we have only two Beta coupes.

Average review marks: 7.6 / 10, based on 6 reviews