1996 Alfa Romeo Spider 3.0 V6 3.0 V6 gasoline
Great fun car, in a very Italian way
The radiator was pierced by a sharp object while doing 145 mph on the Autobahn in Germany. Unfortunately, within a few minutes all the water leaked out. The engine is unbelievably strong - nothing was damaged, not even the head gaskets. I still had to replace radiator and water pump, though. Tough luck, but not Alfa's fault. Recently the idling has gone very lumpy, probably the air flow meter needs fixing. This is the only fault the car has developed in 6 months.
Fantastic performance from the 210 bhp V6 (slightly tuned with Alfa SZ cams and ECU...). It has lots of torque, at low speeds feels even beefier than my Ferrari F355 and BMW 540!
The engine sounds great and comfort is good on motorway trips. Scuttle shake is very bad on broken/uneven surfaces.
Handling is absolutely superb - I have stiffer springs and top-quality Bridgestone tires, which also helps, but the base chassis is very sharp and the steering is kart-like, very direct. Porsche Boxsters can't shake me off on tight mountain roads!
Build quality is OK, but nothing special. The leather seats are good, but very hard. The roof is excellent - it never leaks at all, even in the worst downpours.
Overall it's a good, fun car that deserves praise - hear that V6 accelerating hard and you will have to love it! You'll easily forgive its little Italian foibles: it's not a piece of perfect Teutonic engineering, but it feels much more "alive" than any German competitors of similar price.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th October, 2003