1992 Lancia Dedra ie 2.0
I'm in love
Nothing that you wouldn't put down to normal wear and tear. This car has never let me down on a journey. The only thing that occasionally caused trouble was a worn hand-brake cable that would seize sometimes in cold weather.
Recently the alloy wheels have begun to leak, requiring regular (daily, some of them) pumping. Refurbishment or replacement appears to be in order.
The Dedra is a beautiful car that is very fast and responsive, sticks to the road like glue, gives a very comfortable ride, has plenty of room and by being so unusual on British roads makes you feel very special.
If I could buy a new one, I would without hesitation. The brand new Alfa I have bought is equally beautiful, handles equally well, but doesn't have the immediate response from the engine I've grown accustomed to with the Dedra.
The Dedra gives me a consistent 30mpg of hard urban driving, fast (85-90mph) motorway driving - it doesn't really seem to matter. The "low fuel" warning light comes on when the tank is half-empty. I fill up when I've done around 330 miles since the last fuel stop. Costs me £45 or so, whatever that equates to at 90p/litre or whatever it is these days.
I've never got to the point where pressing on the accelerator hasn't made the car go faster (up-hill touching 100mph in fifth gear : "Faster?... OK..."). The brakes are quite soft, which is good for the gentle, controlled braking I prefer to use, but bite hard when needed. If you want to go faster or slower, the Dedra does it in just the way you ask.
The Dedra has proved to be an extremely reliable car, that has never broken down on me, but when spares are needed, they're often hard or slow to obtain and expensive to boot. I've been lucky to find a Fiat dealer happy to honour their Lancia service responsibilities (albeit at dealer rates). Other dealers may not be so happy or able to provide the level of service this car deserves.
I can't say how much I love my Dedra, and how sad I'll be to see it go. If it wasn't for the practicalities of keeping it running, I'd be buying the replacement wheels and getting the couple of bodywork blemishes sorted right now. Actually, if I had the drive-way space, I'd probably be doing it anyway.
Unlike the famous, rally winning, Delta, Dedras change hand for very modest sums these days. If you get the chance, buy one. Even if the MOT only lasts a few months, it will be the most enjoyable and exciting months driving you ever have.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th July, 2006