I would've kept it if it was reliable
Air Flow Sensor failed and replaced three times (!)
Faulty Intake Cam Variator.
Head gasket blown at 140,000km.
Shifter cup broke, could not select any gear. Had to have it towed home.
Clutch slave cylinder leaked in a middle of a traffic jam. Had to limp it home in second gear and turn off the engine every time I had to stop since there was no clutch disengagement.
Hatch creaked badly when raining. Never figured out what the problem was and just lived with it.
Electric fan failed in a middle of a traffic jam, causing overheating. Had it replaced with an aftermarket electric fan which was a lot cheaper.
Left rear wheel bearing failed.
Every time I looked back and think of all the problems this car had given me throughout my (brief) ownership, I just think some kind of curse was cast upon me. I mean, how could a car merely four years old could give me so much trouble? And the fact I sold my father's hand-me-down '84 Mercedes 280SE for this car made me think maybe I deserve such a curse for making such an inexcusable mistake.
Superstitions aside, I bought this car with the promise that it was a hoot to drive, and it was. Of course it was, it's an Alfa Romeo. The engine made the most intoxicating noise this side of a Ferrari, the shifter very slick, the looks are just drop dead gorgeous. The seats were contoured just right, and although I'm not a big fan of the Italian driving position, I learned to live with its quirk. The pedals are close together and made heel-and-toe shifting easy. What surprised me the most was the amount of interior room this car had, especially considering its compact size. I could easily carry five adults comfortably, and the boot will swallow quite a bit of luggage load.
Overall, I found it hard to fault its capabilities and practicalities. It really would've been a good car had it been (much) more reliable that it was. Because even with its enormous reliability problems, I still had some regret when I finally let go of it. I was truly disappointed with its problem. If it was even half as reliable as a Japanese or German brand, I would've kept it. When it did work, it put a smile on my face every time I drove it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 3rd October, 2007