Costly, but worth it, a real drivers car
Started with reasonably priced general service bills, the 60K miles service being the most expensive, no serious problems.. until..
Last year (2001) at 60K miles, the Cam belts went snap, and destroyed the engine.. had to have all 16 valves replaced and the top half of the engine rebuilt, this was done, so unfortunately at the main dealer in Portslade, near Brighton.. and cost £1600!!! they has also failed to check the damage throroughly.. because..
3 weeks ago (July 2002), one of the "big ends" went bang, the crank shaft and a piston had been damaged the previous time and had gradually worn out since the last big bang. The cheap option was to re-grind the crank and for Alfa to supply new shells, no chance, had to get a brand new crank shaft, also replaced the clutch (76K miles). This total bill will come to about £800!! and it's only at this price because the garage isn't a main dealer. The labour charge is a third!! of the cost of a main dealer, i.e. £20 and hour compared to £60!!
So therefore, I highly recommend that absolutely NO-ONE ever goes to an Alfa main dealer.. I never will again, the cost is horrendous and the customer service is just Pants!!! which is why I gave it 0/10.
Apart from that, no real problems.
Apart from the problems I've had, I still absolutely love this car, it has perfect handling, there is an edge to the cornering that just begs to be played with.
The steering is very responsive and feel fantastic, the 2.1 turns lock to lock is handy, but the turning circle is a bit big, maybe they needed to increase the 2.1 turns to about 3 !!
The 2.0 litre 16V twin-spark engine has just got to be one of the best 2.0 litre non-turbo engines in the world, it's just mind bogglingly tempting to floor the accelerator at every opportunity. Although I hear the Honda VTEC engines are a bit tasty too.
The comfort of the car is fine, with sports suspension you can't be a big girls blouse and expect a smooth ride on long journeys, if you wanted that you should go buy one of those silly french cars.
It's basically a good all-round performance car, it's no turbo, but it's good, the handling is the best feature, so if you like your corners on the edge, get one.
But don't get anything pre-N reg, they're apparently nowhere near as sporty.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th July, 2002