A flawed modern Italian classic
Where do I begin??
The day I bought the car the brake warning lights on the ARC (Alfa Romeo Control) flashed all the way home. Took it back to the dealer (a Volkswagen specialist) who kept for over a week. They replaced the pads and as I drove it out of the driveway, the lights came on. They kept another week, sent it to an Alfa dealer and the problem was fixed.
Since then I have had numerous electrical problems, including brake lights, central locking, indicators (stalk and light). All small, but irritating.
Center Exhaust replaced at 150,000 at a cost of $250 (custom made as genuine fit was $740)
Engine is strong and has given no problems.
This car is fantastic to drive, power is just effortless from the 3.0 V6 and steep hills in 5th gear are never a problem.
Acceleration is quick, but hampered by gearbox which is heavy and clunky. Needs overhaul, but very pricy...
Steering is well weighted and easy to use when parking, but wheel position is awkward.
Comfort is hampered by poor driving position (apparently the Italians are long of arm and short of leg, and bent in the middle!) and the accelerator is at a poor angle, proving uncomfortable after about 15 minutes of cruising. Seats are well padded and of a nice design.
Interior ergonomics are...interesting, but it's entertaining to watch passengers try and find the power window switches and the door handle!
Parts have proved difficult to source, regular mechanics are scared of it, and specialists cost a bomb. Please take into account maintenance costs when pricing this car!
Fuel economy is average, on the freeway at 110 km/h it is running at 3000 rpm which causes average highway mileage, and city driving makes it very thirsty. Expensive premium unleaded doesn't help its cause.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th May, 2003