I purchased my Alfa GT from new 6 months ago and have traveled approx 14,000 since, here is my impressions so far.
The Alfa GT is a truly beautiful car, it has a fantastic ability of making you feel very special.
My choice of new car boiled down to two, Alfa GT or Audi TT. After pulling up at a round-a-bout in London behind 2 TT's as they allowed another around I quickly decided on the GT. I just wanted something different, something good looking and also practical and the GT has both of these in spades.
Firstly, the looks. From the front the car is aggressive with the deep front grille, offset number plate and Long sculpted bonnet. In profile, I feel it has a hint of Alfa SZ (the monster!) with the high waste line and bulk. The rear is the only disappointment, it just is not as co-heasive as the rest of the car.
On the practical front, the hatch-back coupe style layout that has been adopted by Alfa allows for a generous if height restricted boot. But align this with full folding rear sets and you have a huge load area.
The other feature I like is that although it is a coupe, the GT belays it 156 roots by the fact that you do not sit too low down in the cabin. To some this may sound odd, but I do a lot of motorway miles and don't want HGV's wheels above my head.
The greatest nod to practicality is the inclusion of the diesel engine option. Not since the 406 coupe has this combination of style and practically been so successfully married. There are infact very few diesel coupes (Merc sport coupe, 3 Series coupe, C4 3 door, any others?)
The engine itself is good, not on a par with the Honda accord i-CDTi that I tested, but still a good all-rounder. It is smooth and refined, but you never really feel all that torque that is supposed to be on offer and it does suffer from very noticeable turbo lag, with 2000rpm being the magic number for the boost.
There really is no point hanging on over 4500rpm as the engine does become coarse, best to change up and sail along on the available torque. On the motorway 80 miles an hour equates to approx 2500rpm in 6th gear, so it makes for a relaxing cruise.
I am averaging approx 40 mpg over the 14,000 miles traveled so far.
The handling. This is a strange one. I feel that Alfa have set the car up trying to marry a sporty set up with the ability to cruise comfortably, but have produced neither one nor the other. Throw the car into a bend and there is noticeable body roll, far more than my old focus zetec. But attempt to waft along the motorway and any imperfections in the surface are transmitted into the cabin. Another problem is trying to get it off the lights. Under power, the GT will simply spin it wheels, ASR (anti-skid reduction) on or off. You have to granny shift through 1st and then floor 2nd and hope the engine is not too far off boost. Even with the 18inch optional wheel there is very little grip.
One disappointment of the car is the interior. On face value it looks very nicely designed, the optional leather seats I specified are comfortable and supportive. But the reality is that the cabin is lifted, almost wholesale, from the 147. Although not necessarily a bad thing, certain areas, especially the central console looks and are cheap. GT owners look at the 147 GTA interior and especially the leather seat in envy.
However, the raiding of the Alfa parts bin has lead to one of the surprises of the GT, its price. when you allow for the very generous trade in I received on my focus. My car cost approx. £22,000 with the 18 inch alloy, leather seats and 12 disc charger options ticked. This on the face of it is a lot of money I agree, but let's compare it with the competition. A fully speced Golf GT TDI would be around 19k. So for a little more outlay you are getting a truly distinctive car from a sporting marque with a long history of building sporting coupes. The golf is a good car, but how long until everybody gets one? The bug bear of the Alfa has always been depreciation, too new to fully assess this, but will be worth less than the golf... swings and round-abouts I think as I am prepared to take a bit of a hit after 3 years of being made to feel so special...
In Summary, the Alfa is a beautiful car that is also practical. It does have its faults, centered mainly around the suspension set-up and parts bin interior, but if you want to be different in a distinctive bertone styled coupe for golf money, it's a sound choice, if slightly based on the heart rather than the head.