1997 Alfa Romeo GTV Reviews

1997 Alfa Romeo GTV TS 2.0 twin spark from Malaysia

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 2.0 twin spark Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.6 / 10
Distance when acquired88000 kilometres
Most recent distance100000 kilometres

Summary:

Beautiful failure

Faults:

Nothing is right.

I spend 1/2 of the car price on repairs.

Brake system has often gone wrong, and almost got me killed in a 90 degree corner with 70 km/h. It locked the four wheels and slid me into a bridge, and I could only helplessly stay in the car and see it crash. And the air bag didn't come out.

Many many more.

General Comments:

To be fair.

Sexy unique gorgeous design. Till 2009 I still think it is beautiful.

Purchasing an Alfa Romeo from that period of time (1980-1999) is like a lucky draw. Either you get something that's real good, or you get something real bad.

Their manufacturing skills are unstable. And they are in financial crisis. Everything is uncertain. And that is no longer the golden age of Alfa.

Anyway, we have a certain perception against Italian cars; some say it's a lady to be tamed, sometimes with a bad temper. Yes yes, I agree with that. That's the fun owning it, but, when you find that it is a beauty during in its PMS, and it threatens you with its endless bad temper, and almost gets you killed a few times, and her skills on bed totally suck, dead fish, would you still stand for it?

It is a FF car. Understeer is acceptable to certain limit. And it's over the limit.

It is not a performance car. It is not an Alfa that you knew, or your dad may know.

The 3.0 is also the same. The diff is faster, more powerful, and understeer, and the chances to lose control are much more higher. Please be very very careful when you are driving it. I tried both. And owned a 2.0 for around a year.

Highway is OK. Stable for cruising. Why not get a BMW or Benz, or even a Japanese saloon for cruising?

My suggestion is, if you want a beautiful Alfa, a 156 or 147 after 2002 is OK, fun and reliable. Be careful with the year of Selespeed. Early models it often had problems.

Or get the GTV from the 1970s.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 16th February, 2009

1997 Alfa Romeo GTV T Spark 2.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired87000 miles
Most recent distance87500 miles
Previous carNissan Micra

Summary:

A bloody silly car that's completely over-the-top. Love at first sight

Faults:

Only had the car one month, so not enough time for the car to develop any problems.

Sometimes, about half a second after you have turned the key and the engine fires up, the car makes a noise that can only be compared to somebody being sick. Also cold starts can cause some belt or other to make a noise reminiscent of a small chirping bird. This continues for a few minutes, then gradually quietens down.

The car also has a problem with its drivers side window. The glass wobbles in the door and does not close flush with the rubber seal leaving a millimeter gap. It's not a massive problem, though the wind noise is quite annoying at speed. The problem will be fixed by next week at a cost of £60 odd pounds.

I expect by this time next year, the list of faults will be considerable longer in the time honored Alfa Romeo tradition...

General Comments:

So the car is great. It's everything you could hope for in a motor car - and then some.

The first and most important thing about this car (at least for me anyway) is the looks. There is no angle this red wedge doesn't look good from. A brand new baby Lambo parked outside my work the other day; it brought a broad smile to my face that however good that particular car may look, no matter how hard it tries, (and with exotic angles and aggressive looks it really is trying) it was no match for the regal, even aristocratic Alfa. It's often said by other owners of this coupe, but it is impossible to walk away from the car without looking back at it at least a few times.

As alluded to, mine is in racing red and although it wasn't my first choice when scanning the classifieds, I think that in the flesh it's the colour that suits the car best.

The interior of the car it very nice, though somewhat reserved in relation to exterior. Everything is where you would expect, and generally it's a nice place to be. One complaint though is the blandness (too harsh maybe) of the dash and centre console. It's a sea of black with no interruptions of any sort. The phase 2 models feature a smattering of silver, which seems to make all the difference. Anyhow, the black (black again huh!) seats look nice and are very comfortable. I've even had the pleasure of a 20 minute ride in the back of the car, which wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.

For those who don't know, the GTV claims to be a 2+2, but 2+1 would be more accurate. If you own one of these, then the chances are your friends will be the ones who have to put up with being concertinaed into the back - something they should be happy to do to experience a ride in this marvel.

Second best thing about the car? That has to be the noise. Owners of GTV's often recommend going for the 3.0 litre V6 on account of its rasping noise; as far as I can tell though the 2.0 makes plenty enough noise. When driven in in a relaxed matter, the engine is very quiet (apart from a faint Delorian in Back to the Future esqe whine). Ignore concerns about potentially frequent petrol station stops, and the noise you are greeted with is as addictive as fizzy drinks. Even a slight poke of the throttle results in instinctive turns of the the head of passing pedestrians. It's exciting just writing about it!

So what of the performance then? It's a sports car, and you would expect me to bang on and on about how it flies round roundabouts and how I had it upto 130. No. Am pretty certain that the car will do all these things, but in all honesty I don't really see the point. Being an old Italian, I expect that after a few aggressive drives the engine would reduce itself to it component parts, and anyway, how is the general public going to appreciate the styling if it's either a red blur, or in the garage.

I will say that the car pulls very cleanly in all gears, and will get to 60 as quickly as anybody could ever need, and in general driving the car feels well planted with very little roll.

In urban environments the car is as easy to drive as your standard supermini, and on the motorway and faster roads it's no trouble at all.

I should mention at this point though the stiffness of the suspension. Buy one of these and you will quickly adopt a driving style that avoids so much as a raised stone in the road. Pot holes and grids will be approached and avoided with the same trepidation as you would a skip or unexploded shell. It's so bad that I have actually had to construct wooden ramps to get the car over the speed bump at the entrance to my flat to avoid scraping off the entire underside.

So overall the car is ace. When it all starts to go wrong, I may have to revise that opinion - I half expect to come down every morning to find the cars red paint complimented by red flames on account of an Alfa electrical fault - but for now everything is good, the sun is shining and the lord, if he so chose to revisit his vile subjects - would drive one of these (probably).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st November, 2008

30th Nov 2010, 02:48

Yup! I can't agree more. I sense a strong vibe of honesty in his writing. Cool! Also, I do agree with the writer, the car has 'it'.

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 10 reviews