1998 Alfa Romeo GTV Lusso 2.0 T-Spark from UK and Ireland


Looks Great, but some serious flaws


Rear suspension failed first MOT at 21,000 miles! Common fault on GTVs of this era.

Electrical problems with head-lamps.

Broken electric aerial, fixed under warranty.

Poor seal on drivers' window and rattling drivers' window.


General Comments:

These cars are still a relatively rare sight, which makes them desirable. Alfa got the styling spot on and it has aged very little over the years.

I must, however, point out some major problems with this vehicle, which has cost me a small fortune to run; especially getting it through the first MOT. It cost me £1130.00 on that particular visit, ouch!

Early on, there were the classic electric problems: aerial, head-lamps and indicators. These are now sorted, but it cost me £240 for a new headlamp unit - not covered under warranty by Alfa or my RAC warranty.

Then there is the stomach churning visit to the dealer for a service and first MOT at 20,950 miles. This was sickeningly expensive: The worn rear suspension bearings failed the MOT costing me £630 to get it sorted. I'm wondering in hindsight if there was a much cheaper way to sort it - did it need the whole set-up replacing?!

This, when coupled with replacing the cracked lamp - caused by serious overheating when the full-beam refused to switch off, plus service/labour costs, cost me that £1130.

The dealer, and the Alfa Romeo organization were not prepared to do this work under warranty, claiming that at 21,000 miles, I'd have to prove that it wasn't "fair wear & tear"; I was appalled by this attitude.

I have recently written a letter to Alfa outlining my disappointment with their organization - as yet no reply, no real surprise!

On the bright side, the 2.0 litre engine has plenty of guts and a fruity sound when driven above 4000rpm, the engines do drink a bit of oil though, so keep an eye on the level. The timing belt change at 72k/6yrs is eye watering again - at about £500 alone.

The interior seems pretty well put together, and I've had no problems with trim quality. The new style Momo seats are great, and provide good support.

This car could so nearly have been one of the greats - but it doesn't cut it quality wise (or residuals) against its German rivals. Alfa take note, and sort your dealerships out too.

I am afraid that despite its gorgeous looks, I will not be buying another Alfa. It goes without saying that I am not looking forward to the next service.

Good to see that others are enjoying the GTV though. Am I the only one to feel dis-enchanted with the GTV? you tell me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th June, 2002

15th Apr 2004, 02:49

Sounds like people in the UK need to find expert repairers who don't overcharge and only attend to what is strictly necessary. The right mechanic for the job is imperative and an owner with the right attitude and interest in what is an enthusiasts car is just as imperative. You don't have to be Italian, but you do have to love what you have - the cars are worth it! (most of the time!) Does anybody really love and hate a Vectra? but who doesn't love a beautiful Italian woman? What is it about Nigella Lawson - the eyes or something else? To minimise outgoings you do need to give the right servicing - Alfa Romeo theory. Ron Taylor Australia.

5th Sep 2008, 19:33

Do not own an Alfa Romeo if you don't like getting your hands dirty!!!

Go and buy a Ford rep mobile instead. Alfa's are a true driver's car!! The best car for a person who has petrol on the brain is an Alfa, not a Ford or Vauxhall.

I've owned several Alfas and Vauxhalls; they don't compare. A real driver and car person would be thinking of the experience of driving the car and doing running repairs to keep it top notch!! Not about how much you're going to pay somebody else to keep it on the road!! Learn and do it yourself??

29th Oct 2009, 10:30

I do own a GTV and it's built so badly. There is no excuse for side windows not fitting properly, dodgy electrics, poor ventilation. etc etc, not in this day and age.

I am a car/motor bike lover and I do lots of work on my 1970 Triumph.

But the problem is I can get in my Toyota roadster, drive it harder, go faster, look just as good and it's not going to cost me a fortune, and nothing's going to fall off or fail. The mid engine layout and VVTI make it a real drivers car.

You say you have to be a car lover and a mechanic to own an Alfa. That limits the amount of people willing to put up with an Alfa.

I say build the car properly and sell more.

1998 Alfa Romeo GTV Lusso 3.0 V6 24v from United Arab Emirates


As close to a Ferrari as you can get for sensible money


Air conditioning failed due to wiring fault at around 10,000Km.

Clutch plate departed from it's housing and planted itself somewhere inside the gearbox at 30,000Km.

One of the Pirelli PZero's shred it's tread at speed causing considerable damage to the front wing at 40,000Km.

Multiple small problems, such as windows not meeting seals properly, loose trim, dodgy wiring, squeaks and rattles which took about three or four services to all get sorted properly.

General Comments:

This car is a rocket! Definitely the most pure performance you can get for the money.

It could have been screwed together a bit better, but then it wouldn't be an Alfa any more would it?

Cramped interior and zero boot space (especially if you decide to fit some nice hi-fi equipment).

You will fall in love with the GTV, especially if it's a V6, as you quickly forgive all of it's faults as soon as you hit a clear stretch of twisty stuff.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th May, 2002

1998 Alfa Romeo GTV 6-Speed AeroKit 3L V6 24v from UK and Ireland


Good value if not thrashed, but great fun; not practical really though!


Starter motor Seized up (£850!).

Front tyres wore down.

Windscreen wipers were crap.

Airbag light problems.

Wind noise from around the door.

Random squeaks and rattles.

DRANK fuel.

General Comments:

Stunning looks. Especially with the 17" wheels and Aero Kit, in red.

Very lively on the road with the large wheels - required concentration at speed.

Boot without wheel (an aerosol - optional) could hold a holdall or two.

Rear seats could take 1.5 adults (never found a half!).

Cornering and acceleration fantastic. Braking not as good.

Glorious engine sound - did not need the 6 disc stereo.

Over £3000 insurance.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th May, 2001

18th Jun 2001, 04:47

£3000 is cheap!! I am 19 and have a GTV V6, insured fully comp with Direct line. More than twice that amount!

1998 Alfa Romeo GTV 3.0 V6 24V from UK and Ireland


Ferrari style with Ferrari reliability


Jack collapsed on first use.

Various suspension rattles and shakes.

Wiper motor failed.

Many minor issues with trim and electrics.

General Comments:

Nothing short of a Ferrari looks or sounds better on the road.

Fabulous engine, good steering, but nose heavy to drive.

Numerous minor problems detract from the ownership experience.

Go for the 2 litre for a better balanced car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd August, 2000