1996 Alfa Romeo Spider Review

1996 Alfa Romeo Spider 3.0 V6 3.0 V6 gasoline from Switzerland

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 3.0 V6 gasoline Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired77000 kilometres
Most recent distance81650 kilometres

Summary:

Great fun car, in a very Italian way

Faults:

The radiator was pierced by a sharp object while doing 145 mph on the Autobahn in Germany. Unfortunately, within a few minutes all the water leaked out. The engine is unbelievably strong - nothing was damaged, not even the head gaskets. I still had to replace radiator and water pump, though. Tough luck, but not Alfa's fault. Recently the idling has gone very lumpy, probably the air flow meter needs fixing. This is the only fault the car has developed in 6 months.

General Comments:

Fantastic performance from the 210 bhp V6 (slightly tuned with Alfa SZ cams and ECU...). It has lots of torque, at low speeds feels even beefier than my Ferrari F355 and BMW 540!

The engine sounds great and comfort is good on motorway trips. Scuttle shake is very bad on broken/uneven surfaces.

Handling is absolutely superb - I have stiffer springs and top-quality Bridgestone tires, which also helps, but the base chassis is very sharp and the steering is kart-like, very direct. Porsche Boxsters can't shake me off on tight mountain roads!

Build quality is OK, but nothing special. The leather seats are good, but very hard. The roof is excellent - it never leaks at all, even in the worst downpours.

Overall it's a good, fun car that deserves praise - hear that V6 accelerating hard and you will have to love it! You'll easily forgive its little Italian foibles: it's not a piece of perfect Teutonic engineering, but it feels much more "alive" than any German competitors of similar price.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th October, 2003

16th Jan 2004, 03:33

"probably the air flow meter needs fixing."

My wife has had this replaced twice on her 2.0TS in the last two years...

Average review marks: 8.0 / 10, based on 1 review