The 456 is not the performance leader in Ferrari. It is not the cheapest, nor the most expensive. It does not offer a convertible and cannot seat 4 comfortably. It's everyday looks are somewhat uninspiring (I hear it's loved in Europe, no so stateside). Running against 50k cars, for example the BMW M3 and Corvette Z06 (do you have Z06's in Europe?) it loses. The interior, and the exterior (arguably) are more handsome in the M3 coupe and it falls far lower in engine power. Can anyone tell me why would you buy a 456; I would only buy a Ferrari for looks, engine and practicality. It has none.
It's disappointing to see such un-informed comment about the Ferrari 456. The shape is one of Pinninfarina's best and disguises the large size of the car extremely well. It is also a shape that looks good from every angle.
As far as the other points are concerned, the 456 is an amazing car to drive long distances where speed limits are high or non existent. The taut handling is best suited to twisty European roads and German Autobahns like the A45 where long sweeping bends across high talbrucken can be taken at 120 - 130mph in fifth even with a crosswind.
There isn't a better long distance tourer for European roads. The V12 Jaguar XJS is probably better suited to US highways as it is altogether softer.
I know because I have owned and love both.
I have often seen secondhand 456's for sale under £50,000. I also see them often driven to work in the week so their owners are doing more miles than the lesser Ferraris. However I found out that to replace the automatic transmission costs an eye watering £30,000! Is this true?
I would always go for the manual anyway, hopefully by the time I am 40 used prices will of dipped as I think this is one of the most gorgeous cars on the planet. The 612 looks ugly in comparison.
The only negative comment on this thread has been from someone who believes, quite earnestly it would seem, that a Corvette is a better car than a Ferrari GT. How exactly? Well, we're told its for "practicality" reasons, though I'd wager that patriotism plays a key part. The Corvette is hardly SUV-like in its layout, now is it?
He or she may like to consider that people from all corners of the globe dream about getting a Ferrari some day, whether for its kerb status, exclusivity, power, price, or who knows -- it has absolutely nothing to do with how many people it seats. It also has nothing to do with fuel economy or the labour costs at Ferrari dealerships. And however good a car the Corvette is, and however many people it seats, or however easy it is to service, you simply can't say it's even in the same league as a Ferrari GT.
That's all you need to know.
I have recently been interested in purchasing a Ferrari and have stumbled across a gem with buying a 456 GT or GTA.
How this car could be criticised for being dull is way beyond me I personally think it is one of the most beautiful Ferraris designed so far.
However I still haven't decided whether to focus my search on a manual or the automatic GTA series or whether a model from around 98/99 for 45-50K will depreciate much more.
I definately think the 456 is a hot car, but I am looking to buy my first Ferrari. I visited my local Ferrari dealer that had just 3 Ferraris for sale. Among them was a 456, but I didn't even notice the car for the first 20 minutes inside the showroom, because next to the rakishly handsome Testarossa and gorgeous little 328 - the 456 becomes nearly invisible. It's really fat and chunky, it's awkward looking really, and my first thought was interesting. I just stood there for a minute really pondering how this could be possible. All I was thinking was, man the 456 just doesn't stand out as anything truly Ferrari.
Everyone in the world, even my 90-year-old grandmother, would know from sight that a 328 just must be something made by Ferrari. Same with the Testarossa. But the 456, eh, it looks like it's obviously exotic, but nothing extrodinary.
I will say it is much more comfortable than any 80s Ferrari. And cosmetics aside, I bet it's an all-round better Ferrari because it is still very hot, oh yeah, and in automatic, I can imagine the 456 is one terrific daily driver.
I am currently looking for a 456 Ferrari. I have read all comments with interest, but would particularly like to hear opinions about the 456GT V 456GTA. What are the good and bad points of both from those of you who own or have owned them?
I've owned a 1997 456GTA for nearly a year, and drive it about 50-75 miles per week. I still get a thrill every time I see it in my garage and anticipate the driving of it. It is one of Pininfarina's classiest designs--understated and exquisite in its flowing lines and proportions.
It is faster than I am capable of driving and very sure-footed on the road. Frankly, I enjoy the admiring looks it gets from other motorists, and the occasional challenge from some other "hot" car (that almost always loses).
My car has 38k miles on it, and some of the hardware (e.g. door locks, window regulators, and seat adjustments) are failing and expensive to fix. I wish I had bought one with low mileage, but couldn't find one I could afford. But I am not sorry and would do it again. There are incalculable psychic rewards to being a Ferrari owner, and the 456GTA is a beautiful example of the breed.
Review makes a biased generalization about America. What about the car? Pretty cerebral uninformed review from a true enthusiast!
I have owned a 456GT for the last 18 months. Previous to this I had a 355 Spyder which I sold because I wasn't using it enough, mainly because I couldn't get the wife & kids in it. So the 456 solves this problem, and it is without doubt the prettiest Ferrari that you can, but for sensible money. On the reliability/drive-ability side, it's not a go-cart like the 355 but more a grown-up GT for the "older gentleman". It handles well enough (not quite as precise as a 355 or a 550, but the balance is good). I have had a few minor problems with window regulators and exhaust ECU's, but nothing too scary. If you want to run a Ferrari, you need to a) use it regularly, b) have it properly serviced, c) take it on long journeys every so often (they get a bit choked-up dollying around town all the time), and d) make sure you can afford it. This is key. You need to budget about £2k per year excluding insurance. Some years it may only cost you £500 or so, but there will come the year when you need cam-belts, new tyres or clutch, and the bill can be £2k. Don't whatever you do buy one if you can't afford this as you will not enjoy the experience. If you can afford it however, do it now. You definitely won't regret it.