The difference between Japanese cars and Lancias is that Japanese cars work, drive well & don't dissolve like aspirin in a glass of water. I've owned a Monte Carlo (I was lured by the looks) and I can assure you, in over thirty years of car ownership (and driving for a living), the Monte Carlo was the worst car I've ever driven. Why else would Lancia withdraw it from sale TWICE!
I have owned a S1 Monte Carlo for 20 years. I raced it and drove it like a go-kart. Its my summer toy. When I am in Italy, I never had a big problem with it. Having had 10 cars in the last 20 years, in UK I spent 10 times more money on my cars here. This car was made for Italy. It's a joy to drive, to look at and to own, so I can't understand all the bad press it gets here.
Viva la Lancia Marco!
You say the car was made for Italy? Well if that's the case, it was a very naive business move by Lancia. They knew they'd be exporting the car, so why on earth would they just design it to survive & work in Italy? Your statement makes no sense.
The truth is, the Montecarlo was a bad car. It looked the part and has a small army of loyal fans who are in denial about its many faults, but it really was a badly built/engineered car. It's a shame, but that's the truth.
I briefly drove a S2 Spyder with a view to buying. It was a brilliant drive; well balanced and stuck to the road like glue. Unfortunately I didn't buy it as there were issues with the front bumper and dash cracking, and not being able to remedy this, but the rest of the car was fine and in good condition. It was low mileage as well; around 40k miles. Wish I had bought it...