1993 Lancia Thema i.e. 16v LS 2,000 petrol/LPG from Italy

Summary:

Great daily driver for little money

Faults:

Petrol pump when acquired at 93,000kms.

ECU at 150,000 kms (replaced it with a used one, but it would cost 1,000 Euros to buy a new one).

General Comments:

I bought the car from an old man, the typical Lancia fan: always kept in a garage and serviced by Lancia.

Nylon at the doors, for those who know the stereotype of a Lancia driver. I paid 1,400 Euros for it.

I immediately converted it to LPG. After nearly 100,000 kms with it, I must say that it is a real bargain.

Automatic A/C, alcantara tissue, ABS; great engine, great road holding, great comfort. 10-12 kms per liter with gasoline, 10 kms with LPG, not bad. Always parked outside, starts perfectly also in winter, no rust.

The car is now being serviced by a specialist, not a Lancia dealer. No problems, new engine oil and filter every 40,000 kms (yes, 40 thousand) but with constant refill (needs 1/2 liter every 2,000 kms because of the design of the engine: it does not burn it, it loses it in the upper part of the engine, in the camshaft; it is typical for the Fiat/Lancia DOHC).

Timing belt MUST absolutely be replaced every 40,000 kms, with NO TOLERANCE and NO DELAY; its fragility is typical of this engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th April, 2010

11th Apr 2010, 15:01

40000 km is WAY too long an interval on any engine for an oil change.

18th Apr 2010, 14:24

Thanks. I'll reduce the interval to 30,000 kms. The point is that through LPG, the oil has fewer problems than with a car that uses only gasoline. Therefore it should last much longer. Bye.

20th Oct 2010, 15:50

I'm the original writer: 201.000 kms now and everything still in great shape.

10th Jan 2011, 16:13

The car was stolen on December 21st 2010. It had 204.000 kms and run perfectly. Although it was worth very little money, I'll miss it. R.I.P.

1994 Lancia Thema Series 3 2.0 litre 16v turbo from South Africa

Summary:

Most reliable car I've ever owned

Faults:

Balancing shaft belt fouled and resulted in bent valves. Removed balancing shaft belt. Goes like new car.

Nothing else have gone wrong. Magic car!!!

On 17th January 2014 the vehicle has done 380 000 km and goes like a high quality watch! Amazing car!

General Comments:

Don't be fooled by its docile looks! This is a real mean machine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th February, 2008

1990 Lancia Thema 16v Turbo SE 2.0 16v turbo from UK and Ireland

Summary:

A fine balance of performance and comfort. Nice to have something different!

Faults:

Head gasket went at 125,000 miles.

Water radiator disintegrated at 140,000 miles.

Minor electrical problems.

General Comments:

My second Thema Turbo and still going strong after 10 years of ownership. For a big car its great to drive and much faster than anyone expects.

Interior is well equipped and comfortable even compared to much more modern cars.

Expensive on insurance (group 17) and heavy on fuel depending on how you drive it. Also eats front tyres, brake pad and discs if used hard... but worth every penny.

Very underrated car and excellent value/performance for your money, but not worth much to sell unfortunately!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th March, 2007

29th Jul 2010, 10:52

I agree! What a car!! I had one for years, and really miss the comfort, power and size. Fuel consumption definitely could be high, especially when motoring hard.

I left Maranello (yes, that one) at 1pm one Monday in my 2.0 SE 20 years ago. Heading to Milan and then up the length of Switzerland and finally, across the top of France, we stopped to pick up some wine at a supermarket and for a meal on a motorway as well as at toll booths and for comfort stops along the way.

We arrived in Calais at 2am - thirteen hours and 1300 km later, safe, sound and much, much poorer at 14 MPG!! Boy, what a drive, 140+ MPH, the petrol gauge dropping like a stone, scenery flashing by, no speed cameras and the Italian Police treating you like Royalty (these were after all, the car of choice of Mafia heads).

Would I be irresponsible enough to do the same now? Of course I would, just give me the Thema to do it in!

Come back to the UK Lancia, all is forgiven!!!