1991 Lancia Thema 16V Turbo SE 2.0L 16v turbo IE from UK and Ireland


Bargain; wolf in sheep's clothing!


Electronic suspension failed; changed to standard struts due to high cost of parts.

Minor electrical faults, mainly caused by poor earthing in the engine bay area.

Electric windows sluggish.

Rust around rear window pillars and rear wheel arches.

Alloy wheel finish very poor and prone to severe corrosion.

General Comments:

Excellent performance for little money compared to similar cars.

Heavy on fuel and front tyres if used hard, but fun to drive.

Anonymous car that surprises all passengers with its performance, comfort and level of equipment for such a low second hand price.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th May, 2002

1994 Lancia Thema Turbo LS 16v 2.0 16v turbo from UK and Ireland


Very fast and fun four door motor


Minor electrical problems and belt services.

General Comments:

On the whole a wonderful car that's a match for all, but the fastest vehicles.

Enables four adults to travel fast and with complete anonymity, because nobody knows what it is.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th May, 2002

15th May 2002, 15:38

I agree about the anonymity, these cars drive and go so well, but just look. well, dull! And I am a fan of them, but at least no-one feels that they have to race you because you have a fast car, mostly only you know that you do and, to my mind, that is enough.

2nd Jun 2002, 18:16

I own a L reg 1994 model thema turbo. I love it to pieces. It's just so fast and so comfortable. I leave BMW'S and Mercs behind, I love the feeling of having over 200BHP at my feet! The only cars that can keep up are Impreza Turbos, but hey, my car cost 1/10th of the price! :)

1988 Lancia Thema LS 2.0 8v turbo from UK and Ireland


A genuine Jaguar beater for less than half the cost


Gear lever developed rattle at 132,000 miles.

Exhaust manifold gasket failed at 134,000 miles.

O/S rear door lock jammed at 134,500 miles.

Speedometer failed at 144,000 miles.

General Comments:

The car is most impressively fast for it's size. You can carry 5 adults and still out-accelerate most other cars on the road.

The levels of comfort and equipment are very high.

It has been reliable. None of the faults I have experienced have ever stopped me getting home.

Spares can be expensive and, sometimes, difficult to get.

These cars are incredibly cheap to buy, especially when you look at what you are getting for your money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st April, 2002

5th Jul 2005, 03:55

Hi, I like your comments on the Thema. I have had a Dedra, and then a 1992 Thema Turbo (205BHP). They are a very reliable car. I am actually buying a 1993 Lancia Thema VIS tonight from a pal of mine (after four years driving all other carsPorsche/Merc?BMW/Adi/Mazda). Its time to step back into one. It is a 1993, with 59000 miles, has been stripped, fully resprayed, interior has been re-done, engine and gearbox rebuilt, new bushings, all fully re-done. €3,000. Not cheap, but it is like a brand new car.

10th Jan 2006, 07:41

I've had 3 Themas (all at the same time) because they're so cheap to buy and run and I'm yet to find another car that is as good.

I bought my 1988 8v Turbo from its first owner when it was 14yrs old and had 100K miles. The car just got better and better as the miles built up. The acceleration from 30 to 70mph was stunning and I've even had the pleasure of watching a TVR struggling to catch me after exiting a roundabout. Indeed the same TVR, developed a very nasty cloud of smoke when it tried to keep pace.

28-30 mpg, 0-60 in 7.5secs, 135mph, four doors, air con, electric everything and in the last year of ownership all she required was 2 new tyres! All this for a car that cost me £750 in 2002.

And it has no rust on it at 18 yrs old so please stop reciting that old story.

I love them!

1986 Lancia Thema 2.8 V6 2.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Comfort and speed in a classy package


There are numerous electrical faults, mainly warning lights switching themselves on even if there is nothing wrong really.

The brakes have never been that good, we had a seized rear caliper once which required half the braking system to be replaced.

The battery has often run down completely flat for no apparent reason.

Windscreen wipers are really poor.

The rear window broke once for no reason at all.

Starter motor failed (got overhauled by dealer).

Needed a new water pump.

There are a few rust points showing up, mainly at the bottom of the rear screen, the inside of the front doors and on one wheelarch.

The engine is quite hard to work on (most parts are hidden underneath other parts).

I am sure there have been many other faults, but I can't recall them all off the top of my head (we've had the car for 16 years now).

General Comments:

We bought the car new, back in 1986 when it was still was quite a novelty. Through the years we've seen it go from luxury new car to old banger (although ours is still very nice and fresh looking, it won't have anyones pulse racing).

Its the rare 2.6 V6 Manual version, so it has always performed well and taken us through many trips across the whole of Europe. I would still jump into it today and drive more than 1000 kms with no problems.

The car is nice, rare, comfortable and very spacious with an enormous boot. Our main regret has always been not specifying air-conditioning as an option.

Its getting to be quite difficult to find and buy spares for it now. Have recently joined the Lancia club so hopefully they should help on that aspect.

If there are any other 2.8 owners out there please contact me at rgubbioli yahoo com

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2002

22nd May 2004, 18:50

Yes, all the faults you describe on the Thema are very familiar to me. Well done on keeping your car for so long.Personally, I love them, I have owned three over the years,8 valve & 16 valve, though never a V6.I currently own an '85 8 valve, which I bought 11 years ago.

All the best, Michael.

27th Nov 2006, 16:56

I I have a lancia thema 2849cc 6v 150 hp and I love my car is my favorite!!! god bless all the owners of thema 6v.