I bought my Alfa when it was only a year old and ran it for 3 years covering 72,000 miles in the Scottish Highlands and having changed cars (mainly because of the ownership costs), I now appreciate the fun and frustration that Alfa ownership brings. I loved the cars looks, its sporty cabin, its layout and generous equipment levels, which were exceptionally logical, the seats were very comfortable even though it was tight for size. The 2 litre engine was superb, delivering a great noise when accelarating to the red line, however, such enthusiastic driving probably accounted for only returning an average 27mpg and its prodigious thirst for oil, even when driven conservatively. The dealerships (I used 2 different dealers) are not terribly slick and you will spend a lot of time and money in them. The car seemed to eat front tyres every 7000 miles or so, its tracking used to get knocked off line incredibly easily and the traction control would constantly cut in on roundabouts at bus like speeds- both dealers failed to correctly deal with either problem. Fuses and light bulbs tended to blow regularly, the aircon system failed a few times, as did the heated seats and cruise control, I've largely forgotten the pain and remember the car through rose tints... All in all despite the horrible reliability and running costs, it hasnt put me off buying an Alfa Romeo in the future.
Dougal Lindsay, June 19th 2007