Used Alfa Romeo GTV 1996 - 2005 review

Category: Coupé

Buy an Alfa Romeo GTV it because it'll make you happy, but don't expect faithfulness or low running costs.

Alfa Romeo GTV (96 - 05)
  • Alfa Romeo GTV (96 - 05)
  • Alfa Romeo GTV (96 - 05)
Used Alfa Romeo GTV 1996 - 2005 review
Star rating

What's the used Alfa Romeo GTV coupe like?

The Alfa Romeo GTV is a coupe that looks and sounds great, and is surprisingly affordable. A thriving owners' club offers advice and recommends specialist garages. The cars are quite rare, though, so you'll need to be patient to secure a good one.

The quick steering and raspy engines are enticing, but GTVs ride harshly and worn parts can make them feel vague and unpleasant to drive. If they're properly maintained, though, they are quite fun.


Buy an Alfa Romeo GTV it because it'll make you happy, but don't expect faithfulness or low running costs.

  • Stylish looks
  • Affordable prices
  • Sweet engines
  • Not very reliable
  • Repairs will be costly
  • Rust can take hold on older models

The interior looks cheap, and although Alfa Romeo improved it in 2003, rattles are still to be expected. In addition, the seats get shabby unless you buy a Lusso model, which has a leather interior.

Space isn't generous, so you'll need to be agile to get in and out neatly, and the rear seats are only roomy enough for children or bags. The boot space is tight, too.

Ownership cost

What used Alfa Romeo GTV coupe will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Alfa Romeo GTV coupe?

The oldest GTVs are very cheap to buy, but they will need major work to keep them going. They will also probably be rusty, and so we wouldn't recommend them. Buying the newest and the best you can find pays in the long term, but even on these, you need to check their condition and service history.

None will be cheap to insure, although the 2.0-litre model will save you a heap on the 3.0-litre. Annual servicing is expensive, and it's also wise to change the engine's cambelt every three years or 36,000 miles. Spares are reasonably priced for this type of car, and using one of the many non-franchised specialist garages will save on what main dealers charge.

Official fuel economy figures promise up to 30mpg for the 2.0-litre and 24mpg for the 3.0-litre, but few owners achieve anything close to these figures in reality.

Our recommendations

Which used Alfa Romeo GTV coupe should I buy?

The engine choice is between a four-cylinder 150bhp 2.0-litre and a 218bhp 3.0-litre V6, but the smaller engine is more common, and is our recommendation.

The 3.0 sounds great and is very quick, but the chassis struggles to handle the power. The 2.0, on the other hand, doesn't expose the car's limitations and, since it is the same engine you'll find in the 156 executive car and umpteen other Alfa Romeos, spare parts will be easier and cheaper to obtain.

There are just two trims, Turismo and Lusso. Both have twin front airbags, anti-lock brakes, air-con and alloy wheels. All have manual gearboxes, but Lusso models are worth hunting down for their leather seats.

Plenty of buyers imported GTVs from 1999-2002, when cars from abroad were far cheaper than cars from UK dealers. Check if you buy one of these, though, that it is as well equipped. If it isn't, it will be harder to resell later.

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What alternatives should I consider to a used Alfa Romeo GTV coupe?