I think every marque forum has people who reckon the grass is greener elsewhere! Except maybe an RR forum which infamously had people retreading their crossplies rather than go modern and fit radials...
Notice the scuff across the OSF corner of the bumper on that Alfa? I think you'd want to have a good look under it on a hoist, before thinking hard about it.
got nought to do with that,
its a simple balanced view based on the OP having a strict budget of £3500 to buy and run a GT as a daily with 15k miles a year...change the budget and the opinion changes with it...had he a budget of £5500 its a different conversation.
there are other cars (the SAAB for example) that are far more suitable propositions under these circumstances with this budget, bear in mind the OP has no real mechanical skills and a specific set of requirements, I am on my 4th Alfa so feel able to comment based on the running costs of these ( 2 GT's a GTV and a 156 ) so a good cross section of cars, Vs my wife's previous Honda ,my prior to Alfa ownership BMW's and Mercs/Audi's
the 98 GTV 2.0 TS vs a 98 E36 is way more fragile with 36k cambelt intervals vs the chain on the BMW M44/M43 engine and has way more fragile suspension and electrics. I see nothing to convince me that Alfa changed this untl the 159 series..
so whilst the Alfa is a better drive,better looking and an altogether sexier proposition I avoid recommending them to family members or anyone on a strict budget as they can be a money pit, if the person in question has a tool kit, a driveway and the abiltiy to minimise the financial impact of unexpected issues and preferably another car I can happily recommend an older and well used Alfa, its a great car to own and in terms of stying and driver engagment thereis no ''greener grass'' but when its an only car that MUST be reliable I find myself gravitating towards the SAABS ,Honda's and Mazda's of this world.
the Japanese/German marques do just get on with the job in hand, without some mechanical skills Alfa ownership is fraught with little issues that have the potential to be costly.
oh BTW cobblepop have you looked at a Mazda 3 2.2 sport or even a Mazda 6.? great looking cars and another alternative to the SAAB 93...of course the Alfa will look and feel special in comparison but thats not what this is about...
agree with you on the 147, I have never liked the look of them..(apologies to 147 owners but they are just not my cuppa)