Re: The New Spider
How is the new spider to live with? I have to say my car got all available options added. The only thing I don’t have is the connect button.
This is my fourth convertible and one T-bar so I am used have wind in my hear! (Suzuki Jeep, Nissan NX 2000 (T-Bar roof), Ford Mustang (I really miss the limited edition V8 GT) and MGF). None convertible not listed - been several.
Here is my quick review of the new Spider after my first nine weeks:
- Luggage space. Very good. Had too pick up a guest from Heathrow with a large suitcase where I had to take the roof down, the seat forward take the suitcase behind the seats. Where able to take the seats almost back again before shooting off. Where is the hook for my jacket! There should have been one behind the seats.
- The front passenger storage space. What a waste! I got the passenger knee air bag – this has reduced the compartment. You don’t even got space for a CD cover! My girl friend hardly got space for her valet.
- The wind deflector. Works very well. Even with a speed of 100+ something and the hood down you feel comfortable. Where able to have a phone conversation at 80+ something without any problem. The wind deflector is made out of plastic and not glass. Therefore it gives a nasty reflection. This is also through when the hood is up. Think it would help is I cleaned the deflector bi-weekly but who got time for that? You can take the reflector of and put in a storage compartment below the hood. (not in the boot.) Never done it – it just sounds like to much work for nothing. They should have done like the new TT roaster where you can take it up and down electronically. If possible I will like to have the reflector replaced with something made out of glass.
- With the hood down in cold weather. The heater and the electric heated seats does a really good job. You can only have electric heated seats if you order electric seats. The heated seats got a 0-1-2-3 settings, and it is on all the time when it is one. Just excellent when driving in cold weather when the hood is down.
- Take the hood operation. The button is to operate the hood is located on an inconvenient spot, located between the seats and between the cigarette lighter and the “cold drink department”. I am 5”12 and I really have to sit in an inconvertible position when pushing the button. You have to hold it down all the time – if you release the button the hood operation will stop. If you like to show off the hood is a winner. The show takes 30 seconds. It’s just great if you want some attention. The draw back is – the car can not move. If you start to move the car the operation stops. I really like to take the hood up and down when driving. OK – I am on M25 and it starts to rain. The traffic is going in 5 miles. Why do I have to make a complete stop before I can operate the hood? Or the sun comes up – and I am on red light. Start the hood operation takes 30 seconds – that is a very long time! Don’t tell me that I have to pull off the road. It would have been no trouble what some ever to operate the hood if the speed was less then 10 mph. But the operations and the hood itself look really solid.
- The Bose Sound system is a must with the convertible. It really play’s. I really like that you set it up so volume increases when the speed of the car increases. Excellent! Alfa should have had two settings for this – one with the hood down and one with the hood up.
- The seats. Even after nine weeks in the car – I still have not found a good sitting position. In general I am sitting too high. I feel like I am on display. The seats should have been 10-25 mm lower. The three programmed memory positions for the electric seats helps. I now got three different positions programmed (this also included the mirrors). I can then easily change the sitting position. Great! The seats themselves are ok.
- Performance. I got the V6. It is not a sports car but a cruiser. If you purchased the car to get a sports car – you got the wrong car. If you where expecting a serious cruiser – it is very difficult to find a better car. The sound of the engine is great. But it is not enough to pay my enormous fuel bills. 16+mpg is not very good.
- The park assist beeping thing. Just hate it! But it seams to work. In the 159 there is a visible display available. In the Spider it only beeps and you don’t have any assist in the front. Your rear view is not excellent – you quickly discover that Spider is a long a heavy car. I am still not 100% on street parking.
- The SatNav! Someone have complained about reflections from the mid console and difficult to read in the sun where the hood is down. Have not had any problems jet – but I can see that it is coming. Unable to perform post-code search with the pre fitted SatNav. Some times it can easily take 5-10 minutes just to fined the locations you are looking for. The menu and search system is very slow and looks like my first colour screen laptop back in the late 80ties. The SatNav have always taken me to where I want.
- The radio. Well – it is working. And the sound is great tanks to the Bose speakers. But the radio reception is not very hood. Some times I am unable to get HEAT or Smooth Radio when driving on M25. According to the dealer there is nothing wrong with my radio – therefore I am in search for a signal transformer or similar.
- The telephone! The phone itself got very very basic functions. But it got what you need. The problem is to get a multi-sim card. This is not a “Alfa issue”. With a Bluetooth interface the problem would have been resolved. It is going to be resolved shortly when Alfa/Dealer supply the USB and Bluetooth kit for the SatNav.
- The CD changer. Works well. But looking forward to a USB port as an interface to a iPod or similar.
- Car cleaning! Carbone Black with 18” alloys need a weakly clean. There are lots of brake fluid/dust of the front alloys.
- Boot rack. Seen a picture in one of Alfa’s magazines.
- Wind deflector in glass.
- Role bar in aluminium. The existing one looks and feel like plastic something.
- New floor mats. The original once needs to be vacuum cleans once a week. Easy tear makes them fall apart.
- USB/Bluetooth kit that works with the SatNav. (In progress according to the dealer.)
- Radio signal transformer or something that will improve the radio signals.
Most of the issues have been fixed by the dealer. Anyone specific related to the Spider?
- The inside hood cover on the passenger side do not look right. It got a nasty bend that will get worse over time. Been told that this is due to the hydraulic pipes that operates the hood. So what? The inside cover is not fitted correctly, I suspect it can only be corrected by replacing the inside hood.
- Some rattling from the boot area when the hood was up. This was quickly fixed by the dealer.
- There are other issues but they are in progress between me, the dealer and Alfa UK.
I really enjoy my new Spider – and I still think I picked the best car on the road. For the money paid – I don’t know what else I would have picked. It could have been the new Audi A5(S5) – but it is not a convertible! I enjoy every minute I spend in the new Alfa Spider. The fuel consumption is my biggest concern. At present after 2500 miles I am still on low 16 mpg. Hopefully it is going to improve over the next few Ks.
Thanks for reading.
Alfa Spider, 3.2 JTS, Carbonio Black, Red Leader, all options...
Last edited by Mogle; 31-05-07 at 08:39.