Looking for some opinions here. I'm looking at buying a spider, and I've had my eye on the v6 engine, but I'm just wondering if people seem to think they're actually worth it, over say the 2.2?
They seem to attract a £2k ish premium, and then there's the £500/year tax.
Also, are there any big issues to look out for?
We had this problem.
The V6 sounds like a good choice for those doing low mileage, but I think the snag as you say is the premium. For a sorted Brera S with a V6, one can easily pay £12,000 for it. I do like these cars, but the same problem remains; if you are not wearing Alfa tinted glasses, then you are missing a whole range of genuinely better cars; and I simply do not think £12,000 is worth it for a high VED car, with low fuel consumption and the only return is that it looks pretty.
Like any engine, the JTS is always a risk. Many people have had many different experiences, so there is no solid answer to your question. SR has recently got rid of his Brera and stated that the JTS 3.2 was the only one he missed from the two. However... if the cam chain stretches in these cars, then you will pay a premium of £2000 and upwards to get it fixed. The 2.2 can suffer the same issue, but will probably cost you £800 tops to get it fixed.
The only person who can decide if it is worth it is you at the end of the day. The benefits and pitfalls of this engine are reasonably well known. I would take the worst case scenario and see if that is an acceptable thing you can afford to sort, and more importantly are prepared to gamble on. When even the oil, quantity and feeding method is under debate in this forum after 10 years of the 3.2 JTS engine being around, then you will always take a gamble.
If you really want a petrol engine, perhaps you could do more saving and find the rare 1750TBi, which is slowly coming down in price. The Spiders command more of a premium with this engine but the Breras are hitting £11-12,000 now (which, for its rarity is okay, but as a car is crap value IMHO). The risk with these of course is the postulated leaky injectors problem causing the explody turbo problem as RRZ found with his 159, plus you have a cambelt to think about again.
I guess you need to decide if, as a baseline, £8-10,000 is worth paying for a fuel thirsty car with a very high VED and a possible timebomb under the bonnet. If you go for it, set aside £2-3000 over the next couple of years as a contingency plan. At least if you know what to expect, then you won't feel as annoyed when/if
(depending upon who you beleive) it happens.