Great buy or huge mistake? - Alfa Romeo Forum
You are currently unregistered, register for more features.    
Thread Tools Search this Thread
(Post Link) post #1 of 15 Old 16-09-07 Thread Starter
Status: -
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1

Member car:

Toyota MR2 T-bar

Hmmm Great buy or huge mistake?

Hi all - I appreciate that muh of this has been asked before but I thought I would put all my concerns into one post and hopefully will be a proud Alfa driver shortly!!

Some background - I currently drive a 1996 2.0 MR2 GT T-Bar which I have had for c. 3 years. It is now getting a bit long in the tooth and I have set out on a quest for something newer and given the MR2 is going to start costing money to repair - less high maintenance.

The Toyota was great but with a 6 month old baby completely impractical - I can go out with him or with the wife but not with both so the time has come for a 2 + 2!

So, first concern, can I get a child seat in the back (rear facing at the moment) and then later front facing? The current consensus on the forum is that I should be okay (mamas and papas sounds like the boy!) but if anyone can confirm - or even post a pic to appease the wife that would be great! Also, the wife wants something her and the sprog can, if I have her car, just jump in and drive with minimal hassle?

So, other than the small baby, the only other factor is my mileage.... about 6000 miles a year, mainly commuting through town to work with the odd client meeting - although if these are too frequent I take the wifes diesel A4.

I am fairly smitten with this car. What do we think? Is it likely to be an expensive mistake or a joy to own? The mileage looks high - should I be put off by this or do you think my relativly low mileage will even things out over the next year or so?

Finally - I have heard (and read) some horror stories about alfa ownership - do you think I would regret this purchase? I really dont want to be condemmed to a life of sensible family cars and given that I spend 90% of my time driving alone this looks perfect? Am I looking at it with rose-tinted glasses?

Thanks in advance, any replies are appreciated as I am planning a test drive today !

StGeorge is offline  
Sponsored Links
Status: -
AO Member
fozzybear210's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Catterick
Posts: 92
Re: Great buy or huge mistake?

A well maintained car will last for some time. and as for the baby seat, as long as the missus doesn't mind having her seat forward then you will be fine mate. Bearing in mind your driving position will be low (i'm guessing), then it may be practical to put the seat in the rear passenger seat. Great looking car, wish you many happy hours driving.
fozzybear210 is offline  
Status: -
AO Platinum Member
Kevin Slegg's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: United Kingdom
County: Surrey
Posts: 15,291
Re: Great buy or huge mistake?

TBH I think 2-doors are OK when the child is big enough to climb in itself but may be a bit impractical/awkward when the baby/child has to be lifted in.

Still its a nice car; so try it before you decide - you may noy have a problem.
Kevin Slegg is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
acen's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 66
Re: Great buy or huge mistake?

so long as it has been properly serviced often it will be fine mate. get a check-up done prior to purchase of course and read through the buyer's guide...
Alfa's are much better now than they were, but there's still a little bit of finger-crossing, haha!
The baby-seat should be fine, though as Kevin mentioned, the back seats are a bit awkward to navigate
acen is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
proylance's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: West Yorkshire
Posts: 58
Re: Great buy or huge mistake?

when people get in the back of my gtv and its sunny, they do find the rear window like a magnifying glass (red hot). I would of thought a GTV was more maintenance than a mr2 ?
proylance is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Braintree, Essex
Posts: 218

Member car:

GTV 2.0 TS

Re: Great buy or huge mistake?

Looks like a lovely car - I have 2 children with one on the way. My 11 year old can get in the back of the GTV & no problem with a Britax car seat for my 3 year old. About 95% of the time I'm on my own in the car as my wife has her own car. Obviously been well looked after car & the tan leather looks looks the mutts nuts. I had the same 'do I or don't I' dilema before buying my first Alfa (a 156) now I can't imagine driving anything else! Go for it you won't regret it (hopefully!!!)
julian is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
Bruciebonuz's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 153
Images: 7

Member car:

Alfa 3.0 GTV V6

Re: Great buy or huge mistake?

They are great cars, but they are no family car. For a start the room in the back is very restricted - the passenger seat will be too far forward given the size of modern baby seat. Getting them in and out will also be for contortionists only - imagine p@ssing rain, Sainsburys car park and you trying to get the baby in, shopping in etc - not fun. You also probably cant fit a sunblind on the rear window....and the car has no boot - no pushchair will go in it. Also, would I want to be in a crash in one with a babysit rammed up behind the passenger seat? No. I love mine, don't get me wrong but its not our main car -there comes a time when you have to buy sensible I am afraid! I reckon you will get too much aggro from the other half if you go for one!

What about a used B5 Audi S4 - I had one for a while when we had our first child -very quick and much more practical. Can get them for less than £10k.
Bruciebonuz is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MK
Posts: 69

Member car:

Brera 2.4 JTDm

Re: Great buy or huge mistake?

Hi Ed,

As much as I am a fan of impractical cars, shortly after my first was born I looked at buying a gtv but ruled it out as being a bit too small and having absolutely no boot - even as our second car it was a complete a non starter. In the end I bought a much more practical Fiat Coupe - With its large boot and some leg room I kept it until my second child was 1.

I dont think you should condem yourself to a sensible family car, but I'm not sure a gtv will be that easy to live with.....unless you really want it
chickenboy is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
vivian166ti's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: United Kingdom
County: Warwickshire
Posts: 788

Member car:

SAAB 9-5 2.3t

Re: Great buy or huge mistake?

Edited by request

Last edited by alfaowner; 30-04-08 at 21:48.
vivian166ti is offline  
Status: Very happy...
AO Member
FreddieL's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: United Kingdom
County: Essex
Posts: 353
Images: 169
Re: Great buy or huge mistake?

Just had the same dilemma after years with boring cars (Volvo S80 now on eBay..). However I finally got a 156 Sportswagon 53 reg.
I absolutely love it.
I got a 2 year warranty for it to be able to sleep better at night

Why not consider the 156SW or GT ? Gives you more space than the GTV and with a bit of extras looks pretty good tooo..

I got new wheel for mine after driving it for 18 hrs or so..
Next is a bit of leather, nice stereo plus some minor trim bits.

I canít recall wanting to go for a drive so much since when I had my Esprit, Elan and Camaro Convertible... not to forget the TR6, Lancia HPE as well as the Jensen Healey.....
Nice to be back and see that a "regular" car like the 156 offer similar urge to go for a drive...

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Alfetta GTV, MiTo 170 QV, Ducati & BMW bikes...
FreddieL is offline  
Status: pretty good actually...!
AO Member
Cibo's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Ireland
Posts: 695

Member car:

916 Spider

Re: Great buy or huge mistake?

Have to agree with the other posters...

Had a GTV for 7 years and loved it, only changed it for a spider.

The GTV cannot be used as a main car for transporting kids. A child seat might fit in the back, but putting the child in would be a pain in the a**. With most car parks you cannot open the doors fully, and both you and the child would have to be contortionists to manage it successfully! Also there is no room in the boot for anything much bigger than a pair of sunglasses, remember it's not just the baby you need to transport, it's the buggy and baby repair kit too!

Buy the GTV for yourself, but you will have to get something else as a familymobile... (that was my solution anyway!)

Good luck...

'76 Spider -> '93 164 -> '99 146 Junior -> '97 GTV -> '99 Spider....
Cibo is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: United Kingdom
County: West Yorkshire
Posts: 276
Re: Great buy or huge mistake?

I'm with FreddieL. If the GTV is just too impractical then you can get a pretty decent 156 SW with the same TS engine for the same money. May not have the coupe looks but is still a damn good looking car, IIRC the 2.0TS 156 saloon is actually fractionally faster than the 2.0 GTV too.

I was torn between the 2 before I got my GTV and there aren't going to be any sprogs around here for a while .
indiekid is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 77
Re: Great buy or huge mistake?

Originally Posted by vivian 166 View Post
A word of warning about this seller St.George,they buy high mileage
part exs.
Just for the record, I bought my car from this guy. I don't feel its entirely fair to single him out from other small indie dealers.

I found he operates from home - nothing wrong with that, but I'm not sure he exactly passes on the savings to the customer, but hey.

I think he does over rate the condition of the car. I bought the car because it did look in great nick, had great service history records but the enthusiasm of the ad (and the seller himself) kind of swayed me. I bought it knowing it had wear on the inner side of the front tyres - he kind of shrugged that off pointing out they were perfectly legal etc etc

Within a week or so of owning it I found the the front sus wishbones needed changing - which explained the tyre wear. I also noticed the petrol and the temp gauge weren't working properly too. The seller did not want to know. I felt a bit hard done by as I bought the car thinking it was a "perfect example" - which came mostly from the ad and the seller's enthusiasm. I accepted it was my own fault for not checking ~everything~.

Having said that this car has proved to be a "perfect GTV" once I had the "bits" done. I am very, very happy indeed. And my mechanic rates it highly too.

I'd say StGeorge seems to go for cars that look great cosmetically - but then that is a pretty good guide to the overall condition! Prices aren't bad but certainly not the cheapest.

I'd say StGeorge is legit and certainly not a "dodgy outfit". Just follow the typical advice for buying a second hand car. Judge the car for yourself (or get someone "qualified").

And to answer the OP (!) I do not believe the GTV is good for kids or baby seats. I'd love to say otherwise but frankly it would be a really daft family car. You do not get a GTV to be practical. (the very thought of cramming toddlers into my GTV makes me shiver lol)
Drumhum is offline  
Status: - Update
Posts: n/a
Re: Great buy or huge mistake?

To be honest mate, if you are a family man (And you appear to be so!) any 2 Door Coupe is not going to be a 'Great Buy'.

If you want to go with Alfa let me reccomend either a 2.0i TS 156 or a 2.4 JTD Diesel 156. Both cracking looking obviously, plus you get 4 doors and a large enough boot.

I don't have a family just yet, only a fiancee, and I still like having 4 doors and a massive boot.

I did have a V6 156 and it was fantasticly quick and practical too! 2 door Coupes are a bloody pain in the ass I feel, I used to have a Ford Probe and any rear passengers either had no leg room or if there was only the one had to lie out across the back.

The 156 2.4 JTD comes with a 170BHP powerplant which is seriously quick and gives good MPG back too, it would blow the GTV away I reckon and give back better MPG than it.

Although, having said that, I am looking at getting a GTV 2.0i myself, but only because at the moment it is just me and Lisa, if I had children though I would never opt for a 2 door.

As far as maintenance goes as long as you have history with it and the belts have been changed you should hopefully get trouble free motoring.

Good luck though bud and hope you get a cracking car!
Status: -
AO Platinum Member
Ralf S.'s Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: The land that Time forgot
Posts: 12,568
Images: 18
Re: Great buy or huge mistake?

Originally Posted by vivian 166 View Post
A word of warning about this seller St.George,they buy high mileage
part exs. in from Alfa dealers that will not retail them.
I know what I am talking about,my previous 02 plate 166 ended up
there and was completely misrepresented in their advert,on another
ocassion a 53 plate 166 that I had seen previously at the dealers
where I bought my current 166 ,was in the most filthy deplorable
condition,lo and behold, ended up at St.George with a good valet
and offered for sale,they grossly exaggerate the condition of cars
they sell,there have been other posts on here about them on here,
Aye! Good tip-off.. but this one looks genuine. The seats and the door cards suggests it has been looked after (cream leather wouldn't take any abuse very well). Looks good to me.

@ St George: Since when has 66,000 been a high mileage (well, apart from the 80's.. maybe)?

It'll run for another 10 years at your average mileage... You'll have to sell because Junior won't fit in the back, not because it'll be knacked in 2017.

Ralf S.
Ralf S. is offline  

Go Back   Alfa Romeo Forum > Supported Alfa Romeo Models > Technical & Vehicle Assistance > Alfa GTV & 916 Spider

buy , great , huge , mistake

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome