Spied in the classifieds
Our pick of the used car ads
Swiss Toni might contend that buying a used Alfa Romeo was a lot like making love to a beautiful woman. He’d be over-egging the pudding somewhat – but one can’t deny there is a certain parallel to be drawn between the rollercoaster of a typical Alfa Romeo ownership experience and the highs and lows of a tumultuous affair.
And of all Alfas within recent memory, it’s arguably the 156 GTA that represents the zenith (or nadir, if you prefer) of that love/hate character. You’ll love it because… well, do you need us to explain? Just look at the thing: all sinewy curves, angry eyes and pert glutes. And this Sportwagon version is arguably even more appealing to look at than the saloon model.
Then there’s the glorious ‘Busso’ V6 engine, here delivering 247bhp, which, while not exactly BMW M3-rivalling, is more than enough to be going along with – and you’ll forgive it anything once you hear the way it sounds. It’s just one of the many reasons a 156 GTA is a delectable thing to drive.
Of course, the flipside of all of this – the hate, if you will – is likely to be the big ‘R’ word. But although we’d never expect unimpeachable reliability from any Alfa, this particular GTA certainly makes the right noises, with a reasonable mileage and a full history detailing an awful lot of tender, loving care – including a recent and all-important timing belt change.
With that in mind, this seems like one of the best ways of scratching that Alfa itch. ‘Future classic’ is a much overused phrase, but here it’s accurate – and all at a price that seems distinctly reasonable.