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Alfa Romeo GT: Buying guide and review (2003-2011)

Alfa Romeo GT: Buying guide and review (2003-2011) Classic and Performance Car
Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6
Established in 1910, Alfa Romeo has a long and rich automotive history, developing a name for itself early on with great successes in racing; they have also produced some of the world’s most desirable road cars along the way. Thanks to a heart-over-head operating ethos which can at times mean that practicalities get little more than cursory attention, Alfa Romeos tend to give their owners enjoyment and heartache in equal measure. Every now and then though, a car comes along that manages to combine this passionate Italian design flair with some of that boring Germanic reliability to produce something truly desirable.

The svelte Bertone styled Alfa GT threatened to become this car when it arrived in 2003, exhibiting all the design flair that one expects from Italy with the promise of long term reliability and ease of maintenance thrown into the mix. 

Which one to buy? 

Engine choices included a 148bhp 1.9-litre turbo diesel, 162bhp 2.0-litre petrol or the flagship 237bhp 3.2-litre V6. The 2.0 engine is revvy, and provides adequate performance, (a less powerful but more economical 140bhp 1.8l was introduced in 2007) but it is the turbo diesel version that most customers opted for when new – and its combination of good economy and excellent mid-range grunt are hard to resist. An even more powerful 170bhp version of the diesel engine became available late in production. 

The 3.2L V6 may be far less economical, but used as a weekend toy that hardly matters and it is this model that will most likely become a classic in the decades to come. Transmission options were limited to a five or six-speed manual as well as a five-speed Selespeed semi-automatic gearbox. 

Being based on the 147 hatchback and 156 saloon, the GT has well developed underpinnings and despite its coupe-like profile it actually sports a practical rear hatch. Handling is sharp and poised, if not quite as fun as some rear-wheel drive rivals. The ride is firm but not as bone-jarring as one might expect. Specification levels were divided into Q2, Lusso, Blackline and Turismo variants, all focussed on cosmetic changes except for the Q2, which in addition to lowered suspension and leather seats received a limited slip differential. Sadly this was unavailable on the 3.2-litre GT from the factory, although there are a number of Alfa specialists out there who can rectify this oversight – if they haven’t already! 

Most who want that gorgeous shape in their lives for daily duties should probably opt for one of the four-cylinder petrol or turbo diesel power units. Running costs are reasonable, and you still get to enjoy the sharp handling and looks. Those desiring a higher risk/reward ratio should forego these models and head straight to the 237bhp 3.2-litre V6. Yes fuel consumption will be high, and running costs may cause a few sleepless nights, but none of that matters when you are blasting down an empty stretch of road with that Busso V6 wailing in accompaniment. In both cases it is advisable to stick to the manual transmission derivatives to avoid any undue maintenance hassles with the occasionally temperamental selespeed gearbox.

Performance and specs

Engine 3179cc 24 valve DOHC V6 
Power 237bhp @ 6200rpm 
Torque 221lb ft @ 4800rpm
Top speed 151mph 
0-62mph 6.7 seconds 
Fuel consumption 22.8 mpg 
Gearbox Six-speed manual

Dimensions and weight

Wheelbase 2596mm
Length 4489mm
Width 1763mm
Height 1355mm
Weight 1410kg

Common problems

• Selespeed models tend to polarise opinions amongst owners but they are known for wearing out clutches in urban driving, and issues with gear selection can be a pain to resolve. Clutches in general can be hard to engage on manual models and can be resolved by specialists.
• Models with large diameter alloys tend to suffer from kerb damage, with cracked rims not uncommon.  Take a good look under the car, and while you’re there make sure the sump and exhaust have not been dented or scuffed, as the ride clearance is minimal.
• Check along the sill for any paint damage or denting to the metal extensions, which is very often caused by incorrect jacking. Although damage is mainly cosmetic, damage to the paint can cause corrosion to set in.
• Front wishbones and rear radius arms may need replacing if tyre wear is uneven or there is an unusual amount of suspension creaking.
• Electrics are generally reliable, but all buttons and switches should be checked before purchase as fault finding can be labour intensive.
• Diesel models are popular however issues with the infamous inlet manifold swirl flap (not unique to Alfa diesels), blown turbos and EGR valve failures can mean expensive repairs. A once-over by a specialist is highly recommended.
• Regular cambelt replacement is essential to avoid potentially serious engine damage. Every 36,000 miles on four-cylinder petrol and 60,000 miles on the 1.9 JTD diesel and 3.2-litre V6. Frequent oil changes can also greatly increase engine life especially in the diesel variants.
• Water pumps have been known to seize, which can snap belts and damage other engine components in the process.
• Two recalls were issued during production, the first was for a potentially faulty retaining clip that could affect clutch operation and applied to cars built up till April 2006. The second was a bit more serious, affecting a fuel hose that could chafe and potentially cause a fire in 1.9 Multijet models built up to June 2006.

Model history

2003: Alfa Romeo GT launched. UK customers could choose from 3.2-litre V6, 1.9 turbo diesel and 2.0-litre petrol power plants
2006: Q2 model with LSD introduced as an option on all variants bar the 3.2-litre V6
2007: 140bhp 1.8 twin spark model introduced
2008: 3.2 V6 engine discontinued
2009: 170bhp 1.9 turbo diesel phased in
2011: Final year of sale for all GT models. Cloverleaf run out model introduced

Owners clubs and websites

• www.aroc-uk.com – Alfa Romeo Owners Club UK
• www.alfa-gt.org – Alfa GT register
• www.alfaowner.com – Alfa enthusiast site

Summary and prices

Prices start at just £1300 for high-mileage four-cylinder petrol and diesel models. While tempting, we’d recommend your starting point to be around the £2500, as fixing a cheaper neglected car can soon outweigh your low purchase price. A perfect 2011 1.9JTD Cloverleaf Q2 can still command £10,000 but £6000 is all you need for a very good late model car. 3.2-litre V6 GTs range from £3000 to £7000; high-mileages are not too much of a concern, however regular servicing must be in evidence.

Providing the kind of involving drive that Alfas are famed for with a level of reliability that they are generally not, the GT range is a very tempting buy for those wanting classic good looks at very reasonable prices.
Words: John Tallodi
Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6
Last updated: 14th Nov 2016
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Alfa Romeo GT
1375 31500 GBP
  • Alfa Romeo Gt 2004

    £1,450 £1,450

    Alfa Romeo Gt Limited edition with lots of extras  cream leather interior/seats  7” display touch screen  18” alloy wheels  Electric mirrors  Electric windows  Remote control windows close/open  central locking/immobiliser/ Sensors  Cruise control system  hands on steering remote control  Heated Seats  Superb surroundings sound system  etc    Downside Rust on offside lower (panel see pic) steering bush offside need replacing  Driver side window got stuck  Slight smoke in exhaust pipe when you pull away   Please Note: car advertised somewhere else. 

    • Mileage: 135000 mi
    • Engine size: 1910
    For sale
    £1,450 £1,450
  • Alfa Romeo GT

    £2,995 £2,995

    Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Full Leather, Alarm, Anti-Theft System, Central Locking, Immobiliser, Locking Wheel Nuts, Adjustable Steering Column, Cruise Control, Power Steering, Traction Control, ABS, Air Bag, Brake Assist, Isofix, Multiple Airbags, Twin Air Bags, Automatic Electric Windows, Electric Front Windows, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, CD Player, Multi-Disc CD Player, Radio, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, Stereo, Rear Wash/wipe, Rear Spoiler, Metallic Paintwork, Front Fog Lamps, Colour Coded Body, Rear Headrests, Rear Armrest, Folding Rear Seats, Sports Seats, Retractable Headrests, Lumbar Adjustment, Height Adjustable Seat, Head Restraints, Front Centre Armrest, Remote Alarm, Remote Central Locking, Alloy wheels, Comprehensive history 24 MONTHS PARTS LABOUR WARRANTY;THIS ALFA ROMEO GT HAS ONLY COVERED A MERE 88000 MILES FROM NEW WITH THE BENEFIT OF BILLS + HISTORY AND MOTS PLUS HAS BEEN OWNED BY LOCAL LADIES;BRILLIANT CONDITION OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE OF OVER 42MPG TOGETHER WITH FULL BEIGE LEATHER INTERIOR PLUS ALLOYS AS WELL AS SPOT LIGHTS AND EASY P/STEERING;THIS GT JTS COUPE IS ALSO FITTED WITH MULTI AIR BAGS + ISOFIX SAFETY COUPLED WITH ABS BRAKES AND TRACTION CONTROL COMBINED WITH COMMAND AUDIO CONTROL STEERING PLUS CRUISE CONTROL AND SOUND CD STACK PLAYER;AN ITALIAN STYLE + PERFORMANCE + COMFORT DRIVE TOGETHER WITH COOL AIR CON AND CLIMATE CONTROL AS WELL AS ELE WINDOWS/MIRRORS WITH COMFORT HEAD PLUS ARM RESTS COMBINED WITH EXTENDED 2YRS PARTS/LABOUR WARRANTY FOR THAT PEACE OF MIND ONLY MAKING THIS ALFA A PERFECT PURCHASE;TEL HAILSHAM MOTORING CENTRE 01323 449900 FOR A CHAT AND MORE DETAILS;MORE CARS FOR SALES IN BEXHILL MOTORING CENTRE 01424 733777 OR HAILSHAM MOTORING CENTRE 01323 449900, VISIT www.bexhillmotoringcentre.com TO VIEW COLOUR PICTURES

    • Mileage: 88000 mi
    • Engine size: 1970
    For sale
    £2,995 £2,995
  • gt junior 1300 “scalino”

    €31,500(£0) €31,500(£0)

    gta tribute.engine 2000,some parts in fiberglass .new tires,engine00512 start and drive.new interior.no rust.stilauto wheels.regular road papers included engine 1300 cc and 1 gear box. http://www.alfavintage.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/20140703_150433.mp4 http://www.alfavintage.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/20140703_150516.mp4

    • Year: 2000
    For sale
    €31,500(£0) €31,500(£0)
  • 1971 Alfa Romeo 1600 GT Junior


    A stunning GT in a rare colour combination that has been beautifully restored. Chassis no. AR1261462 Manufactured on 31st May 1971 and sold new on 8th March 1972 in Lovere, Bergamo, Italy. A complete body and mechanical restoration has just been completed, retaining originality where possible and the car is now immaculate. Full and detailed documentary evidence of the restoration comes with the car. Finished in its original and striking colour scheme of bluette with amaranth skai interior. Currently fitted with a newly rebuilt and period correct 1600 GT engine to improve performance. The original 1300 GT engine can be supplied with the car to retain its originality. Available to view with Trofeo Cars. Currently French registered, but can be supplied UK registered depending on the buyer’s preference. £29,995

    • Year: 2017
    For sale
  • 1965 Alfa Romeo Sprint GT

    $29,500(£0) $29,500(£0)

    1965 Alfa Romeo Sprint GT This is very desirable early stepnose 1965 Alfa Romeo Sprint GT shown here is available in red with black interior. It comes equipped with a manual transmission, side mirrors, dual carburetors and with solid wheels. It could use some light cosmetics and has lots of potential especially now as the Alfas are climbing in value. An excellent original West Coast car which is mechanically sound. For $29,500 If you have any additional questions Please call 310-975-0272 or email with any questions! We also welcome all international buyers. We can help with shipping quotes and arrangements.

    • Year: 1965
    For sale
    $29,500(£0) $29,500(£0)