Alfa Romeo GT 2004 review
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ALFA Romeo's GT maintains the Italian company's commitment to style. There is substance here, too, but it is the style which catches the attention and sets this two-door Alfa apart from the small clutch of hot hatches and WRXs in the premium end of the sub-$100,000 sports market.
The coupe was designed by Bertone. It is a fine sculpture with a mix of muscle and heritage, a swoop to the nose leading to that classic grille, a sharp-edged rib down the side, and a well-rounded rear.
The GT is instantly recognisable as an Alfa Romeo, a close relative of the 147 and a distant relative of classics back to the Guilia Sprint GT of the early 1960s.
As with most from this famous stable, the GT's style will last well into the 21st century; simple and uncluttered, the lines spell a Zegna-suited sports machine, a fine-tuned machine with breeding.
All this fine Italian style, plus the engineering, arrives with a $79,990 price tag.
That price, maybe too rich for some blood, is reasonable for a European coupe with class and 176kW arriving at 6200rpm.
That's a little less than the same 3.2 litre V6 produces for the Alfa Romeo 147 GTA, here there's been a little detuning to give the GT a different character.
The 147 GTA is for the boy and girl racers; the Alfa GT more for the sporting tourers, perhaps a little wiser in the ways of the back roads.
It has a softer nature, this coupe. It is not to be underestimated but the ride, the general demeanour is not quite as aggressive as that of the Alfa 147 GTA, one of the hottest of hot hatches this season.
The GT's steering is just as sharp, the trade-off again is a decent-sized turning circle at 12.1m, but the front end is a little softer, a little less kart-like.
This helps give the GT a more relaxed attitude. The 147 GTA is always wanting to slip the leash, the Alfa GT is just as happy to settle back into a fast clip. The coupe most appreciates the open road.
It is easy enough to run around town but the snug cabin, hip-hugging seats and that engine bark are more suited to a quiet highway, best with a few twists and turns.
As a runaround, that stylish Alfa crouch allows good room for two up front, a little room for smaller occupants in the back. Rear seat leg room is reasonable, headroom is at a premium.
Fuel consumption through the traffic runs about 17-18 litres/100km; on an open road cruise that drops to 9 litres/100km.
This is where the people see the charm and class of the Alfa's road presence but it's out of town where the Alfa GT earns its money.
There is decent grip (and less front-wheel fightback than the 147) and always that quick and sharp turn-in.
Like the best of its breed, the GT also enjoys a run through the gears, that lusty V6 singing and the kilometres disappearing.
The factory reckons it shifts from standstill to 100km/h in.6.7 seconds and covers a standing kilometre in 26 seconds. Top speed is 243km/h and there is little doubt the GT would remain as composed, as unruffled as it sits at 110km/h.
Ride comfort is generally good, there is a fair amount of compliance and that front end is better behaved over the jiggles than the Alfa GTV; nastier and rougher bitumen still needs to be treated with care.
The Alfa GT is a smart and quick tourer, a fine piece of machinery for running from A to B in comfort and safety with a large helping of driving pleasure.
The very able chassis is backed here by electronic stability and traction controls, ABS brakes and brake assist for those four big disc brakes, ventilated at the front.
Front, side plus curtain airbags, a Bose sound system with CD (stacker in the boot) and MP3 player, heated leather seats and trip computer help fill out cabin comforts and occupant safety.
This Alfa Romeo GT is a very complete, very pretty and very satisfying machine.
Range and Specs
|3.2||3.2L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$6,500 – 10,010||2004 Alfa Romeo GT 2004 3.2 Pricing and Specs|
Lowest price, based on third party pricing data