Want A Cheap Alternative To The Alfa 4C? Make It A GTV

Love the Alfa Romeo 4C, but can't afford it? Bag yourself a GTV on the cheap...


Alongside the Geneva Show's supercar stars, ultra-ecomobiles and appetite-whetting hot hatchbacks, it was Alfa Romeo's 4C sports car that got the most attention.

And why the hell wouldn't it? It's a mid-engined, light-weight Alfa road racer, for chrissakes. It's like the automotive gods have sprinkled all the best ingredients into the pot and had a good stir.

The only real trouble (aside from some shonky aftermarket-style headlights) is the price. At fifty-odd grand, it's Porsche Cayman money. For that, you could buy... well, a Porsche Cayman. And without wishing to get too badge-snobbish, you'd have to possess some serious love spuds to buy the four-pot Italian car with the stupid headlights over a car so drooled-over by the motoring press each car comes with a special Porsche-branded handkerchief to dry the steering wheel.

There is a solution to this problem though. And it's a solution you can use even if you have a mere grand sitting in your tatty back pocket.


Allow us to introduce the Alfa Romeo GTV.

Now it probably won't need much introduction. If you're reading this you probably know at least a bit about cars, and if you know a bit about cars you'll know of the GTV. You might not know it had 2.0-litre four cylinder and 3.0-litre V6 engine options, or that the boot is useless. You may not even know it had the underpinnings of the humble Fiat Tipo.

No, it'll be familiar because it looks absolutely stunning. Possibly, just possibly, even better than the 4C.

2013 Alfa Romeo 4C

This is where personal preference comes in of course, but I'm fairly confident in saying that you'll struggle to find a prettier car for your thousand pounds. Possibly an example of the contemporary Fiat Coupe, always the GTV's greatest rival - but the Fiat lacks the cool badge and the Alfa is probably the more reliable. Which is important if you're only spending £1k.


There's not a great deal you need to look for if buying a GTV used. Naturally, try and get the best you can afford - a full service history is a good start, and buy on condition, as you would with any car.

Other than that, ensure it's had regular changes of the timing belt - 36,000 miles is recommended, rather than the 72,000 recommended by Alfa - ensure it has the red master key (replacements are hugely expensive) and on the test drive, listen for clonks from the rear suspension, indicating wear to the bushes. It can damage the wishbones, which then need replacing.

Your only real job then is to give it plenty of love. Alfas are less inherently unreliable than they used to be, but nor will they take sloppy maintenance kindly. Lavish it with the sort of care, attention and cash that its mini-supercar looks demand and you'll get many happy miles from it. They don't even rust like Alfas of yore.

Still don't believe us that the GTV is worth a punt? Just check out this old episode of Top Gear. Signore Clarkson seems to like it...


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