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Alfa Romeo Spider 2.4 JTDm road test report

2.4 JTDm

The Alfa Romeo Spiders quality has an immediate charm whereas the ride and handling of the car grows over a period of time. Certainly a car you choose with your heart and not your head.

Road Test Reports Says3.5 star rating
A front-facing image of the Alfa Romeo Spider
Thanks to Western Alfa Romeo who provided the Alfa Romeo Spider for the Road Test Report.
Contact David Stead at Western Alfa Romeo on 0845 623 8411 or email dstead@westernsaab.co.uk

Image number 2 of the Alfa Romeo SpiderImage number 3 of the Alfa Romeo Spider

Performance Performance - 3 stars

The 2.4 JTDm diesel gives you a rather noisy engine. At first the Spider is not as quick as you expect but when you reach higher speeds, the power of the engine becomes more apparent and the performance when you reach 60mph and above is excellent. The acceleration is powerful with the Spider achieving 0-60mph in 8.4 seconds.

Ride & Handling Ride & Handling - 4 stars

The Alfa Romeo Spider is heavy to drive and bumps in the road can certainly be felt, especially through the steering wheel. The road and wind noise is pretty quiet for a cabriolet and the brakes are responsive without being too sharp. Steering feels quite heavy at slow speeds as do the pedals, but this isn’t always a bad thing. The legroom is ample but anybody over 6 feet in height may feel cramped. Perfect for motorway driving but harsh pedals can make town driving less of an enjoyment. You will certainly enjoy this car on a nice summer’s day driving along wide open country roads with the roof down.

Build Quality & Reliability Build Quality & Reliability - 4 stars

The car has a sharp, aggressive look which is decidedly masculine. If the Audi TT is designed with women in mind then the Alfa Romeo Spider is without doubt a man’s car. The build quality is high with a neat leather and chrome look. The controls are accessible but not always easy to find. The speedometer has 0mph set at 6 o’clock and this is often obscured by the steering wheel resulting in diminished road concentration. The cockpit does not feature an overly friendly user interface but all is well once the user manual has been read. The seats are chunky with thick leather grooves and padding for extra comfort. The Spider comes equipped with a USB MP3 player device in the glove compartment and the Bose sound system comes in handy when listening to your favourite track.

Safety & Security Safety & Security - 4 stars

The Spider comes equipped with four airbags, immobiliser and stability control as standard. The visibility is not excellent in cabriolets and the low roof can make it difficult for taller people. The windshield also hampers rear vision. Having said that you do generally feel a high sense of security whilst driving as the car feels solid on the road.

Space & Practicality Space & Practicality - 5 stars

A 2-seater convertible is not usually bought with space in mind but the boot size is surprisingly large and the 100 litres of load space behind the driver and passenger seats is extremely useful. This is an area, perhaps the only one, in which the Spider is stronger than the Audi TT. The seat adjustments are electronic which help to achieve the perfect driving position. It does take a while to get used to but I can guarantee you will have a little fun none the less, not ideal to try whilst driving.

Ownership & Value Ownership & Value - 3 stars

The fuel economy is good for an engine of this size and sensible driving will give you a return of more than forty miles to the gallon. The new car cost of £28,995 makes this an expensive buy and an insurance group of 17 adds to the cost. The residual value is estimated at approximately 55%.

Performance Performance - 4 stars

The diesel engine-Cabriolet car is a relatively new concept but it is one which is sure to take off! The performance of the spider was entertaining to say the least with bags of power available form the 2.4 210BHP unit. Given a decent amount of available road ahead, the car’s engine really came into its own, the only danger being that you may not realise just how fast you are going in quite a short amount of time!

Ride & Handling Ride & Handling - 3 stars

Our car had the optional 18” alloy wheels fitted which made the ride firmer than usual, although they look great so it may well be worth the compromise. Steering is directed at drivers who want to ‘feel’ what is happening through the car and is therefore a little heavier at lower speeds, this transfers however into great feedback and control at higher speeds.

Build Quality & Reliability Build Quality & Reliability - 4 stars

Is Alfa still a compromise between driving enjoyment, passion and reliability? This car points to the reliability and build quality being greatly improved although having only driven it for five days it hasn’t had much of a test! The Interior is made with good quality materials and rattles and squeaks where conspicuous by their absence.

Safety & Security Safety & Security - 4 stars

The car felt stable and surefooted enough whilst still offering the keen driver a bit of excitement should they require. As usual there is always the worry with a soft top of a particularly unkindly individual tearing through your roof with a sharp object. Soft top roofs however aren’t what they used to be and this one felt substantial enough to withhold but the most sustained of attacks.

Space & Practicality Space & Practicality - 3 stars

The boot for this car is actually quite large. It is a genuine two seat convertible though so don’t go for one if loading capacity is a priority. Leg room is good for both the driver and the passenger and everyone but the tallest of drivers should have no problems with the driving position.

Ownership & Value Ownership & Value - 4 stars

They say the usual equation with cars is that you watch the speedometer go up and the fuel gauge goes down. In this case however the car seemed to deliver a lot of acceleration for its fuel consumption. If I were to gauge a Spider as an ownership prospect I would look very closely at the diesel model as it delivers the thrills of its petrol counterparts with a much better MPG return.

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