Alfa Romeo GT Coupe Car Reviews | NRMA Motoring & Services

29 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Alfa Romeo GT Coupe Car Reviews | NRMA Motoring & Services
Alfa Romeo GT

Alfa Romeo GT

Car Review

Value for money

Standard features

As expected the GT comes with a high level of standard equipment including – alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, leather trim, heated front seats, cruise control, power windows, rain sensing wipers, Bose® sound system with CD and MP3 player, headlight washers, heated door mirrors, rear parking sensors and trip computer.

Design function

Space practicality

Looks can be deceiving. Despite its squat roofline and abbreviated tail the GT provides enough room for four – five would sever most friendships on a long trip; a good size luggage area easily taking a weekend’s worth of baggage. Split 60/40 the rear seat also features a ski hatch.

Finding homes for smaller items in the cabin quickly fills up the small glovebox and narrow door pockets.

Adding 50mm to the 147 donor car’s wheelbase means rear legroom is acceptable, the heavily sculpted rear seats offering good comfort. Small side windows, a low roofline and the high front seats can make things feel claustrophobic in the rear, certainly not the case up front.

Momo leather trimmed seats mould themselves to you, offering excellent support and comfort, especially on longer trips. As cornering forces build up the generous seat bolsters keep you in place and if you’re sensitive to cold leather on a winter’s morning the standard heaters are a welcome feature.

Ergonomics

Long gone are the days when Alfa dash layouts were acceptable only to the Alfisti, with some switchgear working on the seek and ye shall find method. A modern design with some traditional feel, the GT features easy to use audio and ventilation controls in the metallic finish centre dash, with the instruments housed in a prominent dash-top binnacle. The only jarring note is the speedo.

Marked at odd intervals – 30, 60, 90, 120 etc; the more common speed increments can be difficult to interpret.

Offering a wide range of adjustment – in tilt and reach, the leather sports wheel works well with the driver’s seat to provide a comfortable driving position. One drawback to the low roofline, high-waisted design is a blind spot created by the thick A-pillars and large door mirrors, meaning lots of head turning in tight situations. Reversing can be a problem too; the shallow rear screen and multiple rear head restraints giving limited visibility.

Fortunately the hyper-active parking sensors can help avoid marking the designer coachwork.

Occupants are well cared for with pre-tensioner front seat belts, 6 airbags – driver, passenger, side and window, ABS brakes with brake assist and EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution), traction control, VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) and xenon headlights with automatic height adjustment.

Build quality finish

Generally the build quality of the GT was very good, the only issue on the test car being a loose door sealing rubber. Inside everything is well pieced together while outside the blue metallic paintwork had an even finish. A nice touch – typical of the Alfa range, are the polished alloy exterior door handles.

Alfa Romeo GT

Alfa’s CODE engine immobiliser is a standard fitment. At this stage the GT has not been assessed for an NRMA Insurance security rating. (As a guide the 147GTA on which it is based scores 50/120 placing it towards the lower end of the luxury group).

On the road

Requiring PULP fuel, the GT’s suburban figures are in the high range. Returning 15.3l/100km around town shows off its high performance nature. Drivers will need to keep it on a short leash to improve the situation, difficult to do given the engine’s sweet spinning nature.

Things improve considerably on the open road, our highway cycle resulting in 9.5l/100km, the engine happy to tick over in sixth gear on the freeway.

This is where the GT comes alive, and it’s what the Italians do so well. Even at idle the 3.2 V6 has a busy mechanical nature giving the impression it’s always ready for action. It spins up easily towards the rev limit accompanied by all the right noises, and while this might give the impression of a peaky engine needing constant use of the gears to keep things moving you would be wrong.

There is enough mid range torque to cover dawdling through the suburbs or a lazy drive down the highway and still have enough in reserve to tackle steeper hills in sixth. A sensible spread of ratios means the GT is kept happy in most situations, but the gearlever’s longish throw lacks the direct feel expected in a car like this, and the clutch can get heavy in stop start traffic. One downside is torque steer which makes its presence felt under harder acceleration, upsetting the car’s balance.

This is an area where buyers will have to make some concessions. Very firm, but well damped, the ride quality along suburban roads is bumpy. Even on smooth looking tarmac the GT’s suspension feels like it’s transmitting every bit of roadbase back into the cabin.

At higher freeway speeds it is less sensitive and much smoother, but patchy surfaces aren’t the cars forte and can upset it.

Direct is the best way to describe the Alfa’s handling. The quick ratio steering relays back loads of information from the tyres providing excellent feel – although this is at odds with the car’s large turning circle. High levels of grip and sharp responses make up for the sometimes jarring ride quality, our country test route emphasising the GT’s chassis mildly oversteering nature.

Washing off speed is easy, the brakes having a progressive feel and no sign of fade. Some drivers might find the brake and accelerator pedals too close to each other but other than this the system is powerful and consistent.

Although this is an area the GT loses some points the car’s sharp sporting focus earns it some leeway. Yes, the engine makes some noise, but for all the right reasons. Enthusiasts won’t mind listening to it. The same can be said for the ride.

If a more compliant ride means dulling the car’s handling and feel, then that’s a compromise few would accept.

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