This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Alfa Romeo Spider (07-10) review.

Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

The Spider has had a 2.0 litre engine since its launch. This was originally a Twin Spark (TS) unit with 150bhp but when the model was facelifted in 2003 (along with the GTV), this was replaced with a more modern 165bhp JTS direct-injection petrol engine. The refined 3.0 V6 was introduced in 2001, but lasted only lasted until 2003, when it was replaced with a 3.2 V6 (the same unit is found in the 156 and 146 GTA).

The 240bhp engine sounds wonderful and provides great pace but it is also incredibly thirsty, averaging just 21mpg

The Spider corners sharply with precise and well-weighted steering but as it's front wheel drive the 3.2-litre engine can overwhelm the front tyres and wheelspin is common, while pushing hard will cause the front to lose traction. Grip is good though and body roll is minimal, making the Alfa an enjoyable and rewarding car to drive. But drop the roof and it crashes over bumpy roads with excessive vibration through the cabin - at speed this makes the ride feel uncomfortable.