The 2.2-litre four-cylinder with 185bhp is the best petrol engine. It’s very different in character to the 3.2 V6, with a more eager nature which makes it fun to drive. It's not especially quick, getting from 0-60mph in 8.8 seconds but it's enjoyable nontheless. The V6 engine sounds glorious (especially with the roof down) and pulls well at higher speeds, making it an exellent cruiser.
Like the 2.2-litre, it isn’t scintillating from a standing start – getting to 60mph in 7.0 seconds – but with plenty of mid-range power, it makes overtaking a breeze. The 2.4 JTD diesel is something of a novelty, as few manufacturers offer a diesel for this type of car, but it works very well. Fuel consumption is excellent, averaging 41.5mpg , while it offers punchy in-gear pace.
Originally a 200bhp unit, power was increased to 210bhp in September 2007.
The Spider isn’t as sharp to drive as the Audi TT or BMW Z4 - the steering lacks precision and can feel remote, while the gearchange is firm and notchy, particularly changing down to third. On the plus side it’s grippy, has excellent brakes and is easy to drive around town. There’s little to match the feelgood factor of top-down Summer motoring, especially when accompanied by the noise of the V6 engine.