4.6 out of 5 4.6
Parkers overall rating: 4.6 out of 5 4.6

Beautifully styled coupe mixes old school charm with cutting edge tech

Ferrari Roma Coupe (21 on) - rated 4.6 out of 5
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PROS

  • Huge performance
  • Fun to drive and comfortable
  • Practical boot capacity
  • Just look at it

CONS

  • Tight cockpit for taller drivers
  • Touch sensitive controls need getting used to
  • Rear seats for small children only
  • Pedals slightly offset

Ferrari Roma Coupe rivals

Written by Adam Binnie on

Is the Ferrari Roma any good?

The term ‘entry-level’ has never been a particularly easy fit when it comes to Ferrari. The cars at this end of the line-up are far from affordable, after all, and once specified with a few options can easily find themselves knocking on the door of a more senior, mid-engined model.

What cars like the California T, Portofino and now the Roma do is represent a less intimidating and more usable introduction to Ferrari ownership – not as hard-edged as an F8 Tributo or astronomically expensive as an 812 Superfast, but in possession of enough Maranello magic to ensure their drivers go on to become Ferrari owners for life. Or so the theory goes.

Trouble is, in order to make cars that are easy to use and live with, in years gone by they also felt a bit watered down – still astonishingly fast, just not quite as mind-blowingly so as something with the engine in the middle. Brilliant to drive, but with one or two modes missing from the firm's Manettino drive mode switch.

The Roma is a conscious effort to redress that balance, and it does so by harking back to a bygone era of luxury motoring inspired by 1950s and 60s Rome.

Read the Ferrari Roma verdict

What's it like inside?

Is it all throwback styling with a retro interior? No – in fact it’s the opposite. As with the SF90 the Roma features an entirely digital cockpit made up from a large screen behind the wheel and another portrait infotainment unit in the centre.

Hardly cutting edge (Audi gave us the Virtual Cockpit years ago) but a leap forward for this Italian maker, and typically it’s done so in the most Ferrari way imaginable.

So you still get a massive central rev counter right in your eyeline, and while the wheel features lots more functions and controls than it used to, they’re only lit briefly when in use, before dimming away invisibly as to not distract you from the job of driving. Also, button free wheels look much cooler.

You could be excused for thinking a greater focus on top end performance would make the Roma twitchy and uncomfortable elsewhere, but the reality is far from it.

There’s also a very usable boot, and some slightly less usable rear seats, although the latter can be folded down to expand the luggage capacity even further.

Read more about the Ferrari Roma interior

What's it like to drive?

On this front the Roma also pushes the agenda onwards – as such you get five drive modes on the rotary Manettino switch (including Race) and underbody aero to help stick the car to the tarmac without ruining its sleek exterior lines with a permanent spoiler.

Ferrari hasn’t given these things to cars at this end of the spectrum before and that should go some way to explain its intent with the Roma. It’s a supremely brilliant car to drive fast, with accessible and friendly handling that makes the driver feel front and centre, while also providing a largely invisible safety net.

This is mostly down to a variety of driver aids including the latest version of Side Slip Control. This will allow the rear end of the car to step out during exuberant cornering, but not so much that you end up facing the wrong way.

The ride is surprisingly supple and can be slackened off even in the racier modes by pressing the Manettino button to enable Bumpy Road mode.

In fact we think that it’s in one of the more relaxed settings, with the engine barely ticking over at motorway speed, where the Roma is most impressive. You could happily waft down to an Alpine pass, arrive without feeling broken, and then pick it to bits in Race mode. An impressive combination.

Read more about how the Ferrari Roma drives

Continue reading about the Ferrari Roma, including its practicality and how much it costs to run.

Ferrari Roma Coupe rivals