With decent service history, stunning lines and a raunchy 3.2-litre V8, this 2001 Maserati 3200 GT is a proper performance bargain
John Evans
9 August 2019

Back in 2014, you could get a 2001 Y-reg 3200 GT with 86,000 miles for £9995. Fast forward five years and this 2001 Y-reg that we found with 73,000 miles is £3000 more expensive. In fact, it’s one of the cheaper ones. Next up the price ladder is a 2001/51-reg auto with 55,000 miles for £14,700. They top out at around £21,000. 

Maserati 3200 GT, £12,995: So what caught our eye, apart from it being the least expensive? First, it’s the automatic. The ’box has only four speeds but works well with the 370bhp twin-turbo 3.2-litre V8. In any case, replacement clutches are becoming almost impossible to find for manual versions. 

Second, the car’s service history is described as “fantastic”. It’s just had a fettle and a cambelt change. There’s lots of paperwork, too, so it may be possible to assemble an invoice trail that shows what was done and when. A shame the numberplate appears to be hanging off. Doesn’t say much for the seller’s self-respect… 

Our Verdict

Maserati GranTurismo

The Maserati GranTurismo has underlying brilliance, marred by frustrating niggles. But it’s the first Maser for an age that you don’t need excuses to buy.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

It’s a reminder that while we’re cooing over this GT’s sporty lines, we should check for the engine’s revs hunting at idle (a faulty throttle potentiometer), for oil leaks from the cam covers and for coolant leaks from the top hose into the V of the engine. 

We’ll cross our fingers that on startup there’s no ‘engine check’ light. It’s a common fault and early cars without the later, universally compliant OBD (on-board diagnostics) port require main dealer or specialist diagnosis. Finally, on the test drive, we’ll feel for looseness in the steering and suspension and pray a pothole hasn’t dislodged the captive nut on the top front suspension mount. It requires removal of the engine to refit.

Daimler Limousine 4.2, £4150: Eight-seat Daimler limo, anyone? The 2000 W-reg car has done just 17,000 miles, most of them, we suspect, to and from departures… Still, we’d be more worried about the effect of all that idling and low speeds on the engine. Best get it checked, first.

Alfa Romeo GTV 2.0 TS Turismo, £2499: The GTV is a sweet-looking affair destined for classic status and this 1999/V-reg has covered just 46,000 miles. It has piped leather trim and full Alfa and specialist service history. It also comes with a spare set of Brembo brake pads. Nice touch. 

Vauxhall Tigra 1.4, £699: It was either this 106,000-mile 2005/55-reg Tigra or that other sub-£1k coupé-cabriolet, the Peugeot 206 CC. We’ve gone with the Vauxhall because it looks sharper, the roof folds more neatly, the boot’s bigger and the whole plot feels tauter. 

Mini 1.6 John Cooper Works, £3490: Now showing 112,000 miles, this 2004-reg JCW represents a brave purchase for someone. However, it has full service history and it’s oddly comforting that the floor mats are the original, branded ones, suggesting past owners have taken pride in it. 

Auction watch

Ford XR3i Cabriolet: This 30-year-old cab has done 52,000 miles and was knocked down for just £3922, making it a good-value, emerging classic. On paper, the fuel-injected engine has a modest 105bhp but that’s 10bhp more than the naturally aspirated XR3. 

Talking of which, in the same sale, a 1980 XR3 hatch with 92,000 miles, partially restored in 2011, made £5088. Meanwhile, a 1986 Sierra 2.0 fetched £3604 and a 1991 Granada 2.0 GL £1900. Biggest miss of the day, though, was a bronze 88,000-mile 1973 Cortina 1.6 XL Mk3 that sneaked out for just £2756. 

Future classic

Kia Stinger 3.3 T-GDI GT S, £29,950: Kia has made much of the Stinger’s association with Albert Biermann, its R&D chief and former head of BMW’s M division. That the model performs is what matters, but his presence is the kind of ‘papal’ blessing enthusiasts like. The car we found, a 2018/67-reg with 11,000 miles, is £10,000 less than new. If Biermann and his team can deliver at least 10 years of even better sequels, the values of old Stingers may one day bottom out. At least they should make safe buys thanks to service histories born of their uniquely long, new car warranty. 

Clash of the classifieds

Brief: Find the best super-hatch for £20k.

2013 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG, £19,500

2016 Honda Civic Type R, £19,995

Mark Pearson: We waited a long time for this beauty and, boy, was it worth it. With a screaming turbocharged VTEC, all those spoilers and skirts and more scoops than Häagen-Dazs.  

Max Adams: Oh, it is a warm day, so I could do with an ice cream. Mostly because of how hot my A45 AMG is: 360bhp is an insane amount of power for a family hatchback. Remind us how much your car has to play with? 

MP: Power corrupts, Max. We all know that. What matters more is response, and in that, this 2016 Civic Type R has all comers defeated, including that ghastly and overblown Merc. And how long will that engine last? 

MA: If you won’t tell the reader, I will: 306bhp is all your car has, which explains why it’s a second slower to 62mph. Besides, Mercedes still makes some great engines and the latest A45 has 415bhp, so I’m not concerned about my car’s longevity. How come your Civic Type R looks like it’s on steroids anyway? 

MP: I don’t recall any Nürburgring lap records on your car’s CV. Why’s that? Oh, and why is yours so old? 2013? Blimey. 

MA: You have to pay extra for a desirable Mercedes-Benz, so it’s small wonder you can get a newer car if it wears a common Honda badge. Also, cars designed for fast Nürburgring times are unusable on public roads. 

MP: I think that sweeping generalisation brings our debate to an end. Victory to me, John?

Verdict: Almost half the mileage, three years younger and with a manual gearbox: the Honda it is. J

Read more

Used car buying guide: Maserati Quattroporte

Good, bad or ugly? Cars that wore a GT badge​

Mercedes-AMG A45 S 2019 review​

Join the debate

Comments
5

9 August 2019

Putting a private plate on it will take 10 years off it.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

9 August 2019
xxxx wrote:

Putting a private plate on it will take 10 years off it.

Agree, the later cars look so similar yet for some reason I am drawn to the first generation, which I wasn't keen on at launch, as I think every version after looks worse, but a private plate on a gen 1 would still un age it.

9 August 2019
When referring to the xr3i having 10 hp more than the naturally aspirated xr3, I assume you mean carburettored as they are both na.

Always loved the boomerang lit 3200, it just looks so right.

That Alfa looks stunning, not sure on the tigra, though I quite like the original tigra coupe which are few nowerdays.

289

9 August 2019

.....if you have no shame or you are 19!

Do you really want to be seen in that Jukebox?.....it looks like a car that some 'yoof' has taken down to Halfords, and added every 'go faster' appendage they have in stock. Its a mess.

Sort od wannabe BTCC driver.

10 August 2019

Where is your self respect?

 

Steam cars are due a revival.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week