After all, the way that a car looks and feels is arguably just as important as the way it performs. You'd be justified in saying that the Corvette's 180mph-plus performance was irrelevant too, as you'd rarely find yourself the opportunity to exercise it to anywhere near its fullest.
This week's Alfa Romeo GTV, then, strikes much more of a sensible middle ground. It benefits from stylish Pininfarina-penned looks, a comfortable and well-appointed interior and an eager 148bhp twin-cam 2.0-litre engine
It's not the quickest car on the road - Alfa Romeo claims 0-62mph in 8.5sec and a top speed of 137mph - but that's besides the point. You'll be able to extend the twin-cam engine to the redline without fear of losing your license instantly, for one thing.
The Alfa's reputedly precise handling should prove a treat across country too; its front-drive nature and moderate power output means you can push on and revel in the GTV's engaging nature without having to worry about unexpectedly wrapping it around a tree.
This 2001 example, a 2.0-litre Twin Spark in high-specification Lusso trim, looks exactly like the kind of GTV that you'd want to own. It's only done 48,900 miles, for starters, and is taxed and MOT'd. Being the 2.0-litre it's less prone to understeer than the V6 model, while further benefitting from lower running costs.
It's also stated to be mechanically perfect, immaculate inside and generally in superb condition. There's no rust and the only minor gripes are with a few cosmetic scratches and blemishes. It is getting on for 13 years old though, so some wear and tear is expected.
More poignantly, it sounds like it's been cared for in a proper fashion. Besides the necessary timing belt and tensioner change 5000 miles ago, in November 2012, it's had new rear shocks, a fresh battery, replacement radiator, upgraded lights and some new suspension bushes.
The fact this car has been enthusiast owned is also borne out by some of the other work that's been undertaken. The GTV has received the likes of new Alfa badges front and rear, new wipers, and even a new ashtray after the old one broke
All of this suggests that the current keeper is somewhat of a perfectionist, which bodes well for anyone considering buying the car and means it shouldn't suffer from myriad annoying foibles. Keep it maintained properly, and use it regularly, and it should be relatively trouble-free anyway.
Besides the minor paintwork issues, the seller says that the GTV just otherwise needs a set of rear brake pads — which could be fitted prior to the sale.
So, for £2195 this Alfa Romeo GTV appears to represent a very sensible purchase for those seeking an affordable and interesting car. It'll be engaging, easy to live with and relatively inexpensive to run, partly thanks to a claimed 30mpg average.
Does this GTV have you reaching for your chequebook, then, or would it need to be the fully fledged and aurally gratifying V6 to push it from 'potential' to 'purchased'? Have your say below.
Read the previous 'to buy or not to buy' here.
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