I bought a 30'000km 348 GTS three years ago, when I was looking for an exciting sports car in my price range. I had not compared to a TR but instead to a number of current sports car like BMW Z4 etc. , and come to think that the total cost of ownership of the 348 would be lower despite of it's high service cost, since there is much less loss of value, and I much preferred the design, especially in black.
The 348 is less extrovert than the TR, which is favorable for my taste, and it is significantly cheaper to maintain. My mechanic said that the TR can cost up to twice as much to maintain, with significantly higher fuel consumption, bigger tires and higher service cost. The 348 is also much easier to park in the city.
After getting a few items fixed that the previous owner had let develop, I have had zero problems from the car. I very much enjoy that it is a straightforward sportscar without electronic gizmos to interfere, that it still looks very fresh for a 17yr old design, that it performs well on a sportscar level, even if it is not a supercar anymore. In terms of weight/power/acceleration it compares favorably to even brand new Porsches with similar engine size, and it runs on 95octane gas as opposed to many more modern cars with similar power who need 98.
So far I have discovered two limitations to the car:
- The long overhang of the front spoiler makes it difficult to negotiate aggressive speed-bumps. In the City of Zurich there are a number of places where it is plain impossible to avoid scraping the front. However, if you go slowly over these, there is no damage.
- The GTS can leak a bit of water at the corner where windshield-frame meets targa roof meets window, if there is a lot of rain for some time.
Also the targa roof can cause noise at high speed. When I know I'll be driving in Germany, I put a strip of broad tape over the forward junction of the targa roof (where it meets the windshield frame), and that pretty much eliminates the noise, and the leaking.
Other than that, the car can be recommended not only for weekend trips but also for serious long rides to far away places. As long as you keep up the maintenance schedule, this car is very reliable. With it's bosch electronics it is a very far cry from the 308/328 in that respect.
Key to a good 348 is a thourough pre-purchase control by an experienced Ferrari mechanic. I found one in my city, and he drove to the 2nd hand dealership to check out the car for me, then gave me the thumbs up. Since I then became a client, he did not even charge me anything for it. I bought him some nice bottles of wine as gesture though.
I'd buy the same car again. If I had more cash, I'd look at a new Aston Martin V8 though.