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MSRP: $66,900 - 66,900

5.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 5.9
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 3.6
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 3.0 for reliability is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD

2019 Alfa Romeo 4C Review

The 2019 Alfa Romeo 4C finishes last in nearly every metric among luxury sports cars. Even performance – if we had to name a strength – is unimpressive for the class.

 

Pros & Cons

  • Outstanding handling
  • Quick acceleration
  • Good fuel economy
  • Low-rent interior compared to rivals
  • Short on cabin space
  • Few tech features
  • Stiff ride

New for 2019

  • Coupe body style discontinued
  • Cruise control, rearview camera, and rear parking sensors became standard

Is the Alfa Romeo 4C a Good Car?

No, the Alfa Romeo 4C is not a good car. Its interior resembles a go-kart, with few modern amenities and little space for passengers or cargo. It has quick acceleration and sharp handling, but in the luxury sports car class, that's nowhere near good enough. Additionally, nearly every other rival has a more comfortable ride. 

Should I Buy the Alfa Romeo 4C?

You should buy the 4C if you can afford to leave it sitting in the garage between outings to the track or weekend joyrides. Most buyers will be much happier with any of the other cars in the class. Great alternatives to the 4C that are more practical and better for daily driving include the Jaguar F-Type and Porsche Cayman.

Compare the 4C, F-Type, and Cayman »

Should I Buy a New or Used Alfa Romeo 4C?

The 2019 4C belongs to a generation that began with the 2015 model year. Notable changes for 2019 include the discontinuation of the coupe body style – leaving only the Spider variant that was introduced for 2018 – and the addition of new standard features like a rearview camera, cruise control, and rear parking sensors.

You can potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used 4C, and because there haven't been that many changes since its debut, a used model will be largely similar. If you are interested in a used car, check out our reviews of the 2018 Alfa Romeo 4C and 2017 Alfa Romeo 4C. Also stop by our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 4C »

We Did the Research for You: 22 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current 4C generation, which runs from 2015 to 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Alfa Romeo 4C Cost?

The 2019 4C's base price is $67,150. Starting prices for luxury sports cars range from about $45,000 up to about $157,000. However, the middle of that range is fairly empty, as most cars in the class either start below $60,000 or above $90,000. Most of the 4C’s rivals either cost less or significantly more, but not in between.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Alfa Romeo dealer.

Alfa Romeo 4C Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Alfa Romeo 4C or Jaguar F-Type?

Like the 4C, the Jaguar F-Type delivers great performance on and off the track. However, the Jaguar is a better choice for your daily commute. The F-Type has a larger trunk and a longer features list, including a slew of standard safety technologies. Additionally, the Jaguar features stronger engines, more technology options, and available all-wheel drive. Go with the F-Type.

Which Is Better: Alfa Romeo 4C or Porsche Cayman?

The Porsche Cayman finishes much higher in our luxury sports car rankings than the 4C, and its starting price is considerably lower than its Alfa rival. Inside, the Cayman feels more luxurious. There are tons of options to make the Porsche’s cabin even more upscale, including opulent touches like brushed aluminum and mahogany. Overall, the Cayman is the superior choice.

Which Is Better: Alfa Romeo 4C or Mercedes-Benz SLC?

The Mercedes-Benz SLC has an uninspiring base engine, but it features a comfier cabin and a smoother ride than its Alfa Romeo rival. To improve the Mercedes' sportiness, you can opt for the potent Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 for a little more than the 4C's base price. Unless you're craving more agility – an area the 4C is unquestionably better – the SLC is a better option here.

Compare the 4C, F-Type, and Cayman »

4C Performance

4C Engine: Try to Keep Up

Many luxury sports cars have larger, more powerful engines than the 4C's 237-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. However, this car has a very light curb weight and plenty of punch from its turbo-four engine, helping the 4C jet from zero to 60 mph in just over 4 seconds.

4C Gas Mileage: Among the Best

Few other cars in the class are in the same ballpark as the 4C when it comes to fuel economy. This Alfa gets 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Compare that to rivals like the Porsche Boxster and Cayman, which only get 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, or to competitors like the Lexus LC, which gets just 16/26 mpg city/highway.

4C Ride and Handling: Only One Purpose

The 4C excels as a track vehicle or something to joyride in. That’s because it delivers tremendous handling and gives drivers a direct connection with the road. But the 4C’s stiff ride means you won't want to drive this car to and from work every day. It lacks power steering, which can take a toll on your arms, especially while parking.

Read more about performance »

4C Interior

How Many People Does the 4C Seat?

This Alfa Romeo roadster seats two people. The seats don't have all that much padding but are decently supportive. Broad-shouldered drivers may not have enough room. Overall, many rivals are more comfortable inside.

4C and Car Seats

The 4C is equipped with a child seat anchoring system. However, we do not recommend installing child seats in a vehicle with only two seats.

4C Interior Quality

Climb inside this car, and it's immediately clear that the Alfa Romeo 4C was designed as a minimalist track-ready performance car with as few distractions from driving as possible. That means that it doesn't offer much in the way of creature comforts or luxury. Nearly every competitor is more upscale.

4C Cargo Space

You'll have a hard time finding a vehicle anywhere that makes a worse cargo hauler than this Alfa. It gives you less than 4 cubic feet of trunk space, so you'll have enough room for only a couple of backpacks, as long as they aren't too full.

4C Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Nearly every rival offers a longer features list with more modern tech. Standard features in the 4C include an Alpine audio system, a USB port, Bluetooth, satellite radio, HD Radio, a 7-inch full-color driver information display, and air conditioning with manual climate controls. An Alpine premium audio system with a subwoofer is available.

Read more about interior »

4C Reliability

Is the Alfa Romeo 4C Reliable?

The 2019 4C does not yet have a predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power.

Alfa Romeo 4C Warranty

Alfa Romeo covers the 4C comes with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty.

Read more about reliability »

4C Safety

4C Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2019 4C.

4C Safety Features

Standard active safety features include a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. There are no notable safety options.

Read more about safety »

Which Alfa Romeo 4C Model Is Right for Me?

This Alfa Romeo comes in one trim and body style, the convertible 4C Spider, and it has a base price of $67,150. All models come with a soft, manually detachable folding roof panel, a 237-horsepower turbo-four engine, a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive.

Standard features in the 4C Spider include leather upholstery, a USB port, Bluetooth, satellite radio, an Alpine audio system, and a 7-inch full-color driver information display. Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera and rear parking sensors.

There are no notable tech upgrades beyond an Alpine premium audio system. However, there are several available style and performance features, including a race-tuned suspension, a microfiber steering wheel, carbon fiber mirrors, and a carbon fiber deck spoiler.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Alfa Romeo dealer.

See 2019 Alfa Romeo 4C specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Alfa Romeo 4C finishes at the bottom of our luxury sports car rankings. It offers little beyond an engaging driving experience, but even then, it's bested by nearly every competitor.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • The 2019 Alfa Romeo 4C is about as unadulterated as it gets for modern-day sports cars. By that we mean this is a car that is laser-focused on performance, essentially a track toy that happens to be street legal. Forget amenities like heated seats or Apple CarPlay compatibility; this lightweight Italian exotic doesn't even have power steering. If you're looking for a performance car that's civil, you're far better off in a Porsche Boxster or an Audi TT. But if you have nearly $70,000 to spend on a head-turning, exclusive and exceptionally nimble sports car, the Alfa 4C fits the bill." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The engine shouts right in your ear, the suspension communicates every minuscule imperfection in the road, and the minimally padded seats make sure you feel every vibration. This raw, unfiltered driving experience is both what makes the Alfa a unique standout among modern cars and what makes it an unlivable daily driver. The 4C is definitely a second — or maybe third — car. For the money, there are plenty of engaging sports cars that are significantly easier to live with." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "In short, it's a true, low-compromise sports car, something rarely seen in this age of muddled segments and concessions to practicality. It combines the directness and responsiveness of the past with cutting-edge construction, bold looks and that beloved Alfa badge. Really, in the grand scheme of things (and compared to its peers, past and present) it's not even all that expensive. … You owe it to yourself to drive the 4C; it won't take you long to understand it." -- Autoweek (2016)
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