In-depth Reviews

Alfa Romeo 4C coupe (2013-2018)

"The Alfa Romeo 4C is a two-seater sports car that offers supermodel looks and supercar thrills at an affordable price. It's just a shame the driving experience doesn't match its looks." 

Carbuyer Rating

2.5 out of 5

Pros

  • Gorgeous looks
  • Huge fun to drive
  • Incredible handling

Cons

  • Uncomfortable ride
  • No manual gearbox
  • Underwhelming interior

When it was introduced in 2013, the Alfa Romeo 4C was arguably the biggest shift in the firm’s model range, which then entirely consisted of front-wheel-drive hatchbacks. Now discontinued, the 4C played a pivotal role in the evolution of the firm’s model line-up with cars such as the Giulia saloon and Stelvio SUV.

The 4C coupe was later joined by a 4C Spyder, which is still on sale until the end of this year. What makes the 4C so unique is that it is like nothing the carmaker has offered in the past. It’s a strict two-seater sports car, with a mid-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive. It’s construction is a mix of aluminium and ultra-strong carbon-fibre, materials that means it weighs less than a Volkwagen up! city car - tipping the scales at only 895kg.

Powering the 4C is a small turbocharged 1.75-litre petrol engine, which despite its small size produces 237bhp. Combining this power output with the light kerbweight gives the 4C brisk performance with the 0-62mph dash completed in 4.5 seconds, and real agility, thanks to the 4C’s razor-sharp responses to your steering inputs. This low weight means it’s even reasonably economical.

We would struggle to recommend the 4C as an everyday car, though. Those lightning reflexes come at the cost of extremely firm suspension, which jars and crashes over bumps and uneven roads. Many will dislike the lack of a manual gearbox option, too, and there are aspects of the 4C’s quality that disappoint for such an expensive car.

The high price is put in focus when you consider that the Porsche 718 Cayman S costs less to buy, is similarly quick and a lot more comfortable, while the equally focused Lotus Elise costs far less, even in its most powerful variant.

However, there's a brio to the Italian sports car that gives it an appeal all of its own. It certainly looks the part, and many will fall for its thoroughbred image. On the right road, in the right mood, the Alfa 4C comes to life.

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Honda CR-V deal
Deals
13 May 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

It’s here: all-new Range Rover Sport unveiled
Sport 1
Range Rover Sport
10 May 2022

It’s here: all-new Range Rover Sport unveiled

More on 4C

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider convertible (2015-2019)
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider convertible
21 Mar 2016

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider convertible (2015-2019)

“Like its coupe equivalent, the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider is a beautiful but flawed sports car”
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider - price, specs and pictures
2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
Alfa Romeo 4C coupe
13 May 2015

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider - price, specs and pictures

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider order books open, priced from under £60,000
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider launched in Detroit
Alfa Romeo 4C coupe
12 Jan 2015

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider launched in Detroit

Convertible version of Alfa Romeo 4C will go on sale in summer of 2015
Alfa Romeo to introduce eight new cars by 2018
Alfa Romeo 4C coupe
7 May 2014

Alfa Romeo to introduce eight new cars by 2018

Italian brand will introduce new saloons, SUVs and faster version of sporty 4C

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
25 Apr 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
3 Feb 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022