Alfa Romeo 4C (2014-2019) review - Reliability and Safety
Relative simplicity should work in the 4C's favour, while a tough carbon tub provides reassurance too
Alfa has never had an outstanding reputation for durability, although its latest models have proved more durable than past eforts. The 4C is built by Maserati (which like Alfa Romeo is part of the Fiat Group) – although that's no guarantee that the coupe will be any more durable than the rest of the range.
On the plus side, the 4C’s 1.7-litre engine and TCT twin-clutch gearbox are developments of existing technology so they should be relatively trouble-free. It’s also a plus-point that this Alfa’s basic, almost track-focused spec means there’s little in the way of complicated electronic systems to go wrong.
If you do run into trouble, the Alfa Romeo dealership network was ranked 16th out of 31 by Auto Express readers in the 2015 Driver Power Survey – a solid ‘mid-table’ finish.
The remarkably low kerbweight places less stress on things like brakes and tyres, and the racing car-style carbon-fibre body tub is a big plus for crash safety – although any damage to it will be difficult and costly to repair. In spite of the swoopy exotic looks, the moulded plastic body-panels should be tough and resilient too.
Talking of crash safety, the Alfa 4C is sold in such low volumes that it hasn’t been independently tested by EuroNCAP – but the same caveat applies to the Porsche Cayman and most cars in the sector.
The Alfa’s safety features are relatively simple but include stability control, driver and passenger airbags and a tyre pressure monitoring system, and that carbon body tub should provide a high level of structural rigidity in the unfortunate event of an impact.
If it was just down to oil and filter changes, the 4C’s servicing regime would be pretty cheap. The fly in the ointment is a requirement to inspect/check the torque settings of all the bolts holding the subframes and body to the car’s carbon tub. Alfa says it needs to be done at 12, 36 and 60 months – or 12,000, 36,000 or 60,000 miles - and the process will add several hundred pounds to the service bill.
In this review
- 1Alfa Romeo 4C (2014-2019) reviewWe review the Alfa Romeo 4C, designed to deliver supercar thrills for half the price
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe 4C is quick, but the chassis, steering and power delivery all lack refinement
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsIn spite of its fierce performance, the Alfa 4C should be relatively cheap to own
- 4Interior, design and technologyStunning exterior, but the 4C's interior finish lacks the Porsche Cayman's premium feel
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceIt may be more comfortable than a motorbike, but don't expect to carry more luggage
- 6Reliability and Safety - currently readingRelative simplicity should work in the 4C's favour, while a tough carbon tub provides reassurance too