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Compare the2022 BMW M4VS 2021 Alfa Romeo 4C

2022 BMW M4
2021 Alfa Romeo 4C

Safety

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The M4’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 4C doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The BMW M4 has standard driver and front passenger side knee airbags mounted low on the dashboard. These airbags helps prevent the driver and front passenger from sliding under their seatbelts or the main frontal airbags; this keeps them better positioned during a collision for maximum protection. Knee airbags also help keep the legs from striking the dashboard, preventing knee and leg injuries in the case of a serious frontal collision. The 4C doesn’t offer a front passenger side knee airbag.

The M4’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the front seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The 4C doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The M4 has standard Front Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The 4C doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The M4 has a standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The 4C doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The M4 offers optional Active Park Distance Control that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The 4C doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The M4 Competition offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The 4C doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The M4’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The 4C doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The M4 has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The 4C doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The M4’s blind spot warning system uses sensors to alert the driver to objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them and moves the vehicle back into its lane. The 4C doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing out of a parking space safer, the M4’s standard cross-path warning system uses sensors in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The 4C doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The M4’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The 4C doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The M4 has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The 4C doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the M4 and the 4C have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The BMW M4 weighs 1343 to 1819 pounds more than the Alfa Romeo 4C. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

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The M4’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the 4C’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the M4 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Alfa Romeo only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the 4C.

There are over 2 times as many BMW dealers as there are Alfa Romeo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the M4’s warranty.

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the M4’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the 4C’s camshafts. If the 4C’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the M4 has a standard 209-amp alternator. The 4C’s 160-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the M4 has a standard 900-amp battery. The 4C’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2021 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Alfa Romeo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 88 more problems per 100 vehicles, Alfa Romeo is ranked 32nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ January 2021 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Alfa Romeo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 17 places higher in reliability than Alfa Romeo.

Engine

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The M4’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder produces 236 more horsepower (473 vs. 237) and 148 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 258) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4-cylinder. The M4 Competition’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder produces 266 more horsepower (503 vs. 237) and 221 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 258) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the M4’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The 4C doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stop lights the M4’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. If the conditions warrant or the driver wishes, the system can be manually disabled at any time for the duration of a trip. The 4C doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The M4 has 5.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4C (15.6 vs. 10.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the BMW M4 higher (5 out of 10) than the Alfa Romeo 4C (1). This means the M4 produces up to 39 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 4C every 15,000 miles.

Transmission and Drivetrain

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW M4 Competition, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the 4C.

All wheel drive, available in the M4, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Alfa Romeo 4C is not available with all wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the M4’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 4C:

M4

M4 CCB

4C

Front Rotors

15 inches

16 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

14.6 inches

15 inches

11.5 inches

The M4 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The 4C doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the M4 has larger tires than the 4C (F:275/40R18 & R:285/35R19 vs. F:205/45R17 & R:235/40R18).

The M4’s standard 275/40R18 front and 285/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 4C’s standard 45 series front and 40 series rear tires. The M4’s optional 275/35R19 front and 285/30R20 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the 4C’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the M4 has standard 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels. Smaller 17-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels are standard on the 4C. The M4’s optional 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels are larger than the 18-inch front wheels and 19-inch rear wheels optional on the 4C.

Suspension and Handling

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The M4 has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The 4C’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The M4 has standard power steering to make quick and controllable low speed maneuvers easy. The 4C doesn’t offer power steering.

The M4 has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The 4C doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the M4’s wheelbase is 18.8 inches longer than on the 4C (112.5 inches vs. 93.7 inches).

The M4’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51% to 49%) than the 4C’s (41% to 59%). This gives the M4 more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

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The M4’s standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The 4C doesn’t offer a retractable hardtop.

Passenger Space

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The M4 has standard seating for 4 passengers; the 4C can only carry 2.

Cargo Capacity

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The M4 Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top down than the 4C Spider (10.6 vs. 3.7 cubic feet).

With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the M4 offers cargo security. The 4C’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the M4’s trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The M4 also offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The 4C doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

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The M4 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The 4C uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the M4 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the 4C. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Alfa Romeo. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 69% lower rating, Alfa Romeo is ranked 32nd.

Ergonomics

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The M4 Competition offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 4C doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the M4, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The 4C doesn’t offer a memory system.

The M4 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed, tachometer, warning and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The 4C doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The M4’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 4C has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The M4’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The 4C’s power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

The M4’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The 4C’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

If the windows are left open on the M4 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the 4C can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the M4 has a standard remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. On a hot day the M4 has a standard remote opening feature, to lower the top from outside. The 4C doesn’t offer a remote top, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in and manually raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

Comfort Access standard on the M4 allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Alfa Romeo 4C doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The M4 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent fuel theft and vandalism, such as sugar in the tank. The 4C doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The M4’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The 4C’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The M4 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The 4C doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the M4 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 4C doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the M4 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The 4C doesn’t offer cornering lights. The M4 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The M4’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The 4C’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.

The M4’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The 4C’s power mirror controls are on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

When the M4 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The 4C’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The M4’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The 4C doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.

The M4 has standard heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the 4C.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the M4 keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The 4C doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the M4’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The 4C doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The M4’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The 4C doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The M4’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The 4C doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the M4’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation which can trigger allergies or asthma. The 4C’s air conditioner doesn’t offer a filtration system.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the M4 Competition offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The 4C doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To help keep the driver’s hands on the wheel, the M4 has standard steering wheel controls for the radio. The 4C doesn’t offer steering wheel audio controls.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address with audible turn-by-turn directions, a GPS navigation system is standard on the M4. The M4’s navigation system also has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The 4C doesn’t offer a navigation system.

With standard voice command, the M4 offers the driver hands free control of the radio, climate controls and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The 4C doesn’t offer a voice control system.

Model Availability

© 1999 - 2024Advanta-STAR Automotive Research, all rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America (“Advanta-STAR”). If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it, or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. Removal of this watermark/notification without prior written license and approval received from Advanta-STAR is an agreement, understanding, and/or stipulation by the person(s), entities, agents, attorneys, and any other persons involved in the removal of this watermark/notification (including but not limited to Search Optics, LLC and any and all parent entities, sister entities, and subsidiary entities of Search Optics, LLC and/or any other entity, agent, attorney, and persons related in any manner to Search Optics, LLC) to: 1) an agreed upon amount of liquidated monetary damages of a minimum of $1,250,000.00 US Dollars in favor of Advanta-STAR; 2) the jurisdiction and enforcement of any legal claims associated with this matter asserted by Advanta-STAR in the United States Federal District Court in Portand, Oregon; and 3) service of process of any legal claims asserted by Advanta-STAR associated with this matter may be accomplished by First-Class Postage by the United States Postal Service or comparable service. XPYNN-M34HG 2a06:98c0:3600::103 2024/07/18

The BMW M4 comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Alfa Romeo 4C isn’t available as a coupe.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2024Advanta-STAR Automotive Research, all rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America (“Advanta-STAR”). If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it, or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. Removal of this watermark/notification without prior written license and approval received from Advanta-STAR is an agreement, understanding, and/or stipulation by the person(s), entities, agents, attorneys, and any other persons involved in the removal of this watermark/notification (including but not limited to Search Optics, LLC and any and all parent entities, sister entities, and subsidiary entities of Search Optics, LLC and/or any other entity, agent, attorney, and persons related in any manner to Search Optics, LLC) to: 1) an agreed upon amount of liquidated monetary damages of a minimum of $1,250,000.00 US Dollars in favor of Advanta-STAR; 2) the jurisdiction and enforcement of any legal claims associated with this matter asserted by Advanta-STAR in the United States Federal District Court in Portand, Oregon; and 3) service of process of any legal claims asserted by Advanta-STAR associated with this matter may be accomplished by First-Class Postage by the United States Postal Service or comparable service. XPYNN-M34HG 2a06:98c0:3600::103 2024/07/18

The 4 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2014. The 4C has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

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