2019 Alfa Romeo 4C vs. 2019 MINI Cooper Convertible

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the 4C and the Cooper Convertible 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.

Warranty

There are over 35 percent more Alfa Romeo dealers than there are MINI dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 4C’s warranty.

Engine

The 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. produces 103 more horsepower (237 vs. 134) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 162) than the Cooper Convertible’s standard 1.5 turbo 3 cyl. The 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. produces 48 more horsepower (237 vs. 189) and 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 207) than the Cooper Convertible S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. produces 9 more horsepower (237 vs. 228) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 236) than the John Cooper Works Convertible’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Alfa Romeo 4C is faster than the MINI Cooper Convertible (base engine) (automatics tested):

 

4C

Cooper

Zero to 30 MPH

1.5 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.1 sec

7.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.7 sec

24.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.1 sec

9.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.9 sec

4.4 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.2 sec

5.4 sec

Quarter Mile

12.8 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107 MPH

85 MPH

Top Speed

159 MPH

124 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The 4C has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The Alfa Romeo 4C comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Cooper Convertible.

The 4C offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer an SMG.

The 4C’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

4C

Cooper

Front Rotors

12 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.5 inches

10.2 inches

The 4C’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Cooper Convertible are solid, not vented.

The 4C stops much shorter than the Cooper Convertible:

 

4C

Cooper

 

70 to 0 MPH

144 feet

163 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 4C has larger tires than the Cooper Convertible (F:205/45R17 & R:235/40R18 vs. 175/65R15).

The 4C’s standard 205/45R17 front and 235/40R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series front and 40 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cooper Convertible’s standard 65 series tires. The 4C’s optional 235/35R19 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Cooper Convertible’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 4C has standard 17-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Cooper Convertible. The 4C’s optional 19-inch rear wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Cooper Convertible.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 4C is 5.8 inches wider in the front and 4.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cooper Convertible.

The 4C’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (41% to 59%) than the Cooper Convertible’s (60.6% to 39.4%). This gives the 4C more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

The Alfa Romeo 4C may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 600 pounds less than the MINI Cooper Convertible.

The 4C is 9 inches shorter in height than the Cooper Convertible, making the 4C much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

The design of the Alfa Romeo 4C amounts to more than styling. The 4C has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .341 Cd. That is lower than the Cooper Convertible (.36). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the 4C get better fuel mileage.

Recommendations

The 4C was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The Cooper Convertible has never been an “All Star.”

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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