2019 Ford Mustang vs. 2018 Alfa Romeo 4C

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-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. 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. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/28

The Mustang offers optional Pre-Collision Assist, 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 Mustang’s optional 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 Mustang Premium’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The 4C doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Mustang Premium’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar 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 Mustang’s optional 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 Mustang has standard 911 Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions 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 Mustang and the 4C have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and available rear parking sensors.

The Ford Mustang weighs 1055 to 1439 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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Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Mustang 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Alfa Romeo covers the 4C. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 4C ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Mustang’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the 4C’s (5 vs. 4 years).

There are almost 20 times as many Ford dealers as there are Alfa Romeo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Mustang’s warranty.

Reliability

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The camshafts in the Mustang’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The 4C’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the 4C’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

The Mustang has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The 4C doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Mustang first among midsize sporty cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The 4C isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

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The Mustang’s standard 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. produces 73 more horsepower (310 vs. 237) and 92 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 258) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. The Mustang GT’s standard 5.0 DOHC V8 produces 223 more horsepower (460 vs. 237) and 162 lbs.-ft. more torque (420 vs. 258) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. The Mustang BULLITT’s standard 5.0 DOHC V8 produces 243 more horsepower (480 vs. 237) and 162 lbs.-ft. more torque (420 vs. 258) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Mustang uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The 4C requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Mustang EcoBoost’s standard fuel tank has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4C (15.5 vs. 10.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Mustang GT’s standard fuel tank has 5.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4C (16 vs. 10.5 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Ford Mustang higher (3 to 5 out of 10) than the Alfa Romeo 4C (1). This means the Mustang produces up to 39 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 4C every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A 10-speed automatic is available on the Ford Mustang, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the 4C.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Mustang

Mustang GT

Mustang GT opt.

4C

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

13.9 inches

15 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13 inches

13 inches

11.5 inches

The Mustang stops shorter than the 4C:

 

Mustang

4C

 

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

113 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Mustang has larger standard tires than the 4C (235/55R17 vs. 205/45R17). The Mustang Premium’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4C (265/35R20 vs. 205/45R17).

The Mustang Premium’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 4C’s optional 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mustang Premium offers optional 20-inch wheels. The 4C’s largest wheels are only 18-inches in the front and 19-inches in the rear.

Suspension and Handling

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Mustang’s wheelbase is 13.4 inches longer than on the 4C (107.1 inches vs. 93.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Mustang is 2 inches wider in the rear than on the 4C.

The Mustang GT Premium Fastback handles at 1.00 G’s, while the 4C Coupe pulls only .94 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Mustang GT Premium Fastback executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the 4C Coupe (24 seconds @ .83 average G’s vs. 25 seconds @ .78 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Mustang’s turning circle is 4 feet tighter than the 4C’s (36.5 feet vs. 40.5 feet). The Mustang GT Performance Pack’s turning circle is .5 feet tighter than the 4C’s (40 feet vs. 40.5 feet).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Mustang (except Performance Pack) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The 4C doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Mustang uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 4C doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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

The Mustang Fastback has 2.4 inches more front legroom and 6.5 inches more front shoulder room than the 4C Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

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The Mustang Fastback has a much larger trunk than the 4C Coupe (13.5 vs. 3.7 cubic feet).

The Mustang Convertible has a much larger trunk than the 4C Spider (11.4 vs. 3.7 cubic feet).

Towing

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The Mustang has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The 4C has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Mustang 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.

Ergonomics

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The Mustang Auto 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 three different drivers share the Mustang Premium, the optional memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, suspension setting, power steering assist and outside mirror angle. The 4C doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Mustang Premium’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 4C doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Mustang’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The 4C does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Mustang’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 Mustang’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.

On a hot day the Mustang’s driver can lower all 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.

Intelligent Access standard on the Mustang 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 Mustang’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. 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 Mustang has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The 4C doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

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

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Mustang has standard extendable sun visors. The 4C doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Mustang’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 Mustang’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.

The Mustang’s standard rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The 4C doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

The Mustang Premium 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.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Mustang Premium 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 Mustang Premium’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 Mustang’s optional 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 Mustang’s optional 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 Mustang’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The 4C doesn’t offer a filtration system.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Mustang offers an optional Adaptive 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 Mustang has standard steering wheel controls for the radio. The 4C doesn’t offer steering wheel audio controls.

Standard SYNC for the Mustang allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones so they can stay connected without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The 4C doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is available on the Mustang. The Mustang’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 Mustang 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.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-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. 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. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/28

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Mustang third among midsize sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The 4C isn’t in the top three.

The Ford Mustang outsold the Alfa Romeo 4C by over 201 to one during 2017.

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