2020 Chevrolet Camaro vs. 2019 Alfa Romeo 4C

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Camaro (except LS) offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The 4C doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Camaro’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 Camaro’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 Camaro has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, 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 Camaro 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, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

The Chevrolet Camaro weighs 845 to 1664 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

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Camaro 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 Camaro’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the 4C’s (6 vs. 4 years).

There are over 17 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Alfa Romeo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Camaro’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Camaro’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 start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Camaro has a standard 700-amp battery. The 4C’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Alfa Romeo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 33 more problems per 100 vehicles, Alfa Romeo is ranked 29th, below the industry average.

Engine

The Camaro’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 38 more horsepower (275 vs. 237) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 258) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. The Camaro’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 98 more horsepower (335 vs. 237) and 26 lbs.-ft. more torque (284 vs. 258) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. The Camaro LT1/SS’ standard 6.2 V8 produces 218 more horsepower (455 vs. 237) and 197 lbs.-ft. more torque (455 vs. 258) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. The Camaro ZL1’s standard 6.2 supercharged V8 produces 413 more horsepower (650 vs. 237) and 392 lbs.-ft. more torque (650 vs. 258) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Camaro LT1/SS is faster than the Alfa Romeo 4C (automatics tested):

Camaro

4C

Zero to 60 MPH

3.9 sec

4.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.9 sec

10.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4 sec

5.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.3 sec

2.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

2.7 sec

4.2 sec

Quarter Mile

12.3 sec

12.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116 MPH

107 MPH

Top Speed

165 MPH

159 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Camaro ZL1 is faster than the Alfa Romeo 4C (automatics tested):

Camaro

4C

Zero to 60 MPH

3.5 sec

4.6 sec

Quarter Mile

11.5 sec

13.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

125 MPH

105.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Camaro V6/V8 Auto’s fuel efficiency. The 4C doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Camaro uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine for maximum performance). The 4C requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Camaro has 8.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4C (19 vs. 10.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

Camaro LS/LT

Camaro ZL1

4C

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

15.35 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

14.4 inches

11.5 inches

The Camaro stops much shorter than the 4C:

Camaro

4C

70 to 0 MPH

140 feet

144 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

91 feet

113 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Camaro has larger standard tires than the 4C (245/50R18 vs. 205/45R17). The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4C (F:305/30R19 & R:325/30R19 vs. F:205/45R17 & R:235/40R18).

The Camaro SS 1LE/ZL1’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 4C’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

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

The Camaro has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The 4C doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Camaro can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The 4C doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Camaro 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 Camaro 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 Camaro’s wheelbase is 17 inches longer than on the 4C (110.7 inches vs. 93.7 inches).

The Camaro’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.9% to 48.1%) than the 4C’s (41% to 59%). This gives the Camaro more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Camaro’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the 4C’s (38.1 feet vs. 40.5 feet). The Camaro ZL1’s turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the 4C’s (38.4 feet vs. 40.5 feet).

Passenger Space

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

Cargo Capacity

The Camaro Convertible has a much larger trunk than the 4C Spider (7.3 vs. 3.7 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

The Camaro 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 Camaro 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

The Camaro Auto has a standard 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 Camaro (except LS/LT1), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The 4C doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Camaro (except LS/LT1)’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 Camaro’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 Camaro offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation 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 Camaro’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 Camaro’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 Camaro’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.

Keyless Access standard on the Camaro 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 Camaro 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.

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

The Camaro’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 Camaro’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 Camaro with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The 4C’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Camaro’s optional 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 Camaro (except LS/LT1) offers optional 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 Camaro (except LS/LT1) 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 Camaro’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 Camaro’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 Camaro’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 Camaro’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 help keep the driver’s hands on the wheel, the Camaro 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, a GPS navigation system is available on the Camaro. The Camaro’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 optional voice command, the Camaro offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The 4C doesn’t offer a voice control system.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The 4C doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

The Camaro will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Camaro will retain 45.92% to 53.69% of its original price after five years, while the 4C only retains 44.51%.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Camaro second 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 Camaro was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 4 years. The 4C has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Camaro as their 2016 Car of the Year. The 4C has never been chosen.

The Chevrolet Camaro outsold the Alfa Romeo 4C by over 214 to one during 2018.

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

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