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The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The 4C doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet has a standard Active Brake Assist, which uses 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 AMG C 43 Cabriolet has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The 4C doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The 4C only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s 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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet’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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet’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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet has standard Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call, 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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet 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 Mercedes AMG C-Class Cabriolet weighs 1744 to 1788 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.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the 4C’s (5 vs. 4 years).
There are over 2 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Alfa Romeo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Alfa Romeo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Alfa Romeo is ranked 29th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Alfa Romeo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 8 places higher in reliability than Alfa Romeo.
The AMG C 43 Cabriolet’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 148 more horsepower (385 vs. 237) and 126 lbs.-ft. more torque (384 vs. 258) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4-cylinder. The AMG C 63 Cabriolet’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 232 more horsepower (469 vs. 237) and 221 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 258) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4-cylinder. The AMG C 63 S Cabriolet’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 266 more horsepower (503 vs. 237) and 258 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 258) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4-cylinder.
As tested in Car and Driver the AMG C 63 S Cabriolet 4.0 turbo V8 is faster than the Alfa Romeo 4C:
AMG C-Class Cabriolet
Zero to 60 MPH
Zero to 100 MPH
5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start
Passing 30 to 50 MPH
Passing 50 to 70 MPH
Speed in 1/4 Mile
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the AMG C-Class Cabriolet’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. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The 4C doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet has 6.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4C (17.4 vs. 10.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes AMG C-Class Cabriolet higher (5 out of 10) than the Alfa Romeo 4C (1). This means the AMG C-Class Cabriolet produces up to 39 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 4C every 15,000 miles.
A nine-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Mercedes AMG C-Class Cabriolet, 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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet, 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.
For better stopping power the AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 4C:
AMG C 43 Cabriolet
AMG C 63 S Cabriolet
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet S 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.
For better traction, the AMG C-Class Cabriolet has larger standard tires than the 4C (F:225/45R18 & R:245/40R18 vs. F:205/45R17 & R:235/40R18). The AMG C 63 Cabriolet’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4C (F:255/40R18 & R:285/35R18 vs. F:205/45R17 & R:235/40R18).
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s optional 255/35R19 front and 285/30R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear 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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch front wheels are standard on the 4C. The AMG C 63 S Cabriolet’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.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the AMG C-Class Cabriolet 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.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet 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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet has standard power steering to make quick and controllable low speed maneuvers easy. The 4C doesn’t offer power steering.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet 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.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The 4C doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s wheelbase is 18.1 inches longer than on the 4C (111.8 inches vs. 93.7 inches).
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.5% to 46.5%) than the 4C’s (41% to 59%). This gives the AMG C-Class Cabriolet more stable handling and braking.
For better maneuverability, the AMG C 43 Cabriolet’s turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the 4C’s (38.4 feet vs. 40.5 feet). The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s turning circle is 1.8 feet tighter than the 4C’s (38.7 feet vs. 40.5 feet).
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet has standard seating for 4 passengers; the 4C can only carry 2.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet has .8 inches more front headroom and 5 inches more front shoulder room than the 4C.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet has a much larger trunk with its top down than the 4C Spider (7 vs. 3.7 cubic feet).
With its convertible body style, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the AMG C-Class offers cargo security. The 4C’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet 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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet 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.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet 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 three different drivers share the AMG C-Class Cabriolet, the memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The 4C doesn’t offer a memory system.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 4C doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet 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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet’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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower all of them with the lock engaged. Alfa Romeo does not offer a locking feature on the 4C’s standard power windows.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s front and rear power windows all 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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet’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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet 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.
Keyless-Go standard on the AMG C-Class Cabriolet 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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The 4C doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet 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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet 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 see further while navigating curves, the AMG C-Class Cabriolet offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The 4C doesn’t offer cornering lights.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the AMG C-Class Cabriolet has standard extendable sun visors. The 4C doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet’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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet 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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet’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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet 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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet 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.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet’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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet’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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet offers an optional Active Distance Assist Distronic, 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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet 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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet. The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’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 AMG C-Class Cabriolet 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.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes AMG C-Class offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The 4C doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The 4C doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Mercedes AMG C-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Alfa Romeo 4C isn’t available as a coupe or sedan.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Mercedes AMG C-Class Cabriolet, based on reliability, safety and performance.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the AMG C-Class Cabriolet first among compact premium 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.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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