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The 370Z has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The 4C doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
Both the 370Z and the 4C have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 Nissan 370Z weighs 846 to 970 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.
Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the 370Z 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 370Z’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the 4C’s (5 vs. 4 years).
There are over 6 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Alfa Romeo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 370Z’s warranty.
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the 370Z’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.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Alfa Romeo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Alfa Romeo is ranked 29th, below the industry average.
The 370Z’s standard 3.7 DOHC V6 produces 95 more horsepower (332 vs. 237) and 12 lbs.-ft. more torque (270 vs. 258) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. The 370Z NISMO’s standard 3.7 DOHC V6 produces 113 more horsepower (350 vs. 237) and 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (276 vs. 258) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.
The 370Z has 8.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4C (19 vs. 10.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Nissan 370Z higher (3 out of 10) than the Alfa Romeo 4C (1). This means the 370Z produces up to 22.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 4C every 15,000 miles.
A seven-speed automatic is available on the Nissan 370Z, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the 4C.
For better stopping power the 370Z’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 4C:
The 370Z stops shorter than the 4C:
60 to 0 MPH
For better traction, the 370Z has larger standard tires than the 4C (F:225/50R18 & R:245/45R18 vs. F:205/45R17 & R:235/40R18). The 370Z NISMO’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4C (F:245/40R19 & R:285/35R19 vs. F:205/45R17 & R:235/40R18).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 370Z has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch front wheels are standard on the 4C. The 370Z Sport/Sport Touring’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch front wheels and 19-inch rear wheels optional on the 4C.
The 370Z has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 4C; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.
The 370Z 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 370Z’s wheelbase is 6.7 inches longer than on the 4C (100.4 inches vs. 93.7 inches).
The 370Z’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54.3% to 45.7%) than the 4C’s (41% to 59%). This gives the 370Z more stable handling and braking.
For better maneuverability, the 370Z’s turning circle is 7.7 feet tighter than the 4C’s (32.8 feet vs. 40.5 feet). The 370Z Sport/NISMO’s turning circle is 6.4 feet tighter than the 4C’s (34.1 feet vs. 40.5 feet).
The design of the Nissan 370Z amounts to more than styling. The 370Z has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 Cd (optional .29 Cd with Sport). That is significantly lower than the 4C (.341). A more efficient exterior helps the 370Z go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the 370Z get better fuel mileage.
The 370Z Sport/Sport Touring/NISMO/50th Anniversary Edition 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.
The 370Z has .2 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom and 4.6 inches more front shoulder room than the 4C.
The engine in the 370Z 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 370Z’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them. Alfa Romeo does not offer a locking feature on the 4C’s standard power windows.
The 370Z’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 370Z’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 370Z the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or 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.
The Intelligent Key standard on the 370Z 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 370Z 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 370Z 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.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the 370Z has standard extendable sun visors. The 4C doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The 370Z’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 370Z’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 370Z’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 370Z Sport Touring/50th Anniversary Edition 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.
The 370Z’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 370Z’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 370Z 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 370Z Sport Touring/NISMO. The 370Z’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 370Z Sport Touring/NISMO 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.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan 370Z will be $8126 to $26240 less than for the Alfa Romeo 4C.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan 370Z, based on reliability, safety and performance.
The Nissan 370Z outsold the Alfa Romeo 4C by almost 15 to one during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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