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Both the 86 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.
Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the 86 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 86’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the 4C’s (5 vs. 4 years).
Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the 86 for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Alfa Romeo only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the 4C.
There are over 7 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Alfa Romeo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 86’s warranty.
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the 86’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 Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Alfa Romeo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Alfa Romeo is ranked 29th, below the industry average.
The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 86 lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability (That’s why Porsche uses boxer engines.). The 4C doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.
The 86 has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4C (13.2 vs. 10.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the 86 TRD Special Edition’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the 4C:
86 TRD Special Edition
For better traction, the 86 has larger tires than the 4C (215/45R17 vs. 205/45R17).
The 86 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 86 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 86’s wheelbase is 7.5 inches longer than on the 4C (101.2 inches vs. 93.7 inches).
The 86’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (55.2% to 44.8%) than the 4C’s (41% to 59%). This gives the 86 more stable handling and braking.
For better maneuverability, the 86’s turning circle is 4.4 feet tighter than the 4C’s (36.1 feet vs. 40.5 feet).
The 86 has standard seating for 4 passengers; the 4C can only carry 2.
The engine in the 86 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 86’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 power windows.
The 86’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 86’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.
The Smart Key standard on the 86 GT/Hakone 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 86 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 86 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.
The 86’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 86’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 86’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 86 GT/Hakone 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 86 GT/Hakone’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 86 GT/Hakone’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 86’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 86 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 available on the 86. The 86’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 86 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.
The 86 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 86 will retain 49.21% to 50.41% of its original price after five years, while the 4C only retains 43.44%.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota 86 will be $22564 to $30233 less than for the Alfa Romeo 4C.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota 86, based on reliability, safety and performance.
The 86 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2013. The 4C has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.
The Toyota 86 outsold the Alfa Romeo 4C by almost nineteen to one during the 2019 model year.
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