2020 Toyota Supra vs. 2019 Alfa Romeo 4C

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Supra has a standard Pre-Collision System, 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Supra offers optional Emergency Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The 4C doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Supra’s 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 Supra offers optional Intuitive Parking Assist to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The 4C doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The Supra’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 Supra’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 Supra’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 Supra offers optional Safety Connect™, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 Supra and the 4C have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The Toyota Supra weighs 910 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

Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Supra 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 Supra’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the 4C’s (5 vs. 4 years).

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Supra 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 Supra’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Supra’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.

Engine

The Supra’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 98 more horsepower (335 vs. 237) and 107 lbs.-ft. more torque (365 vs. 258) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Toyota Supra is faster than the Alfa Romeo 4C:

Supra

4C

Zero to 60 MPH

3.8 sec

4.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.5 sec

10.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.6 sec

5.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.5 sec

2.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

2.8 sec

4.2 sec

Quarter Mile

12.3 sec

12.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

113 MPH

107 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Supra’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 Supra has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4C (13.7 vs. 10.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Toyota Supra, 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 Supra’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 4C:

Supra

4C

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.5 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Supra has larger tires than the 4C (F:255/35R19 & R:275/35R19 vs. F:205/45R17 & R:235/40R18).

The Supra’s 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 standard 45 series front and 40 series rear tires. The Supra’s tires are lower profile than the 4C’s optional 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Supra has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels are standard on the 4C. The 4C’s largest wheels are only 18-inches in the front and 19-inches in the rear.

Suspension and Handling

The Supra 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 Supra 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 Supra’s wheelbase is 3.5 inches longer than on the 4C (97.2 inches vs. 93.7 inches).

The Supra’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50% to 50%) than the 4C’s (41% to 59%). This gives the Supra more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Supra’s turning circle is 4.4 feet tighter than the 4C’s (36.1 feet vs. 40.5 feet).

Passenger Space

The Supra has .3 inches more front headroom and 4.6 inches more front shoulder room than the 4C.

Servicing Ease

The Supra 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 Supra 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 Supra 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 two different drivers share the Supra, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The 4C doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Supra 3.0 Premium/Launch Edition has a standard heads-up display that projects speed 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 Supra’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 Supra’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 Supra’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 Supra 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 also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the 4C can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Smart Key System standard on the Supra 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 Supra’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 Supra 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 standard on the Supra detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 4C doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Supra’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 Supra 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 Supra’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 Supra 3.0 Premium/Launch 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 Supra’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 Supra’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 Supra’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 Supra offers an optional Dynamic Radar 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 Supra 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 Supra. The 4C doesn’t offer a navigation system.

With optional voice command, the Supra 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 Toyota Supra 3.0 Premium/Launch Edition has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The 4C doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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

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