Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 BMW 2 Series VS 2015 Alfa Romeo Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2015 BMW 2 Series

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VS

2015 Alfa Romeo

Safety Comparison

The 2 Series has standard head airbag curtains for front and rear seats which act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and outboard passenger's upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. The 4C doesn't offer side airbag protection for the head.

The 2 Series offers optional City Collision Mitigation, which use 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 2 Series offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The 4C doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The 2 Series’ optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The 4C doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The 2 Series offers optional Park Distance Control 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 2 Series has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 2 Series and the 4C have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The BMW 2 Series weighs 830 to 1300 pounds more than the Alfa Romeo 4C. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Lighter cars are also affected more by crosswinds.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the 2 Series its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2014, a rating granted to only 46 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 4C has not been tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 4 times as many BMW dealers as there are Alfa Romeo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 2 Series’ warranty.

Engine Comparison

The 228i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 3 more horsepower (240 vs. 237) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. The M235i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 83 more horsepower (320 vs. 237) and 72 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 258) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the M235i is faster than the Alfa Romeo 4C (automatics tested):

2 Series

4C

Zero to 60 MPH

4.4 sec

4.6 sec

Quarter Mile

13 sec

13.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

106.6 MPH

105.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the 228i Coupe RWD Auto gets better fuel mileage than the 4C (23 city/36 hwy vs. 24 city/34 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the 2 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The 4C doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 2 Series’ 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 2 Series has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4C (13.7 vs. 10.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the 2 Series’ front brake rotors are larger than those on the 4C:

228i

M235i

4C

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

12 inches

The 2 Series stops much shorter than the 4C:

2 Series

4C

60 to 0 MPH

103 feet

113 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the M235i’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4C (F:225/40R18 & R:245/35R18 vs. F:205/45R17 & R:235/40R18).

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 2 Series 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 Comparison

The 2 Series 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 2 Series 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 2 Series’ wheelbase is 12.2 inches longer than on the 4C (105.9 inches vs. 93.7 inches).

The 2 Series’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.9% to 50.1%) than the 4C’s (40% to 60%). This gives the 2 Series more stable handling and braking.

The M235i Coupe handles at .97 G’s, while the 4C pulls only .94 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the 2 Series’ turning circle is 4.7 feet tighter than the 4C’s (35.8 feet vs. 40.5 feet).

Passenger Space Comparison

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

The 2 Series Coupe has 2 inches more front headroom and 6.7 inches more front shoulder room than the 4C.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The 2 Series Coupe has a much larger trunk than the 4C (10 vs. 3.7 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the 2 Series. The 4C doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

When two different drivers share the 2 Series, the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting 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 2 Series’ 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 2 Series’ 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 front windows are left down on the 2 Series with Comfort Access the driver can raise them using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the 4C can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Comfort Go standard on the 2 Series allows you to start the engine without removing a key from pocket or purse. The Alfa Romeo 4C doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The 2 Series 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 2 Series’ 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 fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 2 Series to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The 4C doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 2 Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The 4C doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The 2 Series 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 2 Series 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 avoid possible obstacles, the 2 Series offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The 4C doesn’t offer cornering lights. The 2 Series also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The 2 Series’ sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The 4C’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.

The 2 Series’ 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 2 Series 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 2 Series’ 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 2 Series 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.

On extremely cold Winter days, the 2 Series’ 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 2 Series’ 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 2 Series’ 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 2 Series’ 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 2 Series has standard steering wheel controls for the radio. The 4C doesn’t offer steering wheel audio controls.

Optional BMW Apps for the 2 Series allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, tagging songs to buy them later, following twitter accounts and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The 4C doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is available on the 2 Series. The 2 Series’ 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.

The 2 Series’ optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The 4C doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2015 issue and they ranked the BMW 228i Coupe higher than the Alfa Romeo 4C.

The M235i was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2015. The 4C has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

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