Tips, Tricks & Trends

Skip The Lotus Elise And Buy An Alfa Romeo 4C Instead

I’m a big fan of Lotus cars, the Elise being one of my all-time favorite cars, but one day at a car show I stumbled upon an equally unknown and just as underrated sports car, the Alfa Romeo 4C. It had the same small stature and lightweight appearance as the Lotus Elise but it also had some cool features and quirks that made it stand out. I’m not saying that the Alfa Romeo 4C is a better car, per se, but it does have some features that make it more desirable to a wider audience.

Problems with the Elise

As someone who drives a Lotus Elise frequently, I’m far too familiar with all of the problems that the car has. It has an unforgettably enjoyable handling experience that is incomparable to almost any other car, which for me makes it worth every feature it lacks and all of the back pain the car gives me. The Elise does have some major downfalls where the Alfa Romeo 4C picks up.

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider | Alfa Romeo

The Lotus Elise is only offered as a manual – which isn’t a problem for many people, but if you live in a big city or just don’t want the hassle, sometimes the option for an automatic transmission is nice. On the other hand, the Alfa Romeo 4C is only offered as an automatic, which is also a big turn off for many people.

RELATED: Can you Daily Drive a Lotus Elise

The Alfa Romeo 4C is also a new car, which is a selling point that is important to some buyers. While you can buy other newer model Lotus cars, you can’t buy a new Elise in the United States, and many of the ones you will find on the market are at least ten years old, if not older. This can mean that you are buying a car with higher mileage, but that isn’t always the case.

Why you might want the 4C instead

The Lotus Elise is no longer being imported into the United States due to changes in safety requirements that Lotus simply refused to adapt to. This means that you cannot buy an Elise new here, and a great majority of them have branded titles. The Alfa Romeo 4C, however, can be purchased brand new at many Alfa Romeo dealerships, and this is a pretty big deal for some people.

2000 Lotus Elise. Artist | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

A big benefit of buying a car brand new is the fact that it still has warranty coverage. The Alfa Romeo 4C has a 4 year or 50,000-mile basic warranty along with a 4 year and 50,000-mile powertrain warranty.

RELATED: 4 Reasons You Should Buy An Alfa Romeo

The Alfa Romeo is also a little less ‘racecar’ than the Elise, meaning it has some comforts like power steering and padded seats that give the car a little bit more comfortable of a driving experience. Being such a small car like the Elise does mean there isn’t much space for you, your passenger, or any cargo you might want to tote around, but the basic improvements in comfort make a pretty significant difference.

Both cars offer an incredible handling experience but do require some sacrifices. Whether you are a Lotus Elise fan or looking to buy something more modern and new like the Alfa Romeo 4C you can rest assured that your car will be unique.